There never seems to be enough time to catch up on all the new shows, films, and series you’ve been meaning to watch. And while the desire for something new and stimulating is natural, so too is the desire for something familiar and comforting. Making a pretty convincing case for the latter are the iconic fashion movies that you've likely seen a dozen or more times, yet always manage to leave you feeling giddy and inspired, even just ephemerally, in the style department. There's just something about a nostalgic sartorial movie like Clueless, The Devil Wears Prada, and Breakfast At Tiffany's that tugs at the hand-stitched fashion heart strings and manages to soften your life lens a bit — even if it's just for a brief moment.
Seeing Cher Horowitz strut down her high school hallway in her iconic bright yellow plaid skirt suit might take you back to your first fashion experiences, when a matching co-ord skirt set was the coolest thing you'd ever seen. Or maybe, you're craving some time in the presence of one Miranda Priestly, whose icy, dismissive tone is terrifying and exhilarating all at once. Perhaps your idea of a great fashion film is found further down memory lane, featuring Audrey Hepburn in a LBD and a tiny tiara eating a croissant in front of Tiffany's.
Whatever movies about fashion spark your interests and help you escape for an afternoon or evening, now's the time to indulge in them. To help you get inspired, here are 15 fashion films that'll make for the perfect mental escape when you need it.
Fashion Movies: Clueless
Rich, pretty, and popular, Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen of her Beverly Hills high school. Everything falls beneath her purview, including the frumpy, tragic teen transfer student who Cher takes under her wing out of kindness (and pity). Featuring '90s fashion at its finest, this modern version of Jane Austen's Emma will renew your love for platform sandals and plaid mini skirts.
Fashion Movies: Breakfast At Tiffany's
On the hunt for a rich, older man to benefact her life, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), an eccentric New York City playgirl, accidentally thwarts her own plans by falling in love with a struggling writer who moves into her apartment. Arguably Hepburn's most iconic film, this ‘60s classic is a must for the fashion set.
Fashion Movies: The Devil Wears Prada
Freshly graduated Andy (Anne Hathaway) moves to New York City in hopes of making her start in journalism and desperately takes the first job she lands as an assistant at the prestigious fashion magazine Runway. There, she’s unwillingly thrust into the cutthroat world of editorial fashion and her ruthless editor, Miranda Priestly. No one can deny the appeal of this now cult-classic that features Meryl Streep as the formidable and genius editor-in-chief.
Fashion Movies: Confessions Of A Shopaholic
Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is drowning in debt from her love of shopping. So when she becomes an overnight success as an advice columnist for a financial magazine, all of her money problems are seemingly solved, but everything else in her life falls to pieces. While a cautionary tale of how an irresponsible love of fashion can sometimes lead to financial ruin, the looks in this fun film are a must-watch.
Fashion Movies: The September Issue
The only documentary film on this fashion movie list, The September Issue follows Vogue editor Anna Wintour as she prepares for the September 2007 edition, which weighs in at a record 840 pages and is arguably the magazine's most important issue. Throughout the film, you see the inner workings of one of the most influential magazines in the world, and, yes, lots and lots of fashion.
Fashion Movies: Crazy Rich Asians
Based on the bestselling book by Kevin Kwan, this movie follows Chinese-American professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she meets her uber-wealthy boyfriend’s conservative family in Singapore for the first time. Despite being a fairly recent release, Crazy Rich Asians' mark on the fashion industry has been solidified with the epic makeover montage featuring Awkwafina and Wu alone — although the fashion throughout the entire movie is to die for, too.
Fashion Movies: Sex And The City
Four years after where the Sex and the City series ended, successful sex and relationships author and all-around fashion-obsessed icon Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her best friends, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, continue to navigate the newfound pressures of their New York City lives. If you take the most fashionable show of the ‘90s and early ‘00s and transform it into a film, it becomes this 2008 dream complete with Vivienne Westwood wedding dresses, Louis Vuitton purses, and, of course, fabulous footwear — one pair of Manolo Blahniks, in particular.
Fashion Movies: Coco Before Chanel
Originally released in France in 2009, this tale of a young pre-fame Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou) is a must for fashion historians. It follows as Coco transforms her life as a seamstress and cabaret dancer, with the help of a wealthy lover, into one where she controls the narrative: a career filled with elegant Parisian haute couture and revolutionary women’s fashion.
Fashion Movies: Yves Saint Laurent
Another one for the style anthropologist, this biographical film on Yves Saint Laurent highlights his time as the head of design at the House of Dior and his spring collection of 1958, which saved the house from financial ruin. Beginning as a young fashion assistant, Laurent is thrust into the upper echelons of the haute couture elites upon the untimely death of Christian Dior.
Fashion Movies: The Great Gatsby
You can't have a fashion film list without this roaring '20s classic that serves as an ode to the eccentric flapper style. Based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, the film follows as the young bond salesman and wannabe writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) rents a small house next door to mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and is thus thrown into a world of extravagant wealth, unruly parties, long-lost love, impossible dreams, deceit, and tragedy.
Fashion Movies: A Single Man
Directed by fashion powerhouse Tom Ford, this movie tells the tale of an English professor who, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles. Ford's directorial film debut is definitely worth a watch, given that it's filled with the designer's signature style, especially when his muse Julianne Moore steps on screen.
Fashion Movies: Pretty Woman
This rags-to-riches love story is a modern update to Cinderella, except this time the heroine is a sex worker and the prince is a wealthy, heartless businessman. If you're in the mood for an early ‘90s rom-com and a solid makeover sequence, this Julia Roberts classic is a non-negotiable.
Fashion Movies: Marie Antoinette
Starring Kirsten Dunst in the titular role, Marie Antoinette follows as the Austrian teen marries into the French royal family, becomes the country's queen following the death of King Louis XV in 1774, and lives a life of immense luxury that ultimately leads to her beheading during the French Revolution. This highly stylized version of the ill-fated tale by Sofia Coppola is a feast for the eyes. The extravagant costumes and set design seem to get increasingly dreamy with every scene.
Fashion Movies: Almost Famous
A massive music fan, 15-year-old William gets a gig as a journalist writing for Rolling Stone in 1973. In trying to get his first cover story published, he hits the road and tours with the up-and-coming rock band Stillwater in this coming-of-age story. Watching Kate Hudson romp around in classic '70s rocker garb is perfect for those needing a little style pick-me-up.
Fashion Movies: Romy And Michele's High School Reunion
Upon getting invited to their ten year high school reunion, best friends Romy (Mira Sorvino) and Michele (Lisa Kudrow) decide they need to reinvent themselves in order to impress their old classmates. Although typically hailed as a campy comedic work of art, this film is also known for its perfect pastel ensembles and encapsulation of ‘90’s fashion.
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