10 Iconic Fashion Moments in Film
10. Some Like it Hot
In Billy Wilder's 1959 comedy, 'Some Like It Hot', Marilyn Monroe stars as singer 'Sugar Kane', a performance for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress. The costume designer was Orry-Kelly, and in one particularly unforgettable moment, Marilyn wore a sheer, figure-hugging, embellished cocktail dress whilst singing 'I'm Through With Love'. The daring gown featured a low, illusion back and a built-in bra. Due to the film being black and white, the nude colour on parts of the dress heightened the illusion. Although this dress is the most bold and memorable costume from the movie, Marilyn had further noteworthy fashion moments in her role as 'Sugar Kane'. For example, whilst performing 'Runnin' Wild', Marilyn flaunted a black button-down dress with a fringed hem, amplifying the movement from her dance.
9. My Week with Marilyn
Michelle Williams starred as Marilyn Monroe in the 2011 movie, 'My Week with Marilyn’, based on Colin Clark’s 1995 book. The movie is set during Marilyn's time in England whilst filming Laurence Olivier's 'The Prince and the Showgirl' and features some stunning fashion moments. In the movie, Michelle Williams wears many key pieces that encompass Marilyn's style such as wiggle dresses, gingham cigarette pants, headscarves, trench coats, and sunglasses. The film's costume designer was Jill Taylor. In one unforgettable scene, whilst spending the day with Eddie Redmayne's character Colin, Michelle Williams displays a relaxed version of Marilyn, wearing a white button-down shirt and beige pencil skirt, portraying one of her many off-duty, minimalistic looks.
8. The Dressmaker
In the 2015, 1950s-set, Australian drama, 'The Dressmaker', Kate Winslet's character, Myrtle Dunnage, is a dressmaker with a troubled past who creates sensational gowns and outfits. Margot Wilson and Marion Boyce designed the costumes for the movie and will be recognised by fans of the Australian series, starring Essie Davis, 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries’, as Marion Boyce designed for the series and Margot Wilson designed for the feature film, 'Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears'. ‘The Dressmaker’ featured looks with influences from Dior's 'New Look'. One of the best fashion moments from the movie is when Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage wears a curve-accentuating red gown and matching evening gloves to a football match to distract the players and spectators.
The incredibly moving 2008 Baz Luhrmann movie, 'Australia', stars Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley. In the 1930s to 40s-set masterpiece, costume designer Catherine Martin created a range of standout costumes, especially for Kidman. Some of the most memorable costumes include a beautiful red floral gown and a black equestrian outfit.
Many will recognise the jaw-dropping green gown worn by Keira Knightley's character, Cecilia, in the 2007, 1930s-set film, 'Atonement'. The gown was designed by costume designer Jacqueline Durran and featured a stunning low back and tied drape across the waist. Despite the 1930s setting, the dress itself is slightly more daring and revealing than the evening gowns of the time.
Cate Blanchett played Carol Aird in Todd Haynes's 2015 adaption of Patricia Highsmith's revolutionary 1952 novel, 'The Price of Salt'. Influenced by Dior's 'New Look', Carol had many exquisite fashion moments throughout the movie. The costume designer, Sandy Powell, commented, "I needed her to be spotted across a crowded department store and stand out from everybody else, but not in a way that looked out of place." Carol's magnificent closet contrasts with the practical, and sometimes mundane, outfits of love interest Therese, played by Rooney Mara. Powell attempted to recreate the 50s hourglass silhouette by finding vintage undergarments from the 50s for Cate. Carol's outfits were often accessorized with injections of red from scarves, gloves, hats, and handbags. One of the most memorable Carol fashion moments is the matching red coat and hat, paired with cateye sunglasses and red lips. Furthermore, the first and final restaurant scenes between Carol and Therese feature two of Carol's perfectly fitted skirt suits. Costume designer Sandy Powell commented on her design choices regarding Carol's skirt suits as she said, " I had to design one of those outfits that goes from day seamlessly into night . . . Carol has the jacket on when she's with Therese - so it looks like a jacket and a skirt suit. When the jacket comes off, she's got the dress with the slightly low-cut back, so when she's dancing it looks more evening-like, even though it isn't a gown." Powell comments, "wearing a cocktail-length dress to such a formal party is her little act of rebellion."
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's
Known as one of the most influential movies in fashion history, 'Breakfast at Tiffany's’ featured outstanding costumes that alternated from formal to casual. Arguably the most recognizable gown in film history is the black gown designed by Hubert de Givenchy worn by Audrey Hepburn's character, Holly Golightly, in the opening scene of the movie. The gown, accessorized with pearls and sunglasses, became known as the ultimate ‘little black dress’ and influenced many future designs and trends. The film featured a glorious array of both minimalism and extravagance, with another noteworthy ensemble being the hot pink cocktail dress paired with a matching tiara, earrings, and jacket.
3. The Great Gatsby
The kaleidoscopic 2013 adaption of F.Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, 'The Great Gatsby', featured divine costumes that Miuccia Prada and costume designer Catherine Martin collaborated on. Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan, showcased some extraordinarily intricate pieces including an embellished crystal Prada gown inspired by a look from Prada's Spring/Summer 2010 runway collection. Furthermore, in the film, Jordan Baker, played by Elizabeth Debicki, wore some dramatic ensembles with elements of masculinity in her style.
2. Funny Face
‘Funny Face’, starring Audrey Hepburn, featured costumes designed by Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy. The 1957 musical film had some truly eye-catching fashion moments, however, among the showstopping designs was a simple outfit that became a major reference point in the world of fashion. The black cigarette pants, polo neck, and flats look worn by Audrey became highly recreated and recognised due to its understated elegance.
In a breathtakingly poignant performance, Natalie Portman played Jackie Kennedy in the 2016 film ‘Jackie’, in which she portrayed Kennedy's mental anguish in the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The costumes worn by Portman were spectacular and were designed by Madeline Fontaine. One of the most recognisable outfits is the pink skirt suit and pillbox hat worn on the day of the assassination. Furthermore, Portman dazzles as Jackie Kennedy as she showcases various skirt suits and stunning evening gowns, some of the greatest fashion moments in film history.
WRITTEN BY HANNAH MAE WEBSTER