When I started covering the Italian shows, Armani had an interesting collection – featuring a floppy blouse with a unique rolled collar, worn with a large felt hat.
Some weeks later I was watching Greta Garbo in Queen Christina and there was the hat and the very same collar. Clearly Giorgio watched the 1933 movie directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
We all watch old movies. They are the best references for costumes. The most important Hollywood costume designers, who frequently influenced Paris, were Edith Head and Jean Louis. Also Cecil Beaton, and much later Michael Kaplan and Patricia Field.
Hubert de Givenchy designed clothes for his muse Audrey Hepburn and Yves Saint Laurent dressed Catherine Deneuve.
Simon Ungless, Michael Carbaugh, Hersha Steinbock and I put our heads together and came up with a list of films that reflect the 20th and 21st centuries. The films were often made later but they captured the essence of the era.
With the clocks going back, you can do research and enjoy a movie in the evening. Please tell us any film we forgot! And also any film you enjoyed and found useful to your design research.
1910s:Doctor Zhivago, Giant, Titanic, My Fair Lady
1920s: Chariots of Fire (mostly men’s), Bonnie & Clyde (also ’30s)
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1930s:Gosford Park, Grand Hotel (Greta Garbo), Blue Angel (Marlene Dietrich), The Damned, Splendor in the Grass, Murder on the Orient Express, Out of Africa
1940s: Casablanca, Brideshead (original one, made in 1981), Jewel in the Crown, The English Patient, White Mischief, The Women
1950s: Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, High Society (Grace Kelly),Seven Year Itch, All about Eve (Marilyn Monroe’s debut), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, And God Created Woman (Brigitte Bardot)
1960s:Blowup, Darling, Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, 8 ½,Thomas Crown Affair, Barbarella, To Catch a Thief, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, A Man and a Woman
1970s:Belle du Jour (YSL), Network, The Godfather, Annie Hall, The Eyes of Laura Mars, Gloria, American Graffiti
1980s:Dynasty (on TV), American Gigolo, Flashdance, Blade Runner, Less Than Zero, 9 1/2 weeks, To Live and Die in LA, The Hunger, St Elmo’s Fire, Class
1990s – 2000s: Pretty Woman, Sex and the City, Prêt-à-Porter, Devil wears Prada