From costume drama to ’70s suburbia, these stylish films may sate your fashion cravings
Aside from being visual treats, fashion– and style-centric films have often spurred trends and canonized several style staples. When Audrey Hepburn debuted her little black Givenchy dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961, it cemented the LBD’s status as a wardrobe staple. Meanwhile, when Paco Rabanne dressed Jane Fonda in his signature chain mail pieces for the cult film Barbarella, it ushered a new decade in fashion. Even Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw immortalized Manolo Blahnik pumps and turned the Fendi Baguette into an It Bag thanks to stylist Patricia Field.
Other fashion films, especially those that celebrate the lives of industry veterans, have also been the gateway for creatives all over the world to jumpstart their fashion careers—whether journalists were inspired to be the next Anna Wintour after watching The September Issue or design hopefuls the next Christian Dior in Dior and I.
Below, some industry household names tell us their favorite cinematic fashion gems and why.
Signé Chanel (2005)
“The fashion documentary that really inspired me is Signé Chanel. It showed the behind-the-scenes and the creation of an haute couture collection. When I was teaching at SoFA Design Institute in the fashion and the arts class, I would always show this video to the students because I really felt it was very insightful to see how a couture house works. I found it really fascinating to see all aspects from the design process, [including] the work ethic of Karl Lagerfeld, his assistants, and all those that worked in the atelier. I loved seeing how the atelier operated from the sewers [to] working with the different suppliers in creating the entire collection. This is a must-watch documentary for anyone who is in the fashion industry or wants to enter the fashion industry.” – Amina Aranaz Alunan, Aranaz Founder and SoFA Design Institute Co-founder
The Eye Has To Travel (2011)
“I have to say, one of my favorite fashion films is The Eye Has To Travel, a documentary about Diana Vreeland. She worked with Harper’s Bazaar in the mid-1930s to the early sixties, eventually becoming Editor-in-Chief, and moved over to Vogue until 1971. She then became consultant to the curator at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum, mounting the first ever tribute to a living designer, Yves Saint Laurent.
She was that rarity who was self-taught, controversial, visionary and a truly original thinker. I have watched this film over a dozen times in my life.” – Mark Higgins, Artist, Author, & Slim’s Fashion and Arts School Educator
La Grande Belleza (2013)
“One of the best [films] with [beautiful] cinematography and story is La Grande Belleza. It changed my perspective in [the] art scene and [the] quality of life. ‘What’s wrong with feeling nostalgic? It’s the only distraction left for those who’ve no faith in the future,’ says Jep Gambardella in La Grande Bellezza.” – Kelvin Morales, Creative Director and Designer of Kelvin Morales
Dazed and Confused (1993)
“The fashion and music of Dazed and Confused (1993) heavily influenced my ’70s classic rock phase when I would shop for secondhand clothes at the legendary vintage stores Sub Rosa, Bossanova, and Milk. It wasn’t Milla Jovovich’s character whom I identified with, but Wiley Wiggins—and his iconic floral polyester button-down.” – Audrey Carpio, Vogue Philippines Features Editor
“Dries (2017) because we love how the designer had endless possibilities when it comes to his work. Dries inspired us to always look at the resources that are in front of us and to use it to [our] advantage—to create something that’s bigger from its original form.” – Abraham Guardian and Mamuro Okio, Creative Directors and Designers of Ha.Mu
Phantom Thread (2017)
“So for me, my pick is Phantom Thread. It’s not a specific fashion film, but the story line is on a fashion designer and his relationship with his craft. I chose [this] because it clearly depicts the deep relationship of a designer and his artistry. More so, how particular he is with the most minuscule of details which is something I closely resonate with. Lots of emotion and purpose are the elements [that] really fuel fashion and that’s something I really stand by and [will] always live by.” – Renee De Guzman, Vogue Philippines Fashion Associate