Fashion In Movie Industry: How Movements Have Changed How We Dress?

Actor Brigitte Helm transformed into a flapper girl in L’Argent (1928).

From the early days of cinema, fashion and film went hand in hand. However, the popularity of fashion in the film was not large enough for us to pay attention to. It was until the 1920s and 1930s. When the wave of Hollywood movies became ever more popular. We have just witnessed the clear impact of fashion in film on life.

The movie stars became the model image of the public and how they dress or makeup to shape a new style at that time. The fashion trend in movies has such a profound and broad impact that it changes the perceptions of high-class ladies. If previously, the trend was created through the collection of high-end French tailors, nowadays film fashion has created a new makeover in the fashion industry.

Silent film era

The milestone marking the birth of cinema was the invention of cinématographe of the Lumière brothers in 1895, in Paris. This device allows you to record and play video footage of motion pictures. Since then, short films without sound, or silent films, quickly became a new entertainment model. At that time, Europe was the cultural center of the world. At the forefront of developing silent film art are the studios of France, Denmark and Italy.

After World War I (1914-1918), the world witnessed a reversal of film history in general and silent films in particular. The center of film leaves Europe. From the early years of the 20th century, the United States emerged as a very creative cinema.

“It” movie poster (1927)

Hollywood, the northwestern part of California, has become the new film capital of the world. The 1910s were probably a pivotal moment in American history but little known. World War I brought a large number of immigrants from Europe to America. Among them are many famous artists, craftsmen, as well as filmmakers. America was fortunate to benefit from the fields that Europe once dominated. Hollywood became the promised land of independent filmmakers around the world.

The first fashion influence from the silent film queen Pola Negri

During the years 1915–1920, more than half of the movies were produced in Hollywood, USA. Also from here, Hollywood brought its first fashion influence thanks to Pola Negri. She was the most famous female celebrity in the era of silent film, from 1908 to 1920. In A Woman of the World (1925), the Countess Elnora of Negri bought white satin shoes. Then dye them according to the color of your clothes. After that video, thousands of women imitated it.

The legend of the era of silent film Pola Negri.

Next is the American actress Clara Bow. The success of the movie It (1927) earned Clara the title of “IT girl”. The word implies that the girl possessed something outstanding. Bob bobbing hair and sharp curved eyebrows or sailor pants. In addition, her strappy shoes became the style of countless young women in the 20s.

Clara Bow’s sailor pants and strappy boots became a craze in the 20s.

Reflect contemporary social context

The mid-1920s marked the decline of silent film. At the same time, the world welcomes the birth of the first recorded film in film history, The Jazz Singer (1927). This was also the period when jazz emerged and became popular music. The influence of jazz has opened up a new definition of “flapper”. The slang talks about young women who choose to live freely and freely.

The change in Western cultural and social life then was depicted through L’Argent (1928), Speedy (1928) or Pandora’s Box (1929). The films above provided a detailed look at the processes of women’s cognitive liberation. Both in terms of spiritual lifestyle, dress style and sex. The symbol of freedom of the new era – a short-sleeved flapper-type dress that fills the curve appears dense on the screen.

Background in the movie Pandora’s Box (1929).

But the jazz, the crazy dance, and the nightly fun of the young people did not last long. Because the collapse of the Wall Street stock market in 1929 pushed the world into the Great Depression. A crippled global economy leaves people unemployed or bankrupt. Becoming vague and desperate, they seek immediate joy. And that relief came from the movie theaters.


Movies and women’s fashion during the Great Depression

In a way, Hollywood movies have grown while the rest of the world is falling apart. The Great Depression created two opposing extremes in women’s fashion sense. Daytime (commute to work) and nightly (entertainment). The costumes that the actors wear in the movie are also taken from the typical situation of this period.

Women’s work attire through the image of actress Bette Davis in the film Fashion of 1934

Typically it is in films like Shanghai Express (1932) or Fashion of 1934 (1934). Celebrities Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis often wear shoulder-padded dresses, calf-length skirts, and waist dresses for morning scenes.

The star Marlene Dietrich in Desire (1936).

On the contrary, when night falls, the girls dressed in long dresses. There are pleats or layers of loosely wrapped fabric, or the point of a ruffling wriggle over the shoulders of a shirt or neck. If you want to find typical examples of this style, you look at Hollywood stars Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford in the Grand Hotel (1932).

Actress Jean Harlow, film Reckless (1935).

1930s: The sublimation of fashion in Hollywood movies

Since the 1930s, Hollywood cinema has been a mere form of entertainment; has gradually developed into a real manufacturing industry. Movies do not just follow modern topics anymore. Hollywood films have gradually asserted their unique position in another market share: the fashion industry.

Joan Crawford’s slanted dress in the Grand Hotel (1932).

A series of works such as Hell’s Angels (1930); Platinum Blonde (1931); Red Dust (1932) or Letty Lynton (1932) aroused the wave of ‘bias-cut’ dresses (slanting techniques). In addition, the birth of this dress pattern comes from the diagonal cutting method of the fashion house Madeleine Vionnet. Her design is described as “the flow of water flowing in the natural curve of the body”. Leading the trend of sexy cross-cutting is the most famous actresses in the 1930s and 1940s. Such as: Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Ginger Rogers, or Vivien Leigh.

Despite the difficult economic context, women share the same desire to own the lovely outfit like Hollywood stars. Costumes on film were quickly copied by retailers. Ladies can easily find a dress or furry coat in their favorite movie at the store. Of course, those copies are very attractive at a cheap price.

