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Fashionable Films

by habituallychic

03 . 28 . 08

My post about the new movie Flawless brought up a great conversation about other films with fabulous fashions, some that are classics and some that might be considered cult classics. Here is a partial list of my favorite fashionable films, the first being Breakfast at Tiffany’s of course. But while everyone loves the little black dresses she wears, it is the orange coat and mink hat that is the outfit I love most. I wish women dressed this way today. It’s so classic. Oh, and George Peppard also happens to makes a very attractive accessory on her arm too. Especially, since it’s very important that the men look good as well.

I don’t think there is anyone could have played a better Thomas Crown in the original 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair than Steve McQueen. Rumor has it that it was one of his favorite movies, something I don’t doubt since he not only got to play a suave, well dressed bank executive / bank robber but he also insisted on doing his own stunts including racing dune buggies, playing polo and piloting a plane, all which appealed to his thrill seeking side. I also love that he happens to live in an amazing mansion on one of the prettiest street in the Beacon Hill area of Boston. Faye Dunaway doesn’t look too shabby either but I can’t take my eyes off of Steve McQueen in this movie.

I haven’t seen Bonnie and Clyde in years but Faye Dunaway’s hairstyle for me will always be iconic. Talk about chic! “Theadora Van Runkle’s costumes inspired a 1930s fashion craze” and were nominated for an Academy Award and rightly so. Love them!

I can’t imagine any movie starring Cary Grant not being fashionable so it’s no surprise that he’s starred in some of the most popular. One of my favorites for the costumes and the sets is Indiscreet which also stars Ingrid Bergman who wear the most divine dresses throughout. Another fun Cary Grant film is That Touch of Mink where the clothing plays an integral role in the story. My favorite part is when Doris Day’s character gets a shopping spree at Bergdorf Goodman, of course.

Cary Grant also happens to be in everyone’s favorite Hitchcock movie To Catch a Thief where he plays second fiddle to Grace Kelly’s cool elegance and perfect wardrobe. The same can be said for Jimmy Stewart who stars with the fashionable Grace Kelly in Rear Window. In fact all the women in Hitchcock movies look impeccable…and blonde. Tippi Hedren wears one outfit for most of The Birds and still manages to look amazing throughout even while under attack. I hear she also looks divine in Marnie, which I have yet to see but am going to add to my queue right now!

It’s funny how there are barely any good outfit images online of the most stylish movie of all time, Belle du Jour. The costumes for the film were created a 29 year old Yves Saint Laurent and the famous pilgrim shoes were designed by Roger Vivier and have become fashionable once again. I can’t see anyone with their hair pinned half up without thinking of Catherine Deneuve. Tres Chic! An updated example of this type of movie would have to be American Gigolo in which Richard Gere wore exclusively Georgio Armani. And Lauren Hutton looked amazing too.

The movie that is not only beautiful but is probably responsible for every woman’s obsession with Africa has got to be Out of Africa. The outfits, the landscape, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep…what’s not to love. My second runner up for travel infused period films would have to be The English Patient. No one could be more beautiful than Kristen Scott Thomas.
Speaking of Kristen Scott Thomas, she also looks amazing in Gosford Park. The evening gowns are to die for but it’s the hunting clothes that I would kill to wear. I also love the upstairs, downstairs protocol. Makes me wish I lived in that era.

Completely different is The Last Days of Disco by writer/director Whit Stillman, who also wrote and directed the cult classic Metropolitan. Both movies deal with the world of preppies and class and I love watching The Last Days of Disco for the outfits. It’s funny that some of the most stylish girls starred in this film including Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, and Tara Subkoff, the founder of the fashion line Imitation of Christ.

Is it possible for Gwyneth Paltrow to not star is a fashionable film? Well, I guess Shallow Hal wasn’t that stylish but I try to block that one from my memory as I’m sure Ms. Paltrow has tried to do as well. The Talented Mr. Ripley may be creepy but it’s worth it for the outfits worn by all the characters and the scenes of Italy.

