Fashion in Films

BATD ON Jul 02, 2009 AT 11:58 am

Audrey Tatou is Coco Chanel

Audrey Tatou is Coco Chanel

Fashion films aren’t a new concept. Bringing two arts together can be notorious for shedding light on the industry, portraying the early lives of designers, and even satirizing the entire business itself.

Anne Fontaine’s Coco Avant Chanel is the newest addition to the fashion film family. The film spans the years of Coco’s pitiable, underprivileged childhood to the beginnings of her iconic status as a designer in Paris. Recently we saw Valentino in The Last Emperor. It has the same feel as Coco Avant Chanel, being biographical and
highlighting the early, lesser known years of the designer. The film  depicts a young Valentino Garavani who developed an interest in fashion design  as a teenager and entered the world of couture in the ‘50’s. After opening
up his fashion house in Rome and retiring in the fall of 2007, he has completely become a fashion icon, like Coco Chanel.

Unzipped

Unzipped

Unzipped followed designer Isaac Mizrahi as well as Yves Saint Laurent. Beside biographical or semi-biographical films about fashion, there are the movies that shed light  on the industry. The fashion world is known for being cutthroat and bitchy. We devour it for the glamour and backstage gossip.

We all loved The Devil Wears Prada, with Anne Hathaway as the smart girl who takes a job as a second assistant to Runway (a Vogue-esque magazine) editor Miranda Priestly, played my Meryl Streep. The flick gives an insight to the power, gifts, hectic schedules, deadlines, and complete hierarchy of the industry. Films like this as well as Intern (2000), Prêt-á-Porter (1994) shed light on the competitiveness of the business and what it really takes to make it big in the world of fashion. These films can be viewed as minor-league satires, but they are nothing compared to some films that deride the entire industry itself. Take Ben Stiller’s cult classic comedy Zoolander way back in 2001, it spoofs the complete trade with an intellectually-lacking model who was simply blessed with good bone structure. The film depicts the inanity of supermodels, pokes fun at designers and what it means to be in the world of fashion, and makes the whole industry seem vain and egotistical. Surely not?!

To Catch a Thief

To Catch a Thief

Then there are movies that send us messages about fashion to show that it doesn’t matter and doesn’t make you who you are, such as Mean Girls and Clueless. We love them too.

We can’t talk about fashion in movies without drooling over the costumes in some of our favourite movies. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City and Grace Kelly in any Hitchcock movie.

Love or hate the fashion industry we are all a bit intrigued by it and if you are a die hard fan then Coco Before Chanel is going to be a real treat. Audrey Tatou looked adorable in Priceless and hear we see her steal the show as Coco in this fascinating life story.

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