One of the most popular scenes from The Devil Wears Prada is when one of the main characters, Miranda, played by Meryl Streep, explains to one of her uncaring employees as to why fashion is so important–not to her, but to society. In the film she tells this individual that even though she acted as though she had no interest in the fashion industry or in the outfits she wore daily, the fashion industry was responsible for pouring billions of dollars into the economy and providing thousands of people jobs. Moreover, every piece of clothing she wore was custom created by a company due to what someone had considered fashionable. Whether she had considered it or not, she–and everyone she knew–was directly impacted by fashion.
Fashion has a lasting impact on everything; from the uniforms worn at fast food restaurants to outfits artist wear on the cover of your favorite album. Fashion touches us every day. Take film, for example. There are many films, which without fashion, would be hard to enjoy. Check out some of my favorite vintage fashion films that without the style of the era would have been less enjoyable to watch.
Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls, a 1955 movie based on the 1950 Tony Award winning musical, was set during the 1940s. The four main characters, idols of the time, were Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine. The biggest names in entertainment received only the best in regards to outfits.
Set during the 1940s, these unlicensed professional gamblers only wore the best suits and their women dressed in equally high-quality garb. The nice suits, with matching hats, were a sign of the times, and times were good! While both of these leading men were success symbols, starring in dozens of films, it was their attire in Guys and Dolls that everyone remembers. Their vintage fashion will always be solidified in film history.
Another great film based on a musical was Funny Face. This 1957 film, based on the 1927 Broadway musical with songs arranged by George and Ira Gershwin, stars Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Kay Thompson, and was created around a plot built on the fashion industry. Not only were the clothes themselves important to the aesthetic look of the Funny Face, but fashion was central to the storyline.
Kay Thompson’s character, based on Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, plucks Audrey Hepburn’s character, Jo Stockton, from obscurity and turns her into a Paris fashion model. Not only did this film give viewers a look into the life of fashion models, but it also provided insight to running a fashion magazine. To this day, the wedding dress that Jo Stockton wore while on the fashion show catwalk that final time in Paris still serves as the dream dress for all brides looking for 1950s era wedding dresses. This dress is the quintessential vintage wedding dress.
My Fair Lady
It’s something about the combination of Broadway musicals and Audrey Hepburn. Broadway musicals heavily rely on props and sets to sell a show and Hepburn just has impeccable taste; the meshing of these two created one of the most sought after outfits in film history. Fetching $3.7 million dollars at an auction in 2011, Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot costume from My Fair Lady (a staple of 1950s cinema) is the second most expensive movie costume ever sold.
From her dress that covers all exposed parts of her skin to the large hat, this dress is typical vintage fashion that would have been displayed during the annual Royal Ascot in England. Furthermore, this fashion is not only still appropriate, but also very much expected for those that attend the Ascot in this decade. The most anticipated aspect of the Ascot each year is the fashion, and this movie and this outfit have a principle role in the matter.
Every woman that has ever watched Casino wants to be Sharon Stone. Whether she is on the casino floor or lounging in her hotel room, Sharon Stone’s character, Ginger McKenna, is always dressed in the finest of designer dresses. Furthermore, she is draped from head to toe in fur coats, solid gold accessories, and the most luxurious of handbags.
Her character is “is the personification of the Vegas dream and past history – glamorous, greedy, elegant and audacious in one body.” In an interview with Rita Ryack, the lead costume designer, she states that:
“Obviously [Ginger’s fur coat] shows that the character Ace had plenty of money that he was happy to spend on his new bride. He just wanted to give her everything she wanted. He wanted to spoil her and treat her like a queen. The thing about that coat is that it’s so sensuous and soft—you really can’t keep your hands off it.”
If you’ve seen the film, you know Ginger’s happiness is an underlying theme throughout the entire movie. Furthermore, Ryack suggest that everyone “watch the movie again, and pay attention to the characters. Look at their clothes—every little detail means something, even on the extras.”
Every woman wants to be her, and every man would be lucky to have her on his arm. Just last year, almost twenty years after the release of the movie, women are still enthralled with the outfits in Casino. There is no doubt; the attire of the characters in this movie is essential to selling the success of the mobsters. And as Ryack said, “every little detail means something.”
Bonnie and Clyde
So far, every movie on this list has been glamorous; Bonnie and Clyde is the exception. This 1967 film, based on real events from the Great Depression shows the unique fashion that these two individuals had. With the release of this film, a fashion revolution was ignited.
All of a sudden, fedoras and double-breasted suits became all the rage for men, and berets and long skirts became popular with women. This movie is arguably one of the most influential films in regards to vintage fashion.
Obviously lab coats aren’t trendy, so it isn’t a doctor’s outfit from this movie that serves as vintage fashion. It is an accessory worn by Sylvia Trench, played by Eunice Gayson in this classic James Bond flick that would ignite the comeback of the brooch during the 60s. Falling slowly out of fashion in the 50s, Sylvia’s character played a large part in the revival of the brooch in vintage fashion. It is only fitting that the women playing one of the oldest European casino games is also wearing one of Europe’s oldest styles of decorative jewelry.
