The Style Essentials


The Style Essentials is my series on the most iconic costume design in film and its immediate and lasting impact on fashion.  These movies show some of the best examples of costume as an art form, but they also represent design that crossed over and changed our lives.  These films made an impact from the first time they were seen onscreen and, as you can see through GlamAmor's Cinema Connection series, they continue to act as inspiration for many modern designers today.

Because I teach a college course on the HISTORY OF FASHION IN FILM, do frequent presentations around Los Angeles, and now have a 6-part webinar series with an online class, many have asked to know the movies I include on this elite listOf course it was difficult to limit my favorites and there is much more costume design knocking on the door, especially from the prolific 1940s and 1950s.  But there are reasons behind each of these selections, which I share in essays and photoessays you can see through the links below.  Together these movies are exceptionally good at tracing the evolution of fashion and ongoing relevance of classic cinema.

Though the list of The Style Essentials is focused on women's style, some men--Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, among others--are inseparable from their co-stars and make their own strong showing as well.  I have noted those film with an asterisk (*) below and included a few more mentions that really showcase iconic Men's Style.  You can take a look at my Men of Style series for even more.

I've also started adding a few articles here and there from the Cinema Connection series to show how certain films have influenced fashion.  But there are many many more like these on the site, so I encourage you to do a quick search to find others you might enjoy.  Here's to timeless style!

ABOVE: Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box (1929)


1920s
The Jazz Age


1930s
Art Deco Elegance

Swing Time (1936) *

The Women (1939)

* Other iconic 1930s Men's Style:  The Thin Man (1934)


1940s
Film Noir Fantasy

His Girl Friday (1940) *

The Philadelphia Story (1940) 
Cinema Connection

Now, Voyager (1942)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) 
Cinema Connection

* Other iconic 1940s Men's Style: Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946)


1950s
Opposites Attract

Funny Face (1957)

Pillow Talk (1959) *

* Other iconic 1950s Men's Style: An American in Paris (1951), The Wild One (1953),
Rebel Without a Cause (1955), North by Northwest (1959)


1960s
Revolution

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

* Other iconic 1960s Men's Style: Ocean's 11 (1960), Dr. No (1962),
Blow Up (1965), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)


1970s
Everybody’s All American

The Great Gatsby (1974) *

Shampoo (1975) *

Annie Hall (1977) 
Cinema Connection

 * Other iconic 1970s Men's Style: Chinatown (1974),
Three Days of the Condor (1975), Saturday Night Fever (1977)


1980s
Cinema Connection

Body Heat (1981)

Scarface (1983)

Out of Africa (1985) *

Pretty in Pink (1986)

* More iconic 1980s Men's Style:  American Gigolo (1980), Wall Street (1987)

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