20. Out of Africa (1985)
Set in Kenya, with stylish safari looks to match, the Meryl Streep/Robert Redford starrer reportedly influenced runway collections from Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors following the film’s release. ”The costumes in Out of Africa had quite an impact on fashion. It was as though the fashion world was ready for the styles of the film,” costume designer Milena Canonero said in a 1986 interview with the L.A. Times.
19. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Sure, there were three Godfather films, but there’s one clear winner when it comes to men’s fashion. Courtesy of director Francis Ford Coppola and costumer Theadora Van Runkle, Al Pacino’s three-piece suits and silk ascot really took gangster chic to the next level.
18. Marie Antoinette (2006)
Director Sofia Coppola worked with costume designer Milena Canonero on the historical film’s frilly pastel period costumes — which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The film featured Manolo Blahnik and Pompei shoes while costume house Rocchetti & Rocchetti created hundred of wigs for the actors. ”It was important to me to build a lot of the costumes that just weren’t the standard ones that they use for everything,” Coppola told About.com of the film’s unique aesthetic.
17. A Single Man (2009)
And then there was Tom Ford. The menswear designer turned his O.C.D. eye toward the camera when he directed Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in an adaptation of author Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel. Costume designer Arianne Phillips worked closely with the director to develop the film’s look. ”It was great to work on such a high level artistically,” she told the L.A. Times. ”We looked at the different shapes and different details — a collar from one and buttons from another — and we fashioned together what we thought would be appropriate silhouettes, which were then taken to the factory in Italy.”
16. American Gigolo (1980)
As Richard Gere proved in Gigolo, a good trench coat always does the trick. In fact, he may very well be the best dressed male prostitute of all time thanks to Giorgio Armani, who designed a chic business-casual wardrobe that included silk, linen, and Italian cotton suits. ”As an actor, Richard was more interested in the character than the clothes, but to me the clothes and the character were the same,” director Paul Schrader told British GQ. ”I mean, this is a guy who does a line of coke in order to get dressed!”
15. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Honoring Wes Anderson’s quirky sensibility as a filmmaker, the indie film had an aesthetic to match in Gwyneth Palrow’s show-stealing style: dark eye shadow, short blunt haircut and red accent clip, Lacoste tennis dresses, Fendi fur, and Hermès Birkin bag. ”In every film there’s a place to make a character stand out in an iconic way, but you have to find the right place,” the film’s costume designer Karen Patch told W in 2008. ”You have to be careful because a year after you design something, when the film comes out, a look could be over. So you want to do something quite classic.”
14. Do the Right Thing (1989)
While it’s more renowned for its provocative exploration of racial inequality, director-star Spike Lee kept aesthetics in mind as he filmed his Brooklyn-set breakout. Discussing the film’s aesthetic in Do the Right Thing: The New Spike Lee Joint (published by Simon and Schuster that same year), he noted, ”The look of the film should be bright ?almost blinding … AFROCENTRIC bright.” Costume designer Ruth E. Carter followed his lead with her choice of vibrant tube tops, big earrings, and curve-hugging bike shorts for costar Rosie Perez, as well as athletic jerseys and chunky socks for Lee’s character Mookie.
13. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The devil may wear Prada, but her employee Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) wore a vast array of designers like Chanel, Yigal Azrouel, and Calvin Klein in the comedy based on Lauren Weisberger’s best selling book about the fashion world. The film looked no further than Sex and the City‘s Patricia Field, who estimated that 50 percent of Andy’s wardrobe was provided by Chanel. She told BlackFilm.com, ”Chanel was like, ‘We’d be happy to dress Annie Hathaway in this movie,’ and I said, ‘Perfect. My problems are over.”’
12. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
When Jay-Z and Beyoncé knock off your style, you know you’re onto something. Warren Beatty wore a chalk-striped 1930s-inspired suit as Clyde while Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie embraced a beret and a tight sweater/skirt combo. Though costume designer Theadora Van Runkle received an Academy Award nomination for dressing these chic criminals, she once told Canada’s The Globe & Mail, ”Faye thought I didn’t care how she looked. Faye thought I was trying to make her ugly.”
