For years immemorial, fashion has been brought into our daily lives through film and television. While true fashionistas look to all sources of fashion for knowledge and inspo, the boundless outreach of television and cinema help simplify the complex world of fashion and bring a sense of omnipresence and versatility to an artform that’s usually perceived as an unattainable privilege only belonging to those endowed with wealth and access.
Viewers all over the globe understood the allure of Givenchy through Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (not to mention, immortalising the little black dress as a signature in women’s wardrobes). The discourse of fashion trends infiltrating the masses through film and tv has continued. Here are some of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s top picks for this decade’s greatest fashion moments from Film and TV.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, 2013
The great union of the film’s costume designer Catherine Martin, (who won an Oscar for her work on Moulin Rouge!), and Miuccia Prada is an artistic collaboration that’s a worthy contender for a spot on this list. Between Jay Gatsby’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) gender non-conforming pink suit and Jordan Baker’s (Elizabeth Debicki) flamboyant black dress, the whole movie was a visual treat for fans of 1920s fashion but the stunning party dress worn by Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), inspired by Prada’s spring 2010 collection, is certainly one that made fashion history.
Constance Wu’s Marchesa gown in Crazy Rich Asians, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians conquered the box office in 2018 by becoming the highest grossing rom-com of the decade and brought a slice of Singapore’s top-notch opulence and theatricality for the world’s viewing pleasure. While the film sported looks from heavyweights Ralph & Russo, Alexander McQueen, Michael Cinco, and Stella McCartney among others, the fairytale Marchesa gown worn by Constance Wu made a definitive impact and even became one of the most Halloween-ed looks that year.
Gossip Girl Wedding Dresses, 2012
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A couture studded show like Gossip Girl has hundreds of unforgettable looks but the most striking ensembles from Serena (Blake Lively) and Blair (Leighton Meester) have to be their unique wedding looks. The tradition of wearing white for your wedding was elegantly overthrown by these two fashion icons. What’s noteworthy: both Blair and Serena’s stunning wedding ensembles hailed from Lebanon-based Arab designers, with Blair wearing a light blue lace gown from Elie Saab’s Spring 2012 collection and Serena wearing a Gold number by Georges Chakra.
Sarah Jessica Parker recreates Carrie Bradshaw moment in Zac Posen dress, 2019
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One of those nights. So magical you need proof it really happened. To all friends and patrons who joined us last night and every year at our Fall Gala, to our wonderful designers @zacposen @annasui who brought all their skill and devotion, to our inspired choreographers @laurenlovette @edwaardliang, to the rapturous orchestra and it's leader Andrew Litton and to the extraordinary dancers of the @nycballet who are deservedly on the receiving end of bravos after every performance I am indebted, in awe and most grateful. X, SJ
This one may be cheating a little since it isn’t from the show itself, but Sex and the City’s impact on the fashion world is apparent even 15 years after its end from cable network. Pegged by many as the most fashionable show of all time, SJP’s fuchsia Zac Posen dress tributing her character on the show: Carrie Bradshaw, had to secure a place on this list. The Easter egg in the outfit is an homage to differently worn shoes worn by her character in the show’s third season. Carrie never shied away from dramatic frills and pops of colour, and this dress reflects exactly that.
Wedding Dress from Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, 2011
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Possibly the only wedding dress in history that spurred more public anticipation than that of royals and A-list celebs, Bella Swan’s (played by Kristen Stewart) wedding dress in the fourth instalment of the Twilight film series is a regal gown that’s inspired thousands of wedding inspo pinterest boards and style lookbooks long after its release on the silver screen. The Carolina Herrera dress used French Chantilly lace as the main fabric and reportedly took six months and four seamstresses to make.
Gwyneth Paltrow in The Politician, 2019
Arguably the most fashionable series to drop in this year, The Politician saw great range and variety when it came to women’s fashion. So much so that we even did a how-to guide for our readers so they can emulate the style of the show's leading ladies. From feminine florals to power pantsuits, the show’s leading ladies served lewks. Gwyneth's character Georgina Hobart embodies beauty and elegance and she makes her grand entrance in the show in this eye-catching red Carolina Herrera dress.
Dakota Johnson’s Monique Lhuillier dress in 50 Shades Darker, 2017
The 50 Shades film trilogy gave us an interesting glimpse into the lives of the elite. Across the entire franchise, this silver Monique Lhuillier outfit stands out. Worn by Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson’s character) at a high-stakes masquerade ball, this sleek number scores well on elegance while still making a theatrical statement to complement the ballroom vibe.
Blake Lively’s Ralph Lauren pantsuits in A Simple Favor, 2018
Described famously as an aesthetic mashup of Gone Girl and Dynasty, A Simple Favor gave us a very stylish rendition of a thriller. Blake Lively’s androgynous wardrobe made fashion headlines when the film released in 2018. All her pantsuits were vintage Ralph Lauren and lent her character the mystique and power it demanded. Blake reportedly raided parts of her real-life husband Ryan Reynold’s closet to complete looks for both the movie and promotional events for the film.
Liz Gillies’ Fendi trill coat in the Dynasty Reboot, 2019
Dynasty was one of the most stylish shows of the ‘80s, redefining the dysfunctional family paradigm on network television, and its reboot has not failed to disappoint with its style quotient. Produced by the creators of the iconic Gossip Girl series, the Dynasty reboot sees multiple style icons in the reprised versions of Krystal Carrington, Alexis Carrington, and Fallon Carrington. Played by former Nickelodeon star Elizabeth Gillies, Fallon’s twill coat by Fendi that she wore in the reboot’s iconic Paris episode certainly deserves a place on this list.
Cher and Christina Aguilera in Burlesque, 2010
Cher brought her impeccable style to cinemas in 2010 with the movie musical Burlesque, where she entertained audiences alongside Christina Aguilera. The film brings a myriad of fashionable looks by costume designer Michael Kaplan, the same visionary who brought to us the timeless looks from Flashdance, Blade Runner, and Fight Club, but the ethereal green silk gown worn by Christina Aguilera and this risqué number worn by Cher are the definite standout outfits.