Belle de Jour (1967)

With the Yves Saint Laurent movie hitting cinemas soon, now’s a good time to pay tribute to his couture for Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, Luis Bunuel’s erotic exploration of female sexual fantasies. Many other fashion designers have provided costume for films, including Givenchy for  Audrey Hepburn, Chanel for Gloria Swanson and Ralph Lauren…

Possessed (1931)

If you can get hold of a copy of Possessed, the 1931 movie starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, it’s a really interesting slice of movie history. Firstly, it cemented Joan Crawford as one of the top stars in Hollywood. She would go on to star in similar rags-to-riches stories about Depression-era dancers or shop…

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Did Thelma and Louise feature the world’s first selfie? The photo, freeze-framed at the end of the film, was taken on a Polaroid before the two best friends from Arkansas are supposed to embark on a fun weekend escape in the mountains. The photo shows Susan Sarandon’s Louise buttoned up in a conservative white shirt,…

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Bonnie and Clyde was the film that really sparked my love of old movies; I must have been 14 or 15 when I first saw it on television late at night, and I was completely hooked on this slice of glamour and violence in a depression-era southern setting. Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde is old…

Atonement (2007)

Keira Knightley’s emerald green dress in Atonement is one of those costumes that fashion lovers see on screen and just lust after. Fashion editors at Vogue at Vanity Fair had their eyes on it and it was even voted the best film costume of all time, coming ahead of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. It…

Annie Hall (1977)

Watching Annie Hall is a delight to the senses purely for an unadulterated slice of 1970s fashions in full-on glory. Men with their oversized glasses and overgrown sideburns, tweed jackets and elbow patches and bell-bottomed trousers. And I swear I saw someone who looked exactly like Borat sitting behind them in the final scene at…

Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina is one of those dreamy Audrey Hepburn films to watch on a rainy Saturday with the romantic Cinderella storyline, a European make-over and a fabulous, chic wardrobe that is perfectly representative of the early 1950s. As the mousy chauffeur’s daughter who goes to Paris to escape from the pain of unrequited love, and returns…

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Betsy Heimann was the costume designer for both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and I interviewed her about her work behind the cult look of Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was the film of the 90s that came to represent the post modernism of that decade. Every dose of blood spattering violence was served…

Pretty Woman (1990)

A while ago I had the exciting opportunity to interview Marilyn Vance, the costume designer on Pretty Woman, in a coffee shop in LA. She told me all about her work on the film, and I got some real insight into how she created the costumes for Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. For a start,…

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Whenever I hear Lana Del Ray, I always think of the Postman Always Rings Twice, the 1946 Film Noir based on the sado-masochistic novel James M Cain. It must be in the name – sounding like a hybrid of Lana Turner and Southern California’s Marina Del Ray, which would make a great name for a…

The Oscars: contemporary films that have won for best costume

Period films and historical epics are always well rewarded for costume design at the Oscars, but what about the contemporary films that may not look as showy, but define characters through carefully chosen costume? There wasn’t an award for best costume until 1948, but when it was introduced there were originally two categories, for best…

Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946)

In The Shawshank Redemption there’s a scene where the inmates are watching a film screening of Gilda in 1946. They all start cheering when Rita Hayworth makes her first dramatic entrance – bare shouldered, whipping up her head and then not so innocently suggesting, ‘Me? Sure, I’m decent.’ It was a film that was laden…