Started on the 11th April 2011 - Blogging from a 20 year old Fashion Student

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

17 Must See "Fashion" Films (Part 1/2)

I strongly believe that, as a fashion student, I am not confined to simply reading magazines and looking at images from the catwalk. Fashion is integrated with everything, music, films, poetry, art and whatever else you can think of!

So here is my list of "fashion" films. I use the term fashion loosely, because although there are some directly linked to designers etc, some are purely "inspirational" (not necessarily about Anna Wintour, although who hasn't seen The Devil Wears Prada, really