Some of our favorite costumes from films throughout the years. From the Breakfast Club to The Devil Wears Prada to cult Japanese films.
FILM AND FASHION
words by Arcy Hawks
Films and Fashion. Two of my favorite topics. I am a bit of a cinephile. I try to watch all the Oscar nominated films before the Academy Awards and judge for myself. I am an indie film buff just as I am an indie designer fan. Small films that speak to me. The ones where the passion and creativity are palpable. Just like the brands I seek out for Habits.
Costume design is the ultimate vehicle for the characters persona. Can you imagine The Dude with out his cardigan sweater? Jennifer Beals character in Flashdance without the off the shoulder sweatshirt? Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan creating an entire generation’s fashion statement. Everything Grace Kelly wore in Rear Window. There are times when the wardrobe is so subtle that it almost feels like the actor wore something from their own closet. I often wonder if contemporary film wardrobes are something like the chicken and the egg theory? Does the wardrobe dictate fashion or is it taken from current fashion? Nonetheless, fashion and film are intertwined.
Some of my favorite movies are also some of the most beautiful in terms of the clothing. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has the best vintage looks in a Bode sort of way. Mid 90’s has all the skate vibe mixed with streetwear. One obscure film I love is Sing Street. An Irish film about a boy in the 80’s in Dublin starting a band with an identity crisis. The wardrobe changes with the genre of music they choose to cover. Great hair, makeup and fashion. So many more wonderful examples.
I am sure we have all been influenced at one time or another by the talented costume designers of cinema. Next time you are watching a movie and fall in love with a look be sure to read the credits and learn a little bit more about these creatives.
Some of my favorite costume designers to follow:
Gabriele Binder @commedesgabriele: Costume designer for Queen’s Gambit
Heidi Bivens @heidibivens: Costume designer for Euphoria, and Mid 90’s
Arianne Phillips @ariannephillips: Costume designer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
WHAT COSTUME DESIGN MEANS TO ME
words by Milli Dawson
When I was young, my favorite movie was The Sound of Music (and still is). I was consumed by the music, Austria’s beautiful scenery, the Von Trapp family, and most consumed by when Maria takes her curtains down and sews all seven children coordinating outfits. As I watched The Sound of Music for most of my youth, I sang along, and I dreamt of wearing a toile dress.
It was also “The Wizard of Oz” which inspired me to sit down and draw clothing for hours. I was obsessed with my Dorothy Barbie, and I dressed like Dorothy for Halloween for probably three years in a row. Perhaps I am just coming to terms with my obsession with Costume Design.
As clothes do for us, they do for characters in movies. They set the scene, help us visualize the characters we fall in love with, and the attention to detail shines through. I recently saw Barbie, and like many, I love the movie. I have incorporated wearing pink into most of my outfits this week and have loved channeling some Barbie energy into my day-to-day. The costume design in the Barbie movie was very inspiring, using archival outfits from Barbie’s past and transforming them into life-size, beautiful pieces. Like Barbie, when I saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I became very invested in Sharon Tate and Margot Robbie and very much shifted my fits to their aesthetic. This is the strength behind good Costume Design, the ability to translate a time, feeling, or scene with clothing.
I think so often this translates to our own real life. The ebbs and flows in life are perhaps reflected in what we wear. Fashion is a sign of the times; it helps us immediately identify the scene. This is directly reflected in the Costume Design in movies. Creating a “sign of the time” is what good Costume Design does.
Costume design in movies I admire:
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Wizard of Oz
The Devil Wears Prada
Miss Harris Goes to Paris
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
OUR FAVORITE FILM FITS
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
The Breakfast Club is a great example of a classic 80’s movie that represents each clique in highschool. You have the grungy person that wears flannels and denim, the jock that sports a varsity jacket and tank tops, the popular girl that has classy style with skirts and modest blouses, the nerdy kid wearing khakis, and the loner girl that wears all black with her hair in her face.
An article from Wide Open Country sums up the influence of Urban Cowboy stating “The fashion of Urban Cowboy is of course characterized by cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and big ol’ belt buckles. Plus blue Wranglers for the guys, teeny tanks and tied-up shirts for the ladies. Emerging in part as a response to the glamour of the previous decade’s disco craze — ironically, also popularized by John Travolta — the predominant ‘80s Western style was not so much Wild West-inspired as it was utilitarian. Like Urban Cowboy showcases, the wearers were blue collar. The outfits, though fun and flirty, are certainly understated. And physically durable in comparison to contemporaneous 1980’s trends”. (Mack, 2022).
During some recent inspiration research I cam across a variety of cult films from Japan that hired the famous fashion designer, Yohji Yamamoto, to design their costumes. One of the most standout costume designs comes from the film “Dolls” directed by Takeshi Kitano. We decided to include one of our favorite dresses from Isabell Benenato.
Cruella is known for her standout fashion, and especially dresses. In an interview with Deadline magazine Jenny Beaven, the costume designer behind Cruella’s outfits, comments on the dress shown below, “One of my great memories of the late ‘60s, early ‘70s is the use of military jackets,” Beavan says. “Mine was a guard’s jacket and you wore it with jeans, or you wore it with a big skirt. I thought it’d be a great image, as she stepped onto the car, to use that mixture of a soft and flowing skirt versus that military jacket”. (Fleming, 2022).
BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
Although this movie was not known for fashion, the sweaters captured peoples interest. The costume designer found through their research that many sweaters from that era were much more simple, with exaggerated collars and only a little bit of cable knitting on the sides. They decided to hire a local woman to create one-of-a-kind hand knit sweaters for the movie. One of the actors loved the sweater so much that he continues to commission sweaters from her and sends her cards often.