In the comments for my Flawless post, many described Great Expectations as being one of their favorite stylish films. It’s been noted that the costumes are by Donna Karen and that most of them are green, as is most of the film. Theories are that it represents envy and wealth, in addition to being director Alfonso Cuarón’s favorite color. Who knows if any them are correct. It’s still fun to watch. Oh, and the art was created by Francesco Clemente.

Most of my favorite movies are set in New York, which could I guess be considered a fashionable part of the films, including A Perfect Murder, starring Ms. Paltrow again and Michael Douglas. The sets are amazing and I would kill for her wardrobe. She always looks perfect and polished. And Viggo Mortensen makes for some nice eye candy too. He also created his own art for the movie so he’s as talented as he is handsome.
The last Gwyneth Paltrow movie I have to mention is The Royal Tenenbaums. She gets to wear fab furs and an Hermes Birkin bag but I love Luke Wilson’s Bjorn Borg style tennis outfits the best. Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe this movie but it’s fun.

The original Thomas Crown Affair is a classic but the remake starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo is pretty darn stylish as well. How can it not be with Ms. Russo wearing Celine throughout the whole darn thing. Apparently the costume designer had less than two months to pull the outfits together so she shopped the 1997 Celine collection created by fashion designer Michael Kors and threw in a few pieces from Halston while Pierce Brosnan was decked out in custom suits. But then again, what would you expect for Mr. Crown?!

A new fashion classic has got to be The Devil Wear Prada. I love watching it for Anne Hathaway’s transformation alone. My only complaint is the tie wearing fashion designer and his creations that seemed a bit off but now that’s it’s on DVD, I just fast forward those unfashionable bits.

I want to be Cameron Diaz and most specifically Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. From the moment we see her in the cute pajamas, you just know you are going to want to steal her entire wardrobe including her cashmere sweaters and hats. The eyemask and stack of books for the plane is so something I would do too. Love her!

I couldn’t find a photo of the great dress that Kirsten Dunst wears in Wimbledon the movie, but she looks so cute throughout that it’s on my favorite list. Well, that and I just like looking at and listening to Paul Bettany, especially when he’s driving his cute little sports car. Sigh.

It’s a bit of a silly movie but I love the outfits that Eva Mendes gets to wear throughout Hitch. It’s the quintessential New York creative professional woman’s wardrobe that is easily translatable to real life. Although, I would never go to work with my shirt unbuttoned that far. Another example of this genre are the cute outfits that Drew Barrymore wears in Fever Pitch. I love her suits and all the chunky necklaces. So my style.

I know I’ve probably left off dozens of fashionable films but this is my list so let me know some of your favorites. It seems like Atonement and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are already destined to be classic fashionable films of the future and quite possible Flawless as well, the movie that started this all in the first place.

Comments Closed

  1. Dawn March 28, 2008 | 3:28 am

    What I loved most about the fashions in the movies you mentioned (the ones I’ve seen) is the ease in which the characters wear the clothes. Pierce and Renee in particular wear their respective outfits with such finesse. I adored the full beaded/sequined gown she wore for their first meeting. Stunning!

  2. Dawn March 28, 2008 | 3:29 am

    Oh, and don’t forget Diana Ross in Mahogany.

  3. Anonymous March 28, 2008 | 10:11 am

    Amazing post! The list is almost perfect. I just miss: Carol Lombard´s dress in “To be or not to be”, “The Rear Window”, “Love Story”, “1900” and a couple of Woody Allen´s films.

    And four films where the clothes and the looks change with the caracther in a interesting way: “Vertigo” (Kim Novak), “Roman Holiday” (Audrey Hepburn), “Le divorce” (Kate Hudson), and “Sliding Doors” (Gwyneth Paltrow).

    And for men, “North by Northwest” and “Bullit” are The Fashionable Films.

