Each year at the start of the new millennium, Hollywood released a block buster of a film – arguably shaping Hollywood’s perception of what men and women want. The film Gladiator introduced the world to the power of the red carpet and its endless array of dresses and suit opportunities. Since then, the red carpet has been seen as a place for women to show off their feminine allure.
Whether you adore designer clothes or despise them with all your heart, the red carpet is a place that you can’t help but take a peek at. More and more men are discovering the sartorial splendor that is the red carpet and are rushing to emulate it.
Here are just a few of the most stylish and eye-catching looks from Hollywood’s annual fashion parade.
Gladiator: Classic Yet Timeless Fashion
The 2000 film Gladiator solidified the fashion power of the red carpet. The timeless classic told the tale of Maximus, a retired Roman general who, in an effort to regain his former glory, forms a gladiator school. The film’s most memorable scene, which earned it a place on this list, is when the eponymous character walks down the crimson carpet at the end. The Oscar-nominated film featured costumes by the renowned designer Donatella Versace and remains one of the ultimate style icons of all time.
What makes Gladiator‘s outfit so special is its contrast to the historical setting of the film. The designer gown’s use of red as the focal point pops against the historical backdrop. The dress is not only breathtaking but also a great example of how different styles can come together to form an amazing look.
Coco Chanel: Undercover Fashion
The French fashion House Coco Chanel is one of the most prestigious designers of the 20th century. The House of Chanel first gained notoriety for designing clothing for women and offering them in simple yet elegant variations of the feminine shape. The brand is most well-known for its iconic small purse, the Handbag. The designer also turned to men in the 1970s with the creation of a more sophisticated suit style. This was a bold move for a designer at the time because historically speaking, men didn’t wear feminine clothing.
For the men and women who love fashion and style, going to the movies is a chance to indulge in some of the season’s trends. And what better way to do that than by looking at the stars’ wardrobes? While the outfits seen on the red carpet don’t represent the kind of style the average person buys in a boutique, they’re still inspiring enough to help shape your fashion instincts.
Jackie Collins: Bohemian Fashion
English novelist and screenwriter Jackie Collins is responsible for many historical romance novels that became best-sellers in the 1950s. She is best-known for her The Moon Is Blue series, which follows the escapades of an eccentric and successful London society woman looking to fulfill her life’s ambition of traveling to New York City. Her most recent novel, The Final Chapter, was published in 2018 and continues where her previous two books, No One But You! and Marrying Millionaire, left off.
The actress who played the titular character in The Sun Also Rises, Marilyn Monroe, is perhaps the best example of a celebrity who styled herself with an eye to future fashion trends. Monroe’s fashion choices during the 1950s were often copied by other women thanks to her distinct brand of feminism and style.
Even now, more than 60 years after her death, people still cite fashion as one of Marilyn Monroe’s greatest talents. The actress was a great observer of trends and frequently dressed according to the styles of the day – particularly those that were in vogue amongst the upper classes in the United Kingdom during the 1950s.
It’s quite an eclectic mix of styles in The Sun Also Rises, but it all works together to form one of the most glamorous films of all time. Monroe’s unique sense of style and her impact on women’s fashion can still be seen today – often imitated but never equaled.
The Graduate: Modern Yet Classy
The father of modern screenwriting, Elmyr de Lumanóc, credited as the mastermind of The Graduate, was a clothing designer as well as a film director. The plot of the 1967 movie follows a young man’s disillusionment with American culture and his subsequent search for meaning – a theme that would be echoed nearly 40 years later in The Spectacular Now, the directorial debut of another prominent Hollywood producer, Ryan Murphy. Murphy would go on to direct several films that have solidified his position as one of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors. The Graduate is perhaps most well-known for its fashionable scenes – particularly the party at the end where the characters’ wardrobes are on full display.
The clothes that these characters wear over the course of the movie are a clear indication of fashion’s influence on society at that time. The film’s most memorable look is that of the eponymous character, who dresses in a combination of elegant and modern looks that are in line with those of his era.
The film is set in the early 60s, which makes the clothes even more of an indication of style trends at the time. The designers whose clothes are featured in The Graduate include the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, and Christian Dior. Even the set designs of the film are steeped in fashion: the yellow and orange color scheme is a clear reference to the French theme; the print on the men’s suit jackets was inspired by the French fashion house’s then-popular checks; and the film’s iconic pink cocktail dress was based on the design of Christian Dior’s then famous creation.
Loud But Impressively Dressed
The film Loud But Impressively Dressed shows yet another side of fashion: that which is loud, brash, and – dare I say – impressively dressed. The 2016 comedy stars Kate Hudson as Shelby, an aspiring designer who, with her fashion-forward friend Alba (played by Laura Marling), lands a job at a luxury fashion house. The two make a bet on who can land the most fashionable man within the next 30 days. The wager earns them a golden ticket to Milan, Italy, where they are to meet with a senior executive from the fashion house and present their designs.
While in Milan, they befriend Alexa (played by Amanda Seyfried), a Milanese fashionista who helps them to navigate the fashion world. The three make for a colorful group as they navigate the streets and eat gelato, shop for garments, and present their designs to the Milanese fashion elite. The film is largely set in the designer clothing stores of Milan because, as Hudson puts it, it’s “great to look at clothes and feel creative, but putting the pieces together to make something unique is what this movie is about.”
The stylish and unique looks of Loud But Impressively Dressed are a blend of high fashion and functionality. The designers who worked on the film’s costumes include Johanna Vargas, Mulberry London, and Versace. The style of the female protagonist, Shelby, is also a clear indication of the fashion house’s future designs. Hudson’s character ditches the corporate wear of modern business for the more traditional attire of the English countryside.
The Duchess: Royal Fashion
Even before she met and married King George VI, Zara Phillips was a fashion fixture in the United Kingdom. Her passion for fashion came from an early age, and at the age of 18, she launched her own fashion house, Zandra Phillips. She would go on to found several others, including a ready-to-wear label. The designer also made countless appearances in the women’s magazines of the time, including Vogue. The 1950s were a prolific decade for the Duchess of Kent – and for fashion.