Fashion and cinema have always been interconnected over the decades. It’s no secret that costume design is an important part of filmmaking. A well-designed costume can bring characters to life, transport the viewer to another time or place, and most importantly lend integrity to a director’s creative vision. Additionally, well-executed costumes can have a huge impact on how a movie looks. Take Breakfast at Tiffany’sfor example: despite being filmed in the 60s, the costumes remain timeless and modern and still as fashionable as ever, and undoubtedly cemented the film’s reputation as a Hollywood romantic classic.
Over the years, several top fashion designers have lent their creativity to film, from French couturiers to high-end shoe designers. In some cases, costume design launched their American careers, and some were already established designers before making the leap to filmmaking. In any case, these artists have definitely marked Hollywood. From Jean Paul Gaultier’s futuristic cuisine to Miuccia Prada’s reimagining of a Shakespearean classic to Paco Rabanne’s otherworldly wonders, the creativity of these designers knows no bounds. To commemorate these top designers and their incredible contribution to cinematic history, we’ve put together a list of nine groundbreaking films and the famous fashion designers who brought the costumes to life. Here are nine fashion designers who have created costumes for movies.
9 Jean Paul Gaultier – The Fifth Element
Whereas jean paul Gaultier collaborated on several films throughout his career, the most notable being Luc Besson’s 1997 sci-fi thriller The fifth Element. Not only has the film itself become cult, but so have Gaultier’s innovative costumes. Tasked with designing the costumes for the four main characters, Gaultier exceeded expectations when he designed over 1,000 costumes for the film, paying attention to the main cast and extras. His work on the film won him a second César for best costume. If you want to relive the fashion extravaganza, you can see the film in theaters this year for its 25th anniversary.
8 Hubert de Givenchy – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is based on a short story of the same name by Truman Capote, which follows the life of elegant but fickle socialite Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) as she falls in love with her neighbor and struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard). Although the movie itself is a classic, there’s no denying that it gets most of its notoriety from its chic and feminine fashion. Key elements of Hepburn’s wardrobe in the film were designed by Hepburn’s friend and Parisian fashion designer Hubert de Givenchyincluding the long black evening dress in the film’s opening sequence which is widely considered to be one of the most iconic fashion pieces in history.
seven Tom Ford – Specter
Aspiring author and fashion designer Tom Ford collaborated with costume designer Jany Temime on the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Spectrum, in which Daniel Craig’s Bond reveals the existence of an underground criminal organization called Spectre. Temime discussed his partnership with Ford in a 2015 interview with Squirestating, “It’s very good for me because I can design whatever I want and he just does what I like. Because he’s a director himself, he respects the role of the costume designer a lot.”
6 Giorgio Armani – American Gigolo
Giorgio ArmaniFilm’s love affair began with designing Paul Schrader’s 1980 film wardrobe american gigolo. The film’s main protagonist, Julian Kaye, embodied the spirit of an Armani man, and the film’s influence would go on to help launch Armani’s career in America. The famed designer would continue to work in film throughout his career and would go on to design costumes for the 1980s television series. miami viceand movies like The Incorruptibles, The bodyguard, The wolf of Wall Street, and inglorious bastards, to name a few. The film recently inspired a TV series remake on Showtime, also called american gigolowith Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye.
5 Paco Rabanne – Barbarella
Designate Paco Rabanne was one of the co-creators of the 1960s space age fashion movement. Who better to design the costumes for Barbarelle, which follows a futuristic astronaut on a mission to save the galaxy from evildoers. Rabanne’s inventive costumes, including skin-tight jumpsuits, chainmail mini-dresses and metallic boots, have become as iconic as the film itself.
4 Miuccia Prada – Romeo and Juliet
Miuccia Prada collaborated with director Baz Luhrmann on several of his films including Romeo and Juliet, Gatsby the magnificent, and Luhrmann’s latest film Elvis. Prada, the creative director behind Miu Mui and Prada, first worked with Luhrmann in Romeo and Juliet design Juliet’s signature white dress and angel wings, and Romeo’s navy blue wedding suit. On their second collaboration for Gatsby the magnificent, Prada revamped 40 dresses from its archives to feature in the film and recreated a dress from their Spring/Summer 2010 collection to feature on star Carey Mulligan. The infamous pair teamed up again recently for Elvis to recreate the iconic King of Rock n’ Roll costumes.
3 Christian Dior – Stage fright
Christian Dior took advantage of his friendship with Stage fright leading lady Marlene Dietrich, who insisted that director Alfred Hitchcock hire Dior to outfit her for the film with the famous words “No Dior. No Dietrich!”. With that, Dior would continue to dress the German-American actress in its popular “new look” silhouette which featured nipped-in waists and flared-skirted dresses.
2 Coco Chanel – Last Year in Marienbad
famous designer Coco Chanel has a long history of involvement in film. According vanity lounge, film mogul Samuel Goldwyn of United Artists believed that “women went to the movies to see how other women dressed”, and so in 1931 he offered Chanel a whopping million-dollar contract to outfit his Hollywood starlets, both on and off screen, convinced she would bring class back to Hollywood. In 1961, she resumed the role of costume designer for the film Last year in Marienbadwhich features gorgeous dresses made from luxurious fabrics such as chiffon, tulle and lace, with its signature bead detailing of course.
1 Manolo Blahnik – Marie Antoinette
The name Manolo Blahnik stands for high fashion footwear. While the well-established designer designed shoes for big names such as Twiggy and Bianca Jagger in the 70s, Blahnik’s popularity grew in the 90s due to the increased visibility of popular television series. absolutely fabulous and sex and the city. In 2006, Blahnik will lend his creative forces to Sofia Coppola’s visual masterpiece Marie Antoinette. The veteran designer’s stunning period shoes paired beautifully with Oscar-winning costumes by Italian costume designer Milena Canonero.