  4. Anonymous March 28, 2008 | 11:05 am

    Definitely agree with most of your choices but I’m surprised you didn’t comment American Gigolo!
    Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton are the epitome of elegance aren’t they?
    And, being French, I would add Les Choses de la Vie, where Romy Schneider is doing brilliantly the French-bourgeois-70s look

  5. Cultivated Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:16 am

    I’d have to say Marie Antoinette. Granted, not a realistic translation into today’s world, but I’m such a sucker for period pieces.
    And the set decoration! And the food!

  6. a. March 28, 2008 | 12:19 pm

    Great choices. One of my personal favorites is Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Indiscreet – one of the best!

  7. ToKissTheCook March 28, 2008 | 12:33 pm

    Execellent post- I had no idea that Renee Russo’s wardrobe was all Celine and it’s one of my favorite films of all time!

  8. Nay-K March 28, 2008 | 12:45 pm

    this post is great!!!!

  9. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:35 pm

    Dawn, The best films are where you actually forget you are watching a movie and I definitely think the costumes/clothing has a lot to do with that.

  10. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:38 pm

    Anonymous, I can’t believe I forgot Love Story. Talk about the epitome of preppy! I probably should have added Annie Hall but I would never dress that way so it’s more costumey to me. Le Divorce was a fun movie as was Sliding Doors. I may have to pop that it in the DVD player this weekend.

  11. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:41 pm

    Anonymous #2, I can’t believe I forgot American Gigolo! Richard Gere put Georgio Armani on the map with that movie.

    And who could be more chic than Lauren Hutton?! It’s no cooindidence that most of my favorite movies have blonde leading ladies. I always wanted blonde hair and the best part of moving to NYC is that I got it. Alright, it’s really dirty blonde but it’s close enough!

  12. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:42 pm

    Cultivated Chic, I thought about adding Marie Antoinette so I’m glad you mentioned it. It is a bit over the top but in a fabulous “wish I lived in that time period” kind of way.

  13. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:43 pm

    A, I love that Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman look like elegant adults in Indiscreet. I wish they made movies like that today.

  14. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:44 pm

    To Kiss the Cook, If you haven’t seen the original Thomas Crown Affair, you must rent that one too. It’s just as wonderful!

  15. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 1:45 pm

    Thanks Nay-K!

  16. Anonymous March 28, 2008 | 3:12 pm

    One point of clarification – in The Royal Tenenbaums Luke Wilson played the tennis star and Owen Wilson was the author who had a penchant for buckskin coats with fringe.

  17. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 3:20 pm

    Anonymous #3, Thanks for the clarification. I actually doublechecked who played which character and still listed the wrong brother. So confusing!

  18. karina March 28, 2008 | 5:18 pm

    Great topic, I would add The getaway, chic and simple clothes that Ali Mc Grraw wore in a brilliant way! plus there is Steve McQueen to look at

  19. Kate March 28, 2008 | 6:35 pm

    Faye Dunaway is SO stunning in Bonnie and Clyde, I could barely pay attention to the movie because I was so in awe of her.

  20. dianamuse March 28, 2008 | 6:37 pm

    Such a fun post!

    I’d add Doris Day’s satin Norman Norell coat dresses and little black number from That Touch of Mink.

  21. emily@designsmack March 28, 2008 | 9:56 pm

    Lovely! I just (re)watched Indiscreet last night and I fell in love with Ingrid Bergman’s London place. Very cool set design. For costumes, nothing beats Breakfast, but a few come really close.

  22. Easy and Elegant Life March 28, 2008 | 11:00 pm

    Hiya HC,
    I have to add the grandaddies of all in the men’s fashion category…. “The Great Gatsby” with Redford in Ralph Lauren and “Wall Street’ with Michael Douglas wearing custom Alan Flusser. And how could we forget to mention Cary Grant’s perfect grey plaid (yes it is a glen plaid) suit in “North By Northwest.”

    We should all look so good. Great post!

  23. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:19 pm

    Karina, I don’t think I’ve seen the Getaway so I will definitely add it to my list. I love Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw so I’m sure it must be good!

  24. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:19 pm

    Kate, I am going to have to watch Bonnie & Clyde again soon! Her hair is to die for!