The rise of the US ready-made garment industry thanks to film fashion

For example, Joan Crawford’s pompous chiffon dress in Letty Lynton (1932). It was so popular that it sold more than 500,000 copies after a few months of release. If you want to save more, there is probably a mass production company called Butterick. They specialize in making models based on costumes from movies. This allows women to choose their style, then make their own clothes at home.

More than 500,000 versions of the slender, fluffy chiffon dress worn by Joan Crawford in Letty Lynton (1932) were sold out after a few months of release.

Perhaps the biggest credit must go to the Hollywood costume team because they are the ones who create fashion trends through building styles for the actresses in the movie. Resonance from the rise of the United States ready-made garment industry; Hollywood cinema officially became the center of women’s fashion.

Pragmatism has partly helped them maintain elegance and elegance during a difficult decade. Because few people are willing to pay for haute couture dresses that are as valuable as a car after the Great Depression.

Post-war world: The appearance of television

The 1930s through the 1940s were the golden age of American cinema. When the world entered World War II (1941 – 1945), the Hollywood film industry was still standing. Monopolize the global film market. However, the end of the war is also when humanity welcomes the birth of another entertainment model. It was a television. The 7th art expands into the field of multi-episode TV series with diverse genres. The work on the small screen has made a huge impact on the habit of going to the cinema of the American people.

To cope with this situation, filmmakers have changed the style of filmmaking. The comedy and emotional lines are boosted. At the same time, the director team began looking for a beautiful young cast; captivating to attract the attention of the audience.

From the Marilyn Monroe sex icon …

The 1950s gave birth to sexy cherries on the silver screen. Among them is the American actress Marilyn Monroe emerging as a sex symbol that men must go crazy. From Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) to The Seven Year Itch (1955) … Marilyn Monroe’s roles have completely changed the standard of beauty of women.

How much men fascinated Marilyn’s hourglass figure; the more the ladies want to be like her. Which are the thick lashes, sharp thin eyebrows, moles on the cheekbones or bobbing blonde hair in a scene of The Seven Year Itch (1955)?. Marilyn Monroe’s character was flipped by the “naughty” breeze as she stood on the cover of the subway drain.

At that moment, Marilyn’s ancient white-breasted cocktail dress and sexy pose became an immortal image in film and fashion history.

Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955) 

To the black dress of Audrey Hepburn

Another star who pioneered women’s wardrobes in the 1950s and 1960s was Audrey Hepburn. Most of Audrey’s costumes are designed by French fashion house Hubert de Givenchy. The founder of the brand Givenchy can be considered her “god”. He built an upscale style, attached to the image of the British star.

Audrey Hepburn’s famous black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).

Flower-beaded cup skirt with beaded flowers and removable skirt part in Sabrina (1954). Or black clothes including turtlenecks, capri pants and doll shoes in Funny Face (1957). All conquered the fashion world. In particular, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) has transformed the black dress design with streamlined cut lines into an item that every woman should have.

Audrey Hepburn, star in Sabrina (1954).

… and in Funny Face (1957).

The 1930s-1960s were forever the golden age of Hollywood

In the following decades, Hollywood continued to bring new role models. The phased fashion trends for the contemporary generation. However, the golden age of Hollywood cinema is forever remembered from 1930 to 1960. The world in those years has welcomed a series of immortal cinema legends. Their fashion mark has become an endless source of inspiration to this day.

In the 1970s, American cinema showed signs of slowing down. At the same time, anime cartoons gained a lot of attention in Asia. The word ‘anime’ comes from the English word ‘animation’, meaning animation. Anime is a term for Japanese-style animated series. Despite being classified in the cartoon category, anime is not bound by content or viewers. Unlike traditional cartoons often for children, the anime has a diverse character line and has many different topics aimed at all audiences.

Anime’s invasion of the Hollywood film industry

The late 1980s saw the long-running anime series enter the lives of Western audiences. Even in the United States, the Cartoon Network’s large amount of time is dedicated to anime. There are a few popular anime movies of the time. Including: Gundam Warriors (since 1979) and Dragon Ball Z (1989 – 1996) or Sailor Moon (1992 – 1997) …

The “legion” anime has really invaded the Hollywood film industry. At that time, anime enthusiasts gradually imitate the way they wear makeup according to their favorite cartoon characters. This formed the term “cosplay”, which was a combination of the word “costume play”, meaning costume costumes adapted from characters.

Also, from the anime, the world knows the presence of Harajuku. A street fashion group of teenagers from Fuyang. The name Harajuku was taken from a busy area of ​​Shibuya district, central Tokyo because this is the place where indigenous youth often gather. They show off their individual colors in the most colorful, weird or spooky outfits.

Anime wave in fashion today

If anime is the human world told in cartoon form, Harajuku can be seen as a world of colorful fashion coming out of anime. The younger generation of the land of cherry blossoms has created its own personal trend and rules. Needless to say, the global fan community has gone crazy. They call it “anime fashion.” Invisible, the anime has changed the way the world looks. Even top fashion houses have become interested in Japanese street fashion.

Sailor Moon image

and fashion inspiration from the image of Sailor Moon. in the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2016 show.

Create Pikachu in the Pokémon anime

at Milan Fashion Week 2018 – 2019 of the GCDS brand.

Currently, many large corporations in the field of fashion, from Prada to Chanel, from Conde Nast to MCM Worldwide, invest in documentaries about the industry. Looking back at history, it can be said that 124 years of cinema is also 124 years of movies creating fashion trends. People will continue to use film to promote trends, unless the movie has no land to live.

The 2013 Gucci Cruise collection takes the prototype of Jolyne Kujo from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean (part 6).

Jolyne Kujo from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean anime (part 6).



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