Humans tend to take inspiration from outside sources.
Planes were designed with the body of a bird in mind. The printing press was invented because of the looming thoughts of having to hand write everything, forever.
Who wants to do that when you can mass produce copies for profit? Dog toys are based off of real animals, and the noises they make simulate hunting for your pet. I could go on, but my point is, everything humans have created is based on something they’ve seen, heard, or experienced, in some shape or form.
As with so many other human creations, fashion has also been influenced by other objects, and with the movie list below, you can see just how fashion has changed through the last 70 plus years. (Every fashionista should put these on the queue.)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Though this movie isn’t based around fashion, the outfits viewers see while following Scarlett O’Hara through her story, turn heads. Even through the romantic turmoil Scarlett faces during the horrific Civil War, she still managed to dress like a queen. In one scene, she wears a velvet, burgundy ball gown. Scattered about its fabric were teardrop shaped glass beads, and smaller red beads spanned the décolleté. Starting on the shoulders, large puffs of ostrich feathers traveled down the back and speckled across the train of this dress. It was stunning!
Funny Face (1957)
Fashion Photographer Dick Avery spots a beautiful woman, and convinces the timid bookstore clerk (Jo Stockton) to become a model. The two continue on the journey to success, and take astonishing pictures in Paris, France. In one photo, Jo was wearing all red, from her lips to her shoes. Her dress was strapless, (and red), and she held a large red shawl above and behind her head, through her white-gloved fingers. Jo was adorned with a giant diamond necklace and a pair of matching earrings, summing up yet another admirable outfit.
Pretty Woman (1990)
In this romantic comedy, a wealthy business man and a sex worker fall in love. Through the plot, both parties wear elegant, yet simple clothing, from button up dresses and wide brimmed hats for women, to casual suits for the guys. It also throws in a few morals, but we’re here for the fashion.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
My adoration for Meryl Streep aside, this movie is submerged in the fashion world, from its elegant outfits to its plot. Here, we follow the story of a woman named Andy, who gets hired as the assistant to an esteemed fashion editor (Miranda Priestly). This job, however, is not like the rest, as her boss’s crazy regime is the reason she’s gone through so many assistants! Throughout the film, between Andy and Miranda, you see dozens of different styles, from business casual to bougie.
Sex and The City (2008)
This movie sequels the series, and won’t make much sense if you haven’t watched it. Touching base with four best friends who tried to be productive on their paths through life, we find that, even though we try, life has a tendency to not go as we planned. These women, who are “middle-aged”, show the audience that fifty is the new thirty with their perfectly coordinated, and sophisticated styles.
Dior and I (2014)
Dior, for those who don’t know, is a luxury fashion and makeup brand. It was created by Christian Dior, a French fashion designer. This film documents the uprising of the brand, showing off the dozens of outfits that he created, and the outfits that made him famous. His work changed the world of fashion forever, and the brand later came out with perfumes and high-end makeup products. A favorite outfit of mine is from Dior’s 1952 spring collection; a white blouse with buttons that trail down to a long, flowing, black skirt. It is simple, but beautiful.
Another movie I recommend is The September Issue. This is a documentary about how Vogue, the magazine, published its largest issue ever. At a gigantic 840 pages, the September issue was released, and the film recalls how the editor worked on every detail to make sure the publication was perfect. I didn’t add it to the list, as this is but an honorable mention.
As time passed, fashion has changed drastically. Trends have come and gone, and new outfit combinations, styles, colors, and so much more, have come out and expanded the clothing market. Dresses from movies like Gone with the Wind might not be in style anymore, but they can still be appreciated by the populace. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wear that dress?