11. 8 1/2 (1963)
Director Federico Fellini was yesteryear’s Tom Ford with a flawless eye for perfection. His impeccably chic black-and-white film featured perfectly tailored suits and made a style icon out of actor Marcello Mastroianni — thanks to a pair of fashion forward rectangular sunglasses. Men’s fashion at its finest.
10. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Costume designer Walter Plunkett was behind the garments as glitzy as the fabulous musical’s big production numbers. Star Debbie Reynolds reportedly bought most of the film’s costumes, including pieces from such musical numbers as ”Fit as a Fiddle,” ”Make ‘Em Laugh,” and ”Good Morning, Good Morning.”
9. Clueless (1995)
Fashion victims? As if! No film impacted mid ’90s teen style more than Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) and her Beverly Hills besties, who made knee-high socks suddenly in style — and readily available at Contempo Casuals stores nationwide. And who could forget that simple spaghetti strapped Calvin Klein dress? The ensemble even made a comeback in 2010 after the brand reissued the style in a snazzy shade of red. A total Betty.
8. Star Wars (1977)
Though the day-to-day impact of Princess Leia Organa’s sidebuns proved but a fad, they have nonetheless remained as immediately recognizable as any part of George Lucas’s iconic film. Parodied many times over the years, the look has constituted only part of the film’s widespread style influence. Follow-up films featured bold costumes such as Leia’s infamous metallic slave bikini costume — later worn by Jennifer Aniston on Friends and Yvonne Strahovski on Chuck.
7. Some Like It Hot (1959)
While it’s hard to select Marilyn Monroe’s most stylish film, Some Like It Hot is certainly up there, and costume designer Orry-Kelly scooped up an Academy Award for her work despite the comedy’s controversial cross-dressing shtick. Bonus fact: Monroe was reportedly pregnant while filming, but this didn’t stop the sexpot from shimmying in a black, fringed ensemble and barely there nude number.
6. The Wild One (1953)
Marlon Brando made many a classic film, but the bad boy biker drama was doubtless his most stylish. Though his character Johnny Strabler wore a leather Schott Brothers motorcycle jacket for function, his look was embraced by fashionistas. And those sideburns that peaked out from underneath his tilted cap? They allegedly inspired fellow icons James Dean and Elvis Presley to follow suit.
5. The Great Gatsby (1974)
Though several films have been inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, nothing comes close to the Robert Redford- and Mia Farrow-starring adaptation. With its Ralph Lauren dandy suits and cable knits (for him) with flowing chiffon dresses and glittering flapper numbers (for her), the film cast a spell on theatergoers and scored an Academy Award — and a capsule collection at Bloomingdales — for costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge.
4. Funny Face (1957)
A musical starring two of the ’50s’ biggest icons (Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire) — it’s no surprise that the film pulled out all the fashion stops. Costume designers Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy were Academy Award nominated for their work which featured monochromatic ensembles paired with striking Parisian gowns.
3. Cleopatra (1963)
Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra is among one of the most iconic looks in film history. Her dramatic, feline eyeliner has become a mainstay for chic makeup lovers, and those ornate headpieces provide inspiration for fabulous over-the-top style. At one point, the lavish production held the Guinness World Record for the ”most costume changes in a film” — 65 looks for Taylor alone, thanks to costume designer Renie.
2. Dr. No (1962)
The film that launched a 50-year franchise. Sean Connery’s James Bond embraced his signature brand of sportswear in a palette of pale blues and navy, as well as his now signature black tuxedo. Costume designer Tessa Welborn is credited with originating the look that’s been carried on by subsequent 007s George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.
1. Rear Window (1954)
Another Edith Head masterpiece. Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller brought the drama both in story and in aesthetic. Grace Kelly’s elegant 1950s wardrobe has proven timeless — inspiring stylists to outfit A-listers including Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem for various high-fashion photo shoots decades later.