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  • Writer's pictureTeam DesignerShala

Iconic Must-Watch Fashion Movies

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Yes, fashion and the film industry go hand-in-hand. No movie is complete without its own signature fashion persona. But, every once in a while, the world is gifted with a piece of art that becomes an epitome of fashion inspiration that becomes larger than the movie. Over the last years of cinematic history, we’ve seen many fashion-related movies come and go, but there are a few that have stuck by.

Well, these movies either revolved around fashion or simply showed styles that transcended the ordinary and became iconic looks in themselves. We’re looking at you, Breakfast at Tiffany’s! Nonetheless, each of these fashion designing must-watches come with its own unique signature style that renders inspiration. Whether you are a fashion student, professional, or simply someone who likes to pursue fashion as a side-hustle or hobby, you can always turn to these movies to add to your motivation.

So, without much ado, here’s introducing our top choices of iconic fashion movies that you can watch right away!

1. The Devil Wears Prada

This roundup would be incomplete with the mention of the classic fashion item, The Devil Wears Prada. Since its release in the 2000s, the movie has become a signature fashion watch, thanks to its memorable and almost apt storyline and setting. The film revolves around an intern, played by Anne Hathaway who works at one of the top fashion publications under her not-so-warm editor, played by Meryl Streep.

The film takes us through Anne’s journey as a young journalist in a fashion-crazy office, who is not too fond of the superficialities of the industry. By the end of the movie, she becomes a fashion professional with a big career ahead of her and many fashion designing lessons learnt. Obviously, the movie shows fashion at its best! All in all, it is a funny, fast, and engaging watch for anyone who loves fashion design.

2. Clueless

A classic chick-flick from the 1990s, Clueless is a movie that still continues to inspire designers, film fashion, and even songs! (Hint: Iggy Azalea’s music video, Fancy.) Released in the year 1995, the movie is a teen comedy that shows a spoiled high school student, who deems herself as a perfect matchmaker. She is portrayed as a superficial girl, who is identified by her signature yellow plaid outfit. Played by actress Alicia Silverstone, the outfits of the movie were designed by Mona May, who picked inspiration from the thrift stores, the malls, and of course, the runways too.

Evidently, the magic is seen in the movie and its after-effects too. Today, that iconic fashion style that showed a mix of high-fashion from the streets of Europe and grunge fashion from the 90s continues to thrive. The candy-hued and retro outfits in the movie may be classic now but they remain timeless in some ways, still seen on the runways and seasonal fashion trends from time to time.

3. Funny Face

Starring Audrey Hepburn, Funny Face is a musical comedy set in the post-war times in Paris. Released in 1957, the classic is a part of this list for a reason. Flowing with sartorial extraordinaire, the movie is based on a bookseller’s Cinderella-like life. She portrays an ordinary woman who is interested in philosophy, who then becomes a model for an American fashion publication. The classic film shows the fashion industry blended right in with Hollywood. From exquisite couture gowns to athleisure crop tops, the film shows it all. Often compared to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Funny Face is a much more fashion-oriented film than the former. An entertaining watch, the movie remains to be a masterpiece even today!

4. Confessions of a Shopaholic

The title of this one speaks for itself. Confessions of a Shopaholic is based on a book by Sophie Kinsella. The film takes us through the life of a journalist who works at a financial publication while trying to reach her destination of working for a fashion publication instead. And, just like the title says, she is a shopaholic, who suffers from an addiction to shopping. In the movie, this leads her into debt, which compels her to beat her shopping addiction.

Source: Letterboxd

Since the movie is all about fashion and shopping, not to mention, starring actress Isla Fisher, there are bound to be countless fashion moments here. A light watch, the film shows the lead actress’s inspiring style while giving us a peek into many other fashion dilemmas with solutions to them. This one has to be one of your top movies to watch!

5. Coco Before Chanel

An award-winning biographical drama, Coco Before Chanel takes you through the exact time as the title depicts, Coco Chanel’s life before she took over the fashion industry by storm. This movie lets us into the French designer’s real-life before fame enveloped it. It shows us the real Coco Chanel behind the camera and her high-end designs.

The film depicts the designer as an ordinary person in her early life, from her education in boarding school to fashion lessons in Paris, and eventually the launch of her own fashion house. The movie, directed by Anne Fountaine also takes us through the love life and the many aspects of her life that aren’t exactly fashion related. But they give us a detailed insight into the real woman behind the label. The film is a must-watch for all fashion aspirants! It not only makes for an interesting watch but also an educative one.

6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The iconic look with black Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses and a little black Givenchy dress from this movie’s first scene says it all! Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a classic, starring Audrey Hepburn, who plays the role of a young socialite in New York. The movie has established itself as more of a fashion movie since its release. Every look in the film seems to be a look of its own – a classic and engaging style icon that still stands as a major inspiration for the industry.

7. Sex and the City

If you don’t just want to view fashion but also live it, Sex and the City is a favourite for not just fashion enthusiasts but every woman out there. With four mid-aged best friends exploring their careers, family life, and love life, all the while dressed to the nines; this has to be a visual favourite too. It becomes a fashion movie with its head to toe avatars of each leading lady, high-end wedding dresses, a photoshoot with Vogue, and what not!

8. Personal Shopper

A fashion movie starring Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper may actually not be as glamorous as you expect it to be. Reason? Well, it is a story of a personal shopper, played by Stewart in the fashion world of Paris. The movie takes us through the unglamorous and completely real part of the industry. It reminds us that fashion and emotional expression can also be very well-connected, and that’s exactly what makes this one a must-watch!

9. Saint Laurent

Directed by Bertrand Bonello, the movie Saint Lauren takes us a little deeper into the scandalous life of Yves Saint Laurent. The movie takes us to the 1970s when the designer had risen to fame for his unique and high-end outfits. It begins with a 21-year-old Saint Laurent and his journey into the world of fashion and his own inner demons.

10. Phantom Thread

This Oscar-winning movie for Best Costumes, The Phantom Thread depicts the story of Reynold Woodcock, who takes over London’s haute-couture world in the 1950s. With a heart-warming love story thrown into the mix, the movie is not only entertaining but also absolutely inspiring for fashion. With elegant and extravagant costumes shown in the film, it naturally is a must-watch for fashion lovers.

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