Today I'd like to explore and discuss the strong link between the Movie Industry and the world of style and fashion . I started to think about this a few days ago when I was fortunate enough to get the great news that my little blog VIOLINKIT has made it to the finalist list for the Irish Blog Awards .
After the initial feelings of elation and surprise at this news I started to read further down through the email. It was filled with details of the Blog Awards Ceremony on the 5th of October and then I got to the section about the dress code for the evening.... It read Dress Code= MOVIE ICONS.
I smiled to myself and thought of the great pleasure Violinkit would have in preparing for this event. The term itself MOVIE ICONS is quite broad and can be interpreted in many ways. It could be defined as an instruction to choose a favourite Movie Character from a particular movie or a well loved movie star who's influence in the fashion and style world has been undeniable.
Either way there is huge scope and material to play with. I have mentioned before the link between both the fashion and film industry in past blog posts. However, I have only discussed it in passing and not devoted a post to it.
Today is the day for this and the only problem is where to begin???......... At the beginning (you may add) would probably be a good place. When I was a child living in a small market town in Tipperary there wasn't too many style or fashion inspirations to hoan in on. It was through the movies both on TV and big screen that I realised there was a whole electric world out there filled with creation and colour.
My first memorable fashion moment was as a very young child . My mother bought me a purple knee length coat with a white fur trimmed hood . I was super excited abut this coat not only because I loved it but because it made me feel similar to the little girl I saw in the movie Mary Poppins. I wore this coat for years even when it was too short to no longer be called a full length style .
So the power of the movie's had begun for me and I was soon as addicted to film not only for the stories but for the visual style inspirations they continually provided for me. I noticed everything and became an expert at picking out the characters in a film that most resembled me. I would hone in on a particular look that the actress wore in a scene that I liked and go out and find something that resembled that look.
For me, it was never really about the actors style outside of the movie but rather the style of the character played by the actor in the movie that influenced me and still does today. There are of course a few exceptions to this and they would be that handful of actors that were and are known for their classic and timeless style over the years .
A few names spring to mind here and if I give an example right now you would immediately associate style and fashion with that actor , as opposed to them being part of a movie or indeed playing a role that will remain forever on our rador as being an Iconic character role noted for its style as well as its carisma as a character. Sometimes the actor associated with playing an iconic stylish character in the movie is not necessarily interested in style/fashion herself/himself.
Some examples of actors who are/were as stylish off screen as any characters they may have played on the big screen are ............ Lets start at the modern day actors...Present day (2017) , Scarlett Johansson ...This girl has a strong liking for 1950's style classic clothing. Sienna Miller...love her obsession with the 1970's and her love of boho chic. Mary-Kate Olsen ......also a great advocate of vintage style clothing especially the 1970's. Emma Watson ......a modern day muse. I love her classic and sometimes edgy modern style. Sarah Jessica Parker......This lady is as stylish off screen as any of her on-screen characters and she's in competition with the sassiest of all stylish characters... the infamous Carrie Bradshaw (the character she played in Sex and The City) . Love Sarah's indominable fearless style . Kate Hudson........Again this girl can rock casual chic and is a style icon in her own right despite being in competition with the urber cool character she played (Penny Lane) in the equally stylish movie Almost Famous. Must give a shoutout to the guys and my quick picks here are ....Johnny Depp ...for his unusual and diverse styles over the years . Daniel Day Lewis.... For his immaculate tailoring and love of vintage and hand made leather shoes.