In this clip below you see Eunice Gayson’s character being beat by Bond in Baccarat. Because Bond kepts getting dealt naturals she loses; however, she looks great doing so, wearing a classic vintage dress with that fantastic brooch.
The Devil Wears Prada
In the 2006 adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel, Anne Hathaway plays Andrea Sachs, a journalist looking to make her mark on the world. She receives a job working for Runway Magazine under a hard-nosed, no-nonsense boss. A self-proclaimed “anti-fashion” individual, Andrea quickly comes to terms with the fashion industry as it is both necessary for life and for her career. While this movie wasn’t filled with a lot of vintage fashion, I see it as a foreshadowing film for further generations. Not crazy about the first 3 outfits but that green leopard trim coat is to die for!
What many people don’t realize about this movie is that fifty years from now, it will be on everyone’s list of vintage fashion in movies. The wardrobe for this movie has been described as the “most coveted, up-to-the-second wardrobe of any film,” and was the most expensively costumed film in history, with a wardrobe valued at over $1 million.
Dazzling pinup, Winny Queen, has just launched her very own clothing line Le Palais Vintage. Her pieces are absolutely gorgeous and takes retro style to a whole other level with glamorous pieces that exude 1950s glamour. Le Palais Vintage has its own “je ne said quoi” and stands out amongst the rest because her pieces are a lot different from the rotation of the same silhouettes and patterns offered by most retro companies. One of my favorite pieces from her collection is this polka dot romper. It fits me like a glove and GOD I have been looking for something like this for forever. The top is free-flowing and the bottom is wool and it cinches the waist just right. I just happened to buy a really cool silk polka dot turban that matched this outfit perfectly and I have to say, is one of my favorite outfits to date. I felt like a classic Hollywood starlet from the 40s. The only thing I will say is that the sizing is off. Some of the pieces I have from Le Palais Vintage are a size small, some medium, some even large. You might want to inquire about a size chart before you place any orders since China has a different way of sizing clothing. I can’t wait to show you all the other pieces I have but for now, take a look at this one! Read More
It was our last two days in Japan shooting for “World’s Amazing People” via Fuji TV and for day 3 we had another early call time since we would be visiting Mt.Fuji, a mall, a theme park, and a gorgeous hotel before heading to Narita. I was excited to see Mt.Fuji and had a little bit of fun exploring the mall near by where I got to see some cool shops and get some last-minute souvenirs for my family while the cast were shooting. Amazon Eve needed to dress warm so I didn’t get to dress her in Pinup Girl Clothing but we made the best of it by doing a cute little impromptu photo shoot at our hotel the next day before boarding the plane back home. Read More
Day 2 of Amazon Eve’s (of American Horror Story “Freakshow”) shoot with Fuji TV’s “Worlds Amazing People (ENG)” was probably the most challenging day for me as her stylist as I was on only 4 hours of sleep. I didn’t know how I was going to survive such a crazy schedule for the day but I kept my chin up and did my thing. I shot the image above as soon as I woke up and it was such a beautiful sunrise and such a great way to start my morning. I wanted to be comfortable so I just threw on a black Karen Millen sweater dress and my sneakers. I shot a quick selfie in my bathroom before heading out to see Amazon Eve for our 5am call time. Amazon wanted to be comfortable as well so I dressed her in the red Sabrina top from Pinup Girl Clothing and paired it with her jeans, brown boots, a brown belt, a colorful scarf, and her teal trench coat. I wanted to play with colors and her outfit came out perfect. I also did her hair in soft curls. She looked great! We visited lots of places on this day. So many that we ended the day at almost 12am. See all the deets inside. Read More
YOU GUYS-I got asked to go to Japan by Pinup Girl Clothing (the company I work for) to style Amazon Eve of American Horror Story “Freak Show” for a show called “World’s Amazing People” run by Fuji Tv! It was last-minute but boy was I excited as I have always wanted to visit Japan ever since discovering the street style book “Fruits” long ago when I was a fashion major in School! It made the trip better that I would be styling a character from one of my favorite shows too! I didn’t think I would make it through the 11 hour flight but it was pretty relaxing and as soon as I got off the plane and through customs, I had a group of people stop me to ask me a few questions on film about my personal style (I looked like a mess?) but it was a great introduction to the charm of Tokyo and gosh the people were so nice. So yeah, I am on some show somewhere in Japan haha. Anyway, when I got to Tokyo it was pretty late and I was pretty jet lagged (there was nothing pretty about it) so I touched down with the crew at the hotel and K.O’d. I met Amazon Eve at the airport and she was sweet as pie and such a fierce woman so I was excited to be styling her for this show in pug goodies. Read More