We all have our favorite movies. I have so many. Most of them are of the vintage variety, which probably comes as no surprise. But these are the movies where the clothing tells a story - where fashion is front and center, and color and style become characters in and of themselves. (Respective trailers linked to photos.)
Preppy, buttoned-up and proper Oliver meets the free-spirited Jennifer. The star-crossed couple falls in love over spectacular large-rimmed spectacles, long peacoat-clad walks on campus, and harpsichord recitals. The bright red dress Jenny wears during her first meeting with Oliver's parents illustrates not only her fabulous fashion-sense, but the fact that she will never really fit into his Harris tweed world. Alas, she had to die, or conform eventually. Death was the more romantic plot twist for our bohemian Jenny. (Sorry if I spoiled it!)
Sweetly romantic (manipulative!) Amelie Poulain just wants to make the world a happier place. With her whimsical wardrobe, slightly-disheveled bob, and doe eyes, Audrey Tatou has fueled the Francophilian fantasies of many a fashion blogger. (Myself included!) Her quirky outfits help convey her optimistic, albeit touched with melancholy, outlook on life. I get you girl. I do.
Liv Tyler is absolutely luminous in this movie of youthful love and lost innocence. Her wardrobe evokes the carefree days of the '90s when we had time to loll around in fields of wildflowers, fantasizing about our first kiss. Now we fantasize about enjoying our first cup of coffee before getting the kids ready for school. But I digress. This movie is flowy pastel sundresses galore.
Belle de Jour
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the inimitable Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent. There really need be no other words. I see lots of the same wardrobe cues echoed in the costumes for this season of American Horror Story: Coven, where YSL is used in large doses. The innocent/wicked vibe knows no decade. It is timeless. Also, forget 50 Shades of Grey. This movie does it way, way, way better.
Under the Tuscan Sun
If this movie doesn't make you want to move to Italy and buy a decrepit villa, someone needs to order you a prosecco, stat! Diane Lane's wardrobe goes from simple jeans and oxfords, to billowing shirtdresses that Audrey Hepburn would have worn, faster than you can say "Buongiorno!" And the scene where Lindsay Duncan re-enacts the Trevi fountain scene from "La Dolce Vita" is not to be missed.
Wildly romantic, as well as tragic - this film is both a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of a creative mind, as well as the seduction of forbidden love. Redemption, loss, and passion (that emerald dress - oh my God) are told in brilliant effect through the costumes and subtle emotions of the cast. Beautiful movie. If you love "Downton Abbey" this belongs on your Netflix queue.
Like a box of macarons, Sofia Coppola's sympathetic yet decadent retelling of the ill-fated queen's story will leave you in a sugar-coated swoon. From the shoes, to the gowns, to the soaring headdresses, it is a journey of epic indulgence. Watch Kirsten-as-Marie's clothing, though: she goes from innocent child bride, to fashionable doyenne, to lounging in elegantly sensual deshabille at the Trianon. Her hair, toward the end, begins to slowly descend - like her spirits. I challenge you not to tear up in the final frames, when the fantasy world of Versailles pops like the last fizz from a glass of champagne. This is masterful cinema.
And as if you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a romantic. ;) What are your favorite movies where the clothing plays a role?