Now a quick round up of the movies of the noughties where the character in the film provided a strong style influence on us mere mortals. The Great Gatsby (2013) the character Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan) brought 1920's style flapper dresses into the realm of our thoughts again and for a few seasons to come. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Who didn't envy Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) and her amazing designer clad wardrobe. Factory Girl (2006) the life and times of Edie Sedgewick (played by Sienna Miller) this girls 60's wardrobe rocked. Pixie hair, short dresses and leopard print were fashionable again. Coco Before Chanel ..the life of Coco Chanel ( played by Audrey Tautou) well not much to add here except that this lady was as stylish in her private life as she was a professional designer. This movie re-awakened everything we loved about Chanel. Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Set in the 70's who didn't adore the fab eclectic wardrobe of Patrick (Kitten) Brady played by Cillian Murphy . This hapless and gentle trans-gender character stole our hearts and influenced our wardrobes with his/her kick -ass attitude to style. Last, but not least the TV Series (and three movies) Sex and The City .... This series was a huge influence and inspiration for me as I adored the eclectic style of its heroine Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker). There was something for every fashionista here as the four main characters Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were very different from each other including their style choices.
The Nineties.......... The actors that come to mind during this decade have got to be Drew Barrymore for her sweet "girl next door meets grunge" style choices and her love of retro fashion. Michelle Pfeiffer embraced the pared down look of the grunge era with over sized jackets and minimal make up. Will Smith brought his Fresh Prince of Bel Air wardrobe into his real life with colour and umph! He made his characters style his own together with an insane collection of Air Jordan's. Halle Berry this sleek fashionista embraced the body con dress of the 90's with confidence and with that "body" rocked it better than anyone else. Last up Johnny Depp is in here again as he epitomised the grunge look of the 90's er!... whether by accident or not Ha Ha!
Movie's influenced through character's style during this decade include....Pulp Fiction (1994) Who didn't admire the uber chic Mia Wallace (played by Uma Thurmann) . Crisp white shirts and cropped trousers , along with a graphic razor sharp black bob made Mia an instant style icon . Clueless (1995) You either hated or loathed her but there is no denying the influence that the character Char Horowitz (played by Alicia Silverstone) had on a generation of 90's teenagers. Her designer clad wardrobe and her short skirts and over the knee socks made for a "sexy girly look" repeated continually during that decade. Last up here Leon ( 1994) Stylish and brilliant movie with the central child character being the unexpected style icon. Played by the then 14 year old Natalie Portman the character "Mathilda" who is only 12 years old but wise beyond her years. Mathilda's great look in the movie ( a cool bob, chokers and boots ) gave her a place in the style archives.
The Eighties..... This era you either loved or hated but it is now the most popular vintage era among teenagers of the noughties. The actors that rocked their way through this decade for me are... Madonna (yes she is an actor too!!!) Her girly eclectic wardrobe in Desperately Seeking Susan . She played the character Susan and boy is this character street cred cool. I've seen this movie recently and I want that leather jacket she wears...Amazing. Susan's wardrobe consisted of finger-less gloves , sequins , zany earrings (worn in one ear) and lots of bling jewellery. Demi Moore ruled the 80's and not just for her acting abilities. Her style sense was widely copied and consisted of harem pants, cropped jackets ,converse and masses of dark sultry locks. Grace Jones..This model turned actor had the fierce amazonian look of a female warrior. This lady could tackle any tricky fashion look and always looked amazing. She favoured massive shoulder pads and angular avant garde styles.
The movies that were important for fashion in this decade were... Pretty in Pink (1986) The character Andie Walsh made her own clothes and also had a weakness for vintage. Played by Molly Ringwald this likeable character had a strong style influence on this decade. Flash Dance (1983) The character Alex Owens (played by Jennifer Beale) made 80's dance wear and leg warmers a staple daytime look for years to come. Blade Runner (1982) The character Pris (played by Darl Hannah) sported futuristic avante garde looks and while they weren't exactly wearable they are still as modern looking today as they were in 1982.
The seventies.....First up the actors who ruled the decade with their off-screen style file . Goldie Hawn she possessed a kooky and feminine girly style that was a favourite look with so many 70's fashionista's. Farrah Fawcett for her individual hairstyle that was copied a million times over during the next decade. Jane Fonda for her high necked pussy bow blouses . They gave her a certain appeal which was unique to her. Last up ...Charlotte Rampling who just wafted her way through the 70's as a flowery power child clad in Celia Birtwell prints.
