If you’re anything like me, most nights end with a cup of tea and a movie. At first, I wanted to catch up on my film knowledge of pop culture references that decorated my Tumblr feed. Then I realized that film is a much more complicated medium that deserves its own conversation. Or multiple ones. As a guest coming -super- late to the party, I had a lot to learn. Months into my endeavor, I found myself longing for films that had to do with fashion; or at least had incredible costume design. As a Friends fanatic, I often catch myself paying more attention to Rachel’s outfits than the plot line. Granted, I have seen the show so many times I know the lines by heart, but the style choices on that show were impeccable and the ultimate definition of 90s fashion.
I started doing some research, and while I am definitely not a film critic, these are the top five fashion films that caught my attention and were added to the must see list.
1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
No surprise here. When I finally sat down to watch this movie I was 16 and had no idea what fashion even was. I knew I was drawn to it somehow but was always to shy to say the words out loud. That I, a rebellious adolescent would have an interest in fashion and the portrayal of chic. We follow Holly Golightly live her over complicated life lead in the most effortless way. From chic parties with cocktail dresses, long stemmed glasses, and cigarette holders to dramatic declarations of “I am independent and I don’t need anyone”. We see a leading female role in the messy city of New York, with street smarts, and a cunning life attitude, all the while boasting the epitome of chic in wardrobe choices.
2. Neon Demon
When I first watched this movie I kept thinking “wtf” to myself. But that’s the thing with good film; it sparks conversation. Following the bewildered narrative going on in my mind, I started asking why the director chose to make the moves he did. And I realized that the film is about a young girl wanting to make it in the modelling world, and gets eaten alive by jealous fellow models. A beautiful metaphor for the industry; based on beauty, not on brains, you can get work done to become more beautiful and desirable, but mostly it is an industry that takes advantage of what you are born with. And the climb to the top can be dangerous, backstabbing and dangerous. A definite must watch film especially for those who like a more philosophical touch to their entertainment.
3. Devil wears Prada
A classic fashion film, albeit a light, feel good film, though there’s nothing wrong with that. Based on Anna Wintour of Vogue, Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep) makes Andy’s (Anne Hathaway) life a living hell. Andy rises to the occasion, loses people in her life but finds herself along the way. The perfect film to watch on an all girls’ sleepover night with strawberry daquiris, pop corn and face masks.
4. Bill Cunningham: New York
A wonderful documentary on the epic Bill Cunningham of New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily and the Chicago Tribune. A fashion photographer known for his street style shots of women in New York City, he was a down to earth and simple man, with a love of capturing fashion and style. A definite must see for anyone interested in photography or fashion, Bill Cunningham is remembered fondly by everyone he encountered.
5. Blow Up
The 1966 film is about a fashion photographer who sees something suspicious and life changing one day in the park. With cameos of Jane Birkin interspersed throughout the film, the costume scream 60s fashion. The absurdity of the film is what makes it a must see even 60 years later.