Films’ Influence on Fashion

The ability of films to influence contemporary fashion apparent in both high end couture and street style


The cast of Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” (Photo via Flikr under the Creative Commons License).

Fashion depicted in film is used to introduce its characters before the dialogue begins by acknowledging the periodization and culture of the film. Audience members wanting to embody these characters take influence from their fashions. Illuminating the ability of film to spark contemporary fashion trends.

Filmmaker Wes Anderson exemplifies the quirkiness of his characters through their eclectic yet sleek fashion as seen in the 2012 film “Moonrise Kingdom.” Main character Sam (Jared Gilman) questions to the church shoes, knee socks, and pink Wednesday Addams-esque dress of fellow runaway Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) while trekking through the island’s dense forest. Her feminist nature of not sacrificing fashion for function attributes to her role as a strong female, in which she tells Sam, “I prefer a girl hero.”  Fans of the film wanting to embody the innocence of Suzy’s fashions while strength of her personality may turn to fashion platforms such as “Instyle” and “Man Repeller” for a style guide based on Suzy and other Wes Anderson creations.

Author Tom Robbins’ novel turned 1993 film “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” sparked the contemporary trend fashion insiders are calling “prairie polished.” Embodying the fringe, denim, and boots of cowgirls in a sophisticated manner as depicted by lead character Sissy Hankshaw (Uma Thurman). Sissy’s model beauty yet abnormally large thumbs leads to much rejection. This feeling of being lost taunts her until she puts on her suede fringe jacket and decides to hitchhike to find her true self.

Author Truman Capote’s novel turned 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” follows the beauty and madness of socialite Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn). The extravagance of Holly’s outfits through large hats, heels, and slinky dresses during times of distress such as during her arrest and the return of her ex-husband exemplify how she masks the chaos of her life through fashion. Her new lover addresses the loss of her genuineness while she continues to smoke and put on lipstick by telling her, “Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.” In which Tiffany’s can only fuel her fake reality.

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