From Zoolander’s pout to Scarlett O’Hara’s velvet curtain dress, motion picture has long provided us with iconic style moments. Costume designers fill audiences with the urge to emulate the complex, flawed and painfully stylish protagonists of the silver screen. Who doesn’t long to don their best jewellery and an LBD for casual breakfast window shopping a la Holly Golightly? Or take to the park in a brown polka tea dress for their best Pretty Woman impression? With summer blockbuster season upon us, it’s time to look back at some of the most fashionable films, and forward at how to get a shot of their spirit into our wardrobes…
1. Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby
Playing the high spirited and eccentric leopard owner Susan Vance, Hepburn dazzled with nutty wit complemented by a motley set of outfit choices. Think Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, only with ultra-feminine ruffled blouses, long mannish coats and one brilliant molten gold gown.
2. Thelma and Louise
A classic tale of good girls gone bad, Thelma and Louise will endure for its themes of friendship, female empowerment and stellar use of denim; there’s no way to watch Geena Davis without immediately wanting to do fifty squats!
Wear your jeans in rigid, high waisted style for a peachy, worn in derriere and stick to pale blue washed colours. Pair with graphic band tees or worn Americana muscle vests—MadeWorn and Rokit are great—then finish off with a generous dust of bronzer, bandana neck tie and Tom Ford aviators.
3. Anne Bancroft in The Graduate
‘Mrs Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?’ stutters Dustin Hoffman as he stares across at Anne Bancroft in her nude stockings and sequinned tiger print dress. Playing a devilishly attractive older woman, Bancroft’s Mrs Robinson sways across the screen in a cloud of cigarette smoke, displaying an endless supply of fabulous lingerie.
Inject a little sex appeal into your wardrobe with an Agent Provocateur set, and play with luxurious 60s textures, sheer fabrics and faux animal furs, off set with a sharp cat eye and thick, shiny hair.
4. Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface
With razor sharp cheekbones, perma-pout and a general air of bored superiority, Pfeiffer’s portrayal of a beautiful gangster’s moll in Scarface was bound to be memorable.
By night, draped in jewel toned satin cami dresses and by day, nipped in with a crisp white suit and wide brimmed hat, the character is iconic fashion fodder.
As if we could write a film fashion list without Clueless! Swimming in a sea of plaid, clashing colours and marabou feathers, Cher and co. have endured through years of fickle fashion trends.
Layer tiny dresses over white tees and play with kilts and knee socks for a nod to the best teen movie of all time. House of Holland’s blue tartan skirt is ideal paired with strappy 90s sandals and flirty pom-pom earrings.
6. Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde
The face that launched a thousand ill-advised bobs—Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie is a classic example of inimitable elegance.
Make of list of impossibly unwearable fashion trends—berets, silk scarves, drop waists—and you have an idea of the style feat she effortlessly pulled off in this movie.
If you dare, wear a camel coloured beret jauntily with shiny, straight hair, a mustard coloured knit and printed scarf by Aspinal. Tie everything together with a pencil skirt, sturdy heels and an attitude of feminine toughness.
For quick touches of big screen polish, try a statement piece. A floaty slit midi skirt harks sexily back to Brigitte Bardot in And God Created Woman, whilst heart sunglasses from John Lewis and nerdy hair slides by Accessorize give quirky acknowledgment to Lolita and Margot Tenenbaum. For the fashion savvy, borrow the aesthetic of film badasses like Lucy Liu and Jane Fonda. Topshop’s embroidered leather skirt is an easy homage to Liu’s Kill Bill femme fatale, whilst Public Desire’s perspex ankle boots give witty rise to Barbarella’s futuristic fashion sense.
Who needs fancy dress?
Team Blush x
Words by: Josie