Magazines, celebrities and designers aside, few things dictate fashion like a classic cult (or not-so-cult) film. And while The Devil Wears Prada and its rom-com friends set the tone for a season or two, there are certain movies that withstand the test of time; the ones you cite on days you’re feeling particularly inspired or the ones you reference when trying to justify ten rows of pearls or a floor length skirt (not that I’ve done that). Here’s four of our favourite fashion films and why we salute them.
Reality Bites (1994)
Winona Ryder, floral print and Vickie Miner’s fulltime gig at The Gap (Oh, how dare I try to bring you down to my level!) are some of the only things that matter in the classic coming-of-age-film that once painted Ethan Hawke’s character as the greatest guy ever. (Note: He was not. He was the worst. Date nobody like him.) Listless twenty-somethings aside, one line from Reality Bites can easily justify a closet full of Doc Martens and Northern Reflections “ or at least the coupling of yellow tights with a mini skirt. You, me and five bucks.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Beautiful, stunning, and several other words for gorgeous, Sofia Coppola’s tribute to the tragically misunderstood French queen is the template for the super feminine aesthetic “ and yes, we know that we’re perpetuating stereotypes, and right now, we don’t care. Did you see it and buy a hoop skirt? Probably not. (Though we hope so.) But told through a tapestry of lace, silk, pastels and cake, the only answer to the over-romanticism of a relatively corrupt French monarchy was to mimic through clothes here and now. Custom made shoes for the win.
Godard fan or not, one look at Jean Seberg’s pixie cut can easily justify a lifetime of black berets, chain smoking and dedicated drinking of red wine. And while 2011 hardly mimics the landscape of Paris in 1960, the simplicity of Patricia Franchini’s ensembles have been treasured in our hearts for over half a century (or at least the hearts of our grandparents’), with countless college-aged girls using the film as an excuse to cast off the shackles of oversize Ugg boots in favour of vintage t-shirts and cigarette jeans. Three cheers for first year film screenings.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Before we’re flooded with protests regarding his mid-80s gem, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: John Hughes’ glorious tale of Samantha Baker’s birthday gone horribly awry could easily be replaced with The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller “ because let’s face it, those kids had style. But thanks to Samantha Baker’s pink dress, her floral print, that hat and Jake Ryan, Sixteen Candles makes the teenage uniform of days past seem like a plausible solution for fashion now. And to be frank, Molly Ringwald in her 1980s capacity is always in-fashion.