The movies that helped define the style of this decade were.... Annie Hall (1977) (played by Diane Keaton). Annie brought menswear for ladies to another level her quirky outfits complete with shirts, ties and braces were a huge influence on fashion of the 70's. The Way We Were (1973) The character Katie Morosty's (played by Barbara Streisand) great wardrobe with soft tailoring and also noted for her long maniqured nails which were copied everywhere. Love Story(1970) ....The character Jennifer Cavalleri (played by Ali McGraw) had a boho meets preppy style going on. Her influence was huge and ruled the rest of the decade.
The Sixties.....The actor Julie Christie defined the swinging 60's London style scene. Mia Farrow cut her hair and a mad craze began. The gamine hairstyle was copied all over the world. Brigitte Bardot....sexy french film star who sizzled in sixties knitwear and tight trousers.
The sixties movies that had fashionista's talking were.... Bonnie and Clyde (1967) . Bonnie Parker (played by Faye Dunaway) the main female character had a strong style presence throughout the movie. Her penchant for beret's with her bobbed hairstyle and knitted twinset's were a sure pass into style royalty. Contempt (1963) a french film with the female character called Camille (played by Brigitte Bardot) clad in 60's fit and flare dresses and with thick black hairbands holding masses of bouffant hair was a prime target for style supremacy. Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961) .......Well what more can I say really........ One of the most stylish movies of all time. The character responsible for this was Holly Golightly (played by the great Audrey Hepburn). Her little black dresses and her beehive hairstyle epitomises everything fabulous about the 60's
The fifties.......The actors that stood out from the crowd because of their superb style were.... Grace Kelly for her All American preppy princess style. She loved her lady-like tailoring and neat pearls. Marilyn Monroe for her sexy "bombshell" look perfected by her love of form fitted clothing. Audrey Hepburn brought a new gamine elegance to the 50's with her love of black and fitted three quarter length trousers and flat pumps. Elizabeth Taylor was loved for her fearless attitude to fashion and sported many weird and wonderful creations throughout the decades together with her love of precious diamonds.
The movies of this decade that were known for their character's style kudos were.... Funny Face (1957) The main character Jo Stockton (played by Audrey Hepburn) sported breathtaking Givenchy gowns throughout the film guaranteeing a place in style heaven. To Catch A Thief (1955) The character Frances (played by Grace Kelly) sported blonde curls ,red lips and Dior's New Look Silhouette. This secured this character's place as Hitchcocks most alluring and memorable heroine. Rebel Without A Cause (1955) The main character Jim Stark (played by the iconic James Dean) set the fashion tone for rebellious teenage youth for many years to come in blue Jeans, white tee-shirt and a bold red leather jacket. This classic look is still referred to in today's fashion world.
The thirties to the late forties (Hollywood's Golden Era) .....The actors that oozed that certain something when it came to style were...Katherine Hepburn for her version of ladies "menswear". Hepburn could rock a trousers suit better than most men. Lauren Bacall for her all american classic style and immaculate hair. Rita Hayworth for her opulent gowns and her famous red mane of hair. Ava Gardiner for her sultry dark looks and her way of making even the simplist of outfits look amazing. Marlene Deitrich for showing us how to shine in a tuxedo .
During the Golden Age of Hollywood fashion played a huge role in movies. It was used to "sell" the film through the fashion choices that the character wore. A example of this was in 1932 Joan Crawford wore the famous "Letty Lynton" dress from the movie of the same name title. It was copied everywhere and 50,000 copies of the dress were sold. Wow!
In conclusion to my very detailed post (think it is the longest I have ever written LOL!) For me the style/fashion connection and inspiration has always been between the character in a particular film and me the viewer and not the actor playing that character.
How are you all affected by film and have Iconic movies influenced your lives when it comes to personal style? Are there any particular movies that have stood out as major style inspirations? Please I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments.
Talk soon . XXX VIOLINKIT