Seven Lessons In Fashion From The Movies

By Christina Karras

One of my favourite things to observe about fashion is how trends come and go, moving in the revolving door of fashion. Often, brought back by celebrities – or rather, perhaps their stylists – runways, and pop-culture.

I am always bemused when I manage to pick trends before they spread thanks to online shopping and Instagram – gold jewellery, coloured puffer jackets, millennial pink, I saw 'em all coming... And, I’m even more fascinated at how clothes my mum wore back when she was my age, are popularized again.

But it’s not because I’m a psychic, rather it’s because while being new and unique is the bar artists reach for, true originality is a rarity in today’s oversaturated society.

Appropriation is an age-old tradition within the arts, and fashion is no exception. But, that doesn’t have to be bad thing! I revel in the fact that I can pick things up from the world around me, creating looks and mimicking vibes of people I admire.

Plus, who doesn’t love when your mum’s old clothes comes back in?

So here is a snapshot of a couple iconic silver screen looks, and the trans-seasonal looks we can steal from them.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

To be transparent, this is just a really fucking good film. And I really really love Timothee Chamalet. (Like a lot.) Watch it if you want to feel some intense and heartbreaking emotions about love. But, that said, the Italian vacation vibes are unparalleled, as is the overall aesthetic – and the ridiculous chemistry in this indie romantic. Besides actors’ blessed genetics, the relaxed linen shirts, Lacoste polos and pastel board shorts is a glowing vacation. So while it’s maybe not for right now as we face this lingering winter, but borrow that worn-light wash denim jacket from your mum's wardrobe, and the short shorts grow on you. The ‘80s seem to always find a way to hang around.

Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

Similarly, maybe this movie is on the list because I’m dreaming about a European summer… at the same time, it has some equally as fantastic looks. In the thriller set in the ‘50s, the dreamy couple – played by young Gwyneth Paltro and Jude Law – grapple with an outsider - sexy/nerdy/obsessive Matt Damon - while wearing classic resort wear. They take inspiration from the Italian seaside, wearing sandy tones, pale blue polo shirts and light cord jackets with boat shoes. And Gwyneth is gorgeous and effortless, rocking crisp white shirts tied at the waist with flowing midi skirts, and chiffon hair scarves. And a tan.

Clueless (1995)

Appropriated and re-appropriated, Cher and Dionne’s matching plaid sets have become an iconic ‘90s moment from this classic rom-com. Now perhaps the look most worn by girls for dress up parties, the style has been picked up once again for everyday street-style. The blazers have become a staple of many high street stores; made modern paired with distressed denim, and it’s a definite influence over all the co-ord suits. In addition, the burgundy and emerald velvet that features, as well as the headbands and barrettes are a big mood… I’ve been rocking my old butterfly clips lately, so consider this a petition to bring it all back – so hoarders like me can be enabled.

Bladerunner 2049 (2018)

The cinematic sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film sees Harrison Ford reprise his initial role alongside Ryan Gosling, seeking safety and fighting man-made replicants in a harsh post-apocalyptic landscape. Its atmosphere sees characters brave the year 2049 in unconventional protective outerwear, embodied by K’s leather coat with a dramatic shearling collar, popularized for at the moment by the numerous unisex Sherpa jackets on sale at the moment. Female androids rock a mix of fabrics like fur with body-con undergarments, and knee-high PVC boots offer up some Puma X Fenty motor cross vibes. Joi’s futuristic yellow plastic raincoat over an all black outfit is a look I can see in our not so distant future.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)

The warring families of Baz Luhrmann's Shakespeare Romeo + Juliet sees an array of vintage designer looks that could be brought into your wardrobe. The Capulet’s make like an Italian mob; wearing D&G looks complete with sexy leather vests and cowboy like belt buckles. But perhaps the standout takeaway is their ornate chunky jewelry, vintage necklaces with traditional crosses and embellishments. Meanwhile Leo and his Montague clique rock a more contemporary look with sheer tops and hyper-coloured Hawaiian shirts, paired with grungy pants. The two contrasting looks of dark, sleek and sexy and the ‘90s skate rat both seem to be making a reprise.

The Matrix (1999)

See: @iamgia (and all their influences) Bella and Gigi Hadid have been running around fashion week(s) rocking those tiny seductive sunglasses - and unlike the ‘train driver hats’ this is one I’m really on board with. Keanu Reeves' iconic full length trench stands to influence the extensive range of long-line puffer jackets, and the film's Trinity’s muscle tank also lives on. Pair a turtleneck with leather-look or vinyl bottoms for an all black get-up appropriate for a high fashun funeral.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

This Sophia Coppola classic is defined by its dreamy aesthetic, set to a suburban ‘70s golden hour. The Lisbon sisters meet their doomed fates as they are subject to the expectations of their religious parents. Often wearing delicate lace dresses and Victorian nightgowns with frills. For today, this ‘puritan’ look remains, but transformed into sultry baby doll dresses with corsets, like those of, or billowing florals in Marc Jacobs campaigns. Meanwhile, the innocent school-girl has been doing the rounds since the American Apparel days, and lace bodysuits are standard night-out attire. I imagine the film’s catholic mother would be mortified…