A still image from oh so stylish film Crazy Rich Asians. Image supplied.
Cooling weather and more time at home means one thing: film nights. Naturally, our flicks of choice are ones that explore the fashion industry we love or feature covetable costuming. Even better when it’s a combination of the two.
So for a healthy dose of wardrobe inspiration, we’ve handpicked 10 fabulous fashion flicks to make your way through. They cover everything from dramas about the industry, fictional biopics about trendsetters, and simply unforgettable fashion moments.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
In what’s considered one of her most iconic films and costumes, Audrey Hepburn plays New York party girl Holly Golightly in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. While the character might not have her life in order, her wardrobe certainly begs to differ. After all, Hubert de Givenchy, who was a personal friend to Audrey Hepburn, is to thank for some of the stunning looks—in particular that little black dress. From jewels to dresses, through to stunning beauty looks and the most iconic eye patch in cinematic history, there’s a lot of style inspiration to take away from this flick.
It’s been over 30 years since Heathers first etched visuals of traffic-light coloured powersuits into the minds of fashion lovers and film aficionados. Still, to this day, the 1989 high school dark comedy is as entertaining as ever. Whether you watch this 80’s classic for an edgy take on teen-centric film clichés or purely for the fashion (because who can resist those matchy-matchy suits?), you can expect dark quirks, plus hair and shoulder pads in epic proportions. Academy Cinema has recently launched online film rental, Academy On-Demand, and Heathers is among the fabulous flicks they have available. We’re all about supporting local businesses, so visit them here to watch this film and many more films.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Also available on Academy On Demand is Federico Fellini’s delectable 1960 flick, La Dolce Vita. A lesser known fact about this film is that it was entirely inspired by one dress – the iconic 1957 Balenciaga sack dress. While the dress didn’t make an appearance in the film, it certainly didn’t stop this iconic Italian arthouse film from taking home an Oscar for Best Costume Design that year. Nor did it stop fashion and film lovers from falling head over heels for Anita Ekberg, in her character, Sylvia’s, now iconic evening gown and it’s moment in Rome’s Trevi Fountain.
Devil Wears Prada (2006)
What’s an article on fashion flicks without a mention of the most iconic comedy-drama to come out of the mid-2000’s? Unlike many fashion films of it’s era, The Devil Wears Prada scratches the glossy surface of the fashion magazine industry in a way that’s both witty and complex. It sets aside the cliche career-centric narrative of simply ‘making it big’ and explores ideas of transitions, perfectionism, juggling personal and workplace relationships, and breathes fresh life into the archetype of a strong, female corporate leader. There’s a lot viewers can take away from this film: career inspiration, a few fashion and styling tips, and of course, epic one-liners. That’s all.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
As one of the sweethearts of 2018’s film releases, Crazy Rich Asians was impossible to ignore. And rightly so, the high-octane fashion, opulence, and talented cast’s ability to gracefully give life to the film’s plot made it a feast for the senses. As the film is centred around a Singaporean high-society wedding, fashion lovers can expect no shortage of impossibly glamorous gowns and get-ups, as well as a healthy dose of closet envy.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Perhaps the most iconic fashion-lover noted in history, Marie Antoinette set the tone for France’s Rococo movement in the 1800’s. Her frivolous legacy extended far into the trends of the mid 2000s’ where heavy make-up, hair extensions and plenty of girly tones, embellishments, frills and fluff were all trending (although, not quite to the same extreme). This beautiful film showcases the rise and fall of Marie Antoinette as the Queen of France, from her marriage through to the storming of the Bastille. In between, however, there’s plenty of opulent rococo fashion to marvel at, including a whole scene dedicated to shopping and dress fitting – with lashings of champagne and cake, of course. Keep an eye out for the hidden pair of sneakers in one of the shots – director Sofia Coppola placed it there as a nod to Marie Antoinette’s teenage youthfulness.
Belle De Jour (1967)
When a film’s costumes have been designed by legendary couturier Yves Saint Laurent, you know you’re in for a treat. Combined with the fact this film plays out in Paris, was set and made in the 1960’s, you can expect Belle De Jour to be a cinematic treat for the eyes. It follows a Parisian housewife, played by Catherine Deneuve, who shakes up her lifestyle, and explores high-end escorting on weekday afternoons, while her husband is at work. Expect plenty of covet-worthy, quintessentially Parisienne 1960’s hairstyles, outfits and lingerie.
Ocean’s Eight (2018)
This chic remake of Ocean’s Eleven features a star-studded female cast and cameos from the contemporary ‘it-girls’ of the fashion world. Following the scheming and carrying out of an elaborate jewellery heist that takes place at the Met Gala. This film is full of major couture moments, covetable jewels, countless guest appearances, oh and Helena-Bonhman Carter as an eccentric fashion designer.
Sure, this film shamelessly pokes fun at the industry we hold dear to our hearts, but it’s also hilarious and makes for a good light-hearted watch. There’s plenty of early 2000’s style to marvel, and perhaps laugh at, from metallic suits to an overkill of hair gel as well as a lineup of celebrity cameos: from David Bowie, Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Gwen Stefani and many more. If that won’t throw you right back the ‘it’ culture of the early 2000’s then we don’t know what will.
The Bling Ring (2013)
Another Sofia Coppola flick for fashion lovers is The Bling Ring. Based on a true story, this film focuses on a group of celebrity-obsessed Beverly Hills teenagers robbing the homes of their A-list idols, helping themselves to cash, clothes and jewellery as they please. It’s easily the most glitzy satirical crime film to hit screens, as you’ll get close glimpses at some of Hollywood’s most covetable closets. You’ll even find yourself immersed in Paris Hilton’s never-ending actual closet over a number of scenes. Prepare for decadence, opulence and glitz like you’ve never seen and some questionable morals.
If you’re after more to watch online you can also check out our picks of 20 fun and fashionable things to watch on Netflix.