Kate Winslet shines in some stunning couture in The Dressmaker. Image supplied.
We love catching up on our favourite shows and great new releases online and there’s some brilliant watches available on our favourite streaming services this summer. We’ve picked out twelve that either have gorgeous costumes or a fun fashion twist. We’re sure you’ll find something you enjoy watching, and maybe your next favourite show or film.
And Just Like That – Neon
In what has been one of the most anticipated reboots in recent years, Sex and the City recently returned to our screens with a new series called And Just Like That... which picks up the stories of Carrie, Charlotte and Miranda who are now in their mid-fifties. Much has been written about the series since it launched a few weeks ago but if you’re a fan of the original show it’s worth a watch to see how the ladies are finding life in our current era and meet the new faces who have joined their world. As always the fashion is totally on point and there are many fun throwback references to both the original series and the films.
Cruella – Disney +
Emma Stone dazzles is this fresh new take on the Cruella de Vil story that sees ambitious grifter and aspiring fashion designer Estella rise through the ranks at fashion legend Baroness von Hellman’s label before embracing her talent for revenge. Set amid the punk-rock revolution in ’70s London, the fashion (and the music) are equally fantastic elements to the tale and the film is a highly enjoyable watch for fashion fans.
Emily in Paris – Netflix
Season two of Emily in Paris recently arrived on Netflix featuring more fun fashion by legendary costume designer Patricia Field. Season one saw Emily, played by Lily Collins, arrive in Paris to work for a luxury French marketing company despite not speaking a word of French and season two picks up on her campy adventures, introducing a new love interest and some amusing plot twists. As many people have mentioned it does have a fair few clichés but it’s still a fun watch and a perfect piece of escapism while we’re waiting for our next opportunity to travel overseas.
Great Expectations – Disney +
The 1998 version of Charles Dicken’s classic story Great Expectations sees Ethan Hawke as Finn and Gwyneth Paltrow as Estella. Instead of setting the story in 19th century Britain, director Alfonso Cuarón opted for a contemporary setting with Gwyneth Paltrow dressed in elegant ’90s outfits created by designer Donna Karan. The result is a minimalist’s dream with streamlined looks that could easily be worn today.
Halston – Netflix
Ewen McGregor stars as legendary fashion designer Halston in this five part series that depicts the designer’s life in New York City in the ’70s and ’80s. As heavy on the drama as it is on the glamorous fashion, Halston is a fascinating look at how the groundbreaking label came together and then how it all fell catastrophically apart. While there’s been some criticism that the series continuously strays from the truth of the story, it still makes for an entertaining rendering of era-defining style.
Ladies in Black – Netflix
Set in the summer of 1959, Ladies in Black introduces Lisa, a shy schoolgirl who takes a job in Sydney’s prestigious department store Goode’s. The part-time job becomes a life-changing experience for the young woman in this heartfelt tale which also explores the role of women in society in the ’50s. There’s some truly beautiful vintage fashion in the film that perfectly captures the polished look of the time.
Queens – Disney +
Brandy and Eve make a welcome comeback in this new drama which follows the members of a retired girl group now in their forties who have reunited to try and recapture the fame and regain the swagger they had in the ’90s. Expect plenty of ’90s and early ’00s inspired style and some stellar singing from this celebration of sisterhood.
Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed the World – TVNZ OnDemand
Speaking of ’90s style, TVNZ have a fascinating three part series on the Spice Girls which aired on television back in September and is well worth a watch. Aside from the Spice Girls take on playful fashion, they were a force to be reckoned with in terms of girl power and this series explores how they inspired a new wave of feminism and how they were punished for it in the lens of ’90s and ’00s media and culture.
The Dressmaker – Netflix
Kate Winslet shines in this hilarious tale of revenge set in a fictional small town in 1950s Australia. Trained in Paris in some of the finest couture houses, Tilly, a sophisticated dressmaker, returns to her hometown to care for her ill mother, Molly, and to take revenge on the people of the town who had wronged her. Oh, and all while looking incredible in some truly gorgeous couture. Liam Hemsworth plays her affable love interest in this must-watch for any vintage fashion fan.
The Great – Neon
Season two of this rollicking historical satire recently arrived on Neon, and it is loosely based on the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Elle Fanning shines as Catherine who evolves from naive bride into a crafty wife, turning members of the King’s court against him in her attempt to take the throne, while Nicholas Hoult is suitably hilarious as her somewhat deranged husband and emperor. The stunning 18th-century costumes also drew inspiration from mid-century Dior and were cleverly created by costume designer Emma Fryer.
The Panthers – TVNZ OnDemand
Brilliant homegrown drama The Panthers is available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand. The show chronicles the rise of the Polynesian Panthers in ’70s Aotearoa at the time of the infamous and overtly racist Dawn Raids. The Panthers was made by a talented and mostly Pasifika cast and crew including talented stylist Sammy Salsa who has nailed the retro ’70s style of the era.
Very Ralph – Neon
Award-winning documentarian Susan Lacy directed Very Ralph, which is the first documentary portrait of American fashion icon Ralph Lauren. The film explores the man behind the world famous label and how he created one of the most successful brands in fashion history which is now in its sixth decade in business.