  25. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:20 pm

    Emily, I wish there were more photos of the interiors in Indiscreet. They are so perfect!

  26. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:20 pm

    DianaMuse, The clothes in That Touch of Mink were so fantastic! Love that movie!

  27. Habitually Chic March 28, 2008 | 11:22 pm

    Easy and Elegant Life, I was just thinking today about whether or not I should have added The Great Gatsby. It is truely a classic. I didn’t think about Wall Street but that’s a good suggestion. I am still waiting for the sequal I’ve been hearing about where Michael Douglas plays a hedge fund owner. I’m sure the clothes would be fantastic in that one!

  28. Homer's Odd Isn't He March 29, 2008 | 1:26 am

    Great post but how could you have left out the clothes from the original Sabrina. Hepburn’s dress at the ball was probably the most beautiful of all.

  29. Anonymous March 29, 2008 | 3:03 am

    What a fun post! I’ve always loved the city outfits that Jeanne Moreau wore in Diary of a Chambermaid. And what about Sigourney Weaver in Year of Living Dangerously? And for fantasy,Bringing up Baby had some good ones too.

  30. Jessie Cacciola March 29, 2008 | 8:11 pm

    great montage here…I definitely wanted to steal cameron diaz’s wardrobe in The Holiday — in fact the movie wasn’t even that great, I just find myself wanting to see the wardrobe over and over again.
    – Jessie –

  31. Cleopatra March 30, 2008 | 8:34 am

    wonderful post, id add audrey hepburn, breakfast at tiffany’s as cliche as it is, and one of the grace kelly classics.

    some people would argue you add keira knightley’s wardrobe in ‘atonement’ the green dress achieved its very own notoriety…

  32. Anonymous March 31, 2008 | 12:39 am

    For me, In the Mood for Love was the most chic movie ever. Maggie Cheung’s cheongsams and voluminous chignon were so elegant! On an off-tangent note, Rachel’s outfits in Friends were the best ever.

  33. Teal Chic March 31, 2008 | 1:45 am

    what a great post!!! 🙂

  34. teaorwine March 31, 2008 | 7:35 pm

    Bloodhounds Of Broadway

    Madonna, Jennifer Grey, Randy Quaid

    ..a great add to Netflix, with fab costumes!

  35. Clothes Are Always Necessary April 1, 2008 | 4:23 pm

    What a great post! I wanted to add one that might be a bit too costumey for you, but I recently re-watched The Notebook over the weekend and I love, love, love Rachel McAdams everything in that film…and the hats and gloves are sensational!

  36. Anonymous April 7, 2008 | 10:43 pm

    What a great post. I’ve seen a lot of the movies you mentioned and especially love the Grace Kelly movies.

    One movie that you haven’t mentioned is Pillow Talk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson – it is the epitome of late 1950s fashion. I especially like how her outfits fit with the room she is in.

    I also like the styles in High Society and Philadelphia Story – one with Grace Kelly and one with Katherine Hepburn. I think the fashion is better in the one with Grace Kelly but the movie is better with Katherine Hepburn, thus I’m forced to watch both.

  37. Anonymous April 12, 2008 | 6:28 pm

    Rosemary’s Baby directed by Roman Polanski was the epitomy of 60’s style…both interior and fashion. Check it out if you’re too young to remember – it gives you the full flavor of the moment. It was pure kismet when he found his set designer – your sense of the film would be entirely different without the very hip and on-the-money he/she created.

  38. Sylvie May 9, 2008 | 5:29 pm

    Love this post! I have a long list of great film interiors. I must get around to posting it. You’ve nudged me a bit 🙂

  39. mpvogue January 15, 2009 | 8:26 pm

    Finding this site has me feeling like a child at christmas!!! It’s exhilirating to know that others get totally phsyched about movie wardrobes like me!!! I totally agreed with you on all the movies on your list, that I’ve seen, but being a lover of “40’s & 50’s vintage there were a couple of movies like Imitation of Life and All about Eve that I think merit your list. I love this site and the name is awesome. Thanks for being here!