Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 1961
Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly as the naive, eccentric cafe society girl is generally considered to be the actress’ most memorable and identifiable role. The charming and fragile character’s high fashion style and sophistication within the film became synonymous with her and Hepburn as Holly, carrying an oversized cigarette holder, is considered to be one of the most iconic images of 20th century American Cinema.
The little black dress which is worn by Hepburn in the beginning of the film is perhaps the most famous little black dress of all times. Designed by Hubert de Givenchy, was sold at a Christie’s auction on 5 December 2006 for £467,200 (approximately $920,000), almost seven times its £70,000 pre-sale estimate. Hepburn and Givenchy formed a life-long friendship and partnership after Givenchy started designing her dresses in 1954. She became the muse for many of his designs and her style became renowned internationally, earning Hepburn a place in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1961.
American Giggolo – 1980
The iconic movie has hit the cinemas 32 years ago but it’s still listed as one of the most significant milestones in fashion history. The drama evolves around a well-paid male prostitute played by the young and hot Richard Gere, however the plot seems to shrink compared to the impact of his heart-braking style, irreversibly infecting Hollywood with the effortless elegance of Italy. Giorgio Armani has established his career with this movie, inspiring a generation of men showing them how to wear his luxurious yet relaxed wrinkle-free clothing projecting the same confidence the character of the movie embodies. Armani was involved with the film as originally John Travolta was going to star and his manager suggested Armani. When Travolta pulled out, Armani stayed, soon launching an international ready-to-wear line for what the movie did the perfect advertising. It was the most successful brand promotion on film of all time. Is it true that Richard Gere can still walk into any Armani store and select whatever he wants off the rack for free?
The fifth element – 1997
The setting in which the futuristic story of The Fifth Element unfolds is one of the most fully-realized fantasy world ever committed to film, and certainly one of the most unique. Bringing this world to life on screen was in large part the responsibility of production designer Dan Weil, who supervised a team of top-ranked designers and illustrators and worked in close collaboration with the departments of hair, makeup and costume designer Jean-Paul Gaultier to bring the concept to the screen. Creating the costumes for the virtual fantasy world was a close-fitting task for Jean-Paul Gaultier who is known as the bad boy of fashion due to his provocative ideas presented on the catwalk. Leeloo, the 5th element became such a favorable movie character that her outfit was soon one of the most popular Halloween costumes.
The Devil Wears Prada – 2006
The style of this sensationally entertaining movie, starring Academy Award winner Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, was designed by Patricia Field who did an outstanding job with presenting the status, inner values, preferences and personal attributes of each movie character by reflecting those on their outside appearances. The ‘Runway’ magazine’s enormous dream closet have left our mouth open and even if Andy (Anne Hathaway) proudly didn’t, we have right away understood why was this a job “a million girls would die for”. Chanel, Calvin Klein, Nancy Gonzalez, Hermès, Cavalli, Chanel, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Narciso Rodriguez, Dolce&Gabbana, Manolo Blahnik, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Valentino have all appeared (Valentino even personally:) in the magical world of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ making it the most expensively costumed film in history. By the way, this masterpiece gained Patricia an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.
Sex and the City – 2008 and 2010
Patricia Field, the legendary costume designer was also responsible for another breathtaking giant on-screen fashion show: Sex and the City. As in the TV series, fashion played a significant role in plot and production of the movie with over 300 ensembles used over the course of entire film from heavyweights such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Dolce&Gabbana, Valentino, Vivienne Westwood, YSL, Nancy Gonzalez, Narciso Rodriguez, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Manolo Blahnik, Giuseppe Zanotti and Oscar de la Renta. One of my favourite scenes are the bridal couture photo shoots for Vogue, where Carrie was posing in Karolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Christian de Lacroix, Dior and Vivienne Westwood wedding gowns. Part 3, please.
Karl Lagerfeld – Coco Before Chanel – 2009
‘Coco avant Chanel’ explores the early life of the legendary style icon, Coco Chanel. It’s a remarkable story of a French country orphan reaching the extravagant heights of Parisian society longing however for nothing else, but the love of the man she couldn’t have as he died in a car accident. The achievements of the costume designer Catherine Leterrier are definitely to be admired. It must have been very challenging to show Coco’s elegance and poor conditions at the same time. Studying Coco’s life experiences, she attempted to trace the inspiration for many of her iconic looks and went back in time to design the first models that Chanel might have created and which could have fashioned her style. Karl Lagerfeld also offerd his help to Catherine, who could have the dresses of the Chanel Conservatory for the movie and used real Chanel outfits for the final scene on the stairs, shot on the real stairs of the House of Chanel.
Tom Ford – A single man – 2009
With this beautiful drama starring Colin Firth, fashion designer Tom Ford has made his directorial debut in 2009 at the Venice International Film Festival. He has even financed the film himself, which was nominated for a number of awards such as ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Motion Picture Drama’, ‘Academy Award for Best Actor’ and ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in Motion Picture’ for Julianne Moore’s contribution complementing Colin Firth’ outstanding performance. The costume designer was Arianne Phillips known for designing Madonna’s concert costumes, working together with iconic fashion designer Tom Ford who gained international fame for his turnaround of the Gucci fashion house. The clothes, the expressive colors pull us back to the 1960’s anxious atmosphere and the complex emotional world of the struggling main character. The vintage suits of Colin Firth were manufactured in Tom Ford’s Italian factory, however this was not the only advantage Arianne was impressed by. She says “It was not dissimilar to the process I use with any other director. But what was different working with Tom Ford is that he has the vocabulary to talk about the different fabrics and costume details. He could talk about colors and silhouettes.” Brilliant movie, not only for the great colors and silhouettes.
Gil Sander – I am love – 2010
‘I am love’ is a tragic story of an upper-class wealthy Italian family with lots of emotions, sensuality, drama, fashion and music. The cast is lead by Tilda Swinton who has actually learnt Italian with Russian accent! for the sake of the movie. Her character is very stylish and elegant, being dressed entirely by Jil Sander, whilst the men’s outfits were provided by Fendi. Costume designer Antonella Cannarozzi was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design for her work in the film.
Miuccia Prada – The Great Gatsby – 2013
Miuccia Prada has reworked forty dresses from the Prada and Miu Miu archives to create costumes for the upcoming film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The designer has collaborated with the film’s head of wardrobe, Catherine Martin on the Twenties-era flapper dresses worn by several actresses throughout the movie. Miuccia Prada usually does not like to reference periods in her work, but when she was working on the pieces, she has realized how many of them would become very Twenties with a little intervention and another point of view. According to the latest plans, The Great Gatsby will be released in July 2013.
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