Fashioned-themed classics in Hollywood usually range from period epics to contemporary dramas. In these cinematic offerings, actors usually play characters as fashion figures such as models, photographers, and designers. Some of these works impressively showcase a distinctive visual flair, which often gets the attention of award-giving bodies including the Academy Awards.
“Funny Face” (1957)
The romantic musical “Funny Face” follows the love story of a fashion photographer who successfully discovers a promising new face for a magazine campaign. This fashion professional convinces a young bookish store clerk to model for him by opening the idea that she can finally go to Paris to meet the famous philosopher and professor she looks up to. Director Stanley Donen successfully capitalizes on spectacular dancing, entertaining songs, and elegant appearances to showcase a light and escapist piece for the general audience to enjoy.
Audrey Hepburn’s fashionable turn from a girl-next-door to the hottest fashion icon eventually became an influential image in the fashion industry. Her character for the film became a limited edition Barbie design for 2008 Barbie conventioneers. She also inspired the 2011 music video “Countdown” by Beyonce. Gap used an excerpt of a dance number from the movie in one of its 2006 commercials. This audio-visual delight received four Oscar nominations including Best Original Story and Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Set Decoration.
“Devil Wears Prada” (2006)
Based on Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling book and her real-life experiences in the fashion world, “The Devil Wears Prada” follows a naive fresh graduate’s unexpected entry-level job in a fashion magazine to make ends meet. Set in New York, it tells the story of a put-upon personal assistant working for one of the most famous fashion editors of the era. The narrative unfolds like a witty exposé of the city’s fashion scene in the midst of people who live, breathe, and think fashion.
This screen adaptation by David Frankel shows how a simple journalist wannabe blooms into a trendy and elegant woman seen in the industry’s most sophisticated fashion meetings and events. She deals with everything fashion-savvy, while also consistently dealing with the ultimate diva behavior of her ruthless and merciless boss. Fashion enthusiasts can feast on the seemingly endless supply of branded clothes and accessories featured throughout the film. The production’s visually impeccable outfits earned the picture an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. It also received a nomination for the Best Actress Award for Meryl Streep.
“Coco Before Chanel” (2009)
“Coco Before Chanel” is a romantic drama about the legendary French fashion designer Coco Chanel. This biopic by Anne Fontaine presents a girl’s obscure beginnings inside an orphanage, a young adult’s work as a singer and seamstress for club performers, and a talented woman’s eventual rise to fame in the realm of fashion. It focuses on the development of Chanel’s revolutionary style, which helped introduce more relaxed and comfortable clothes for women during a time when fashion dictates them to wear stiff Edwardian dresses.
This intriguing tale focuses on the French ingénue’s roots and her contribution to fashion both as an art form and industry. It is also notable to see how its main star Audrey Tautou is shown in equal footing with the costumes showcased in the story. This rightfully led to the film’s nomination for Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards. It also received several accolades in film festivals and other renowned award-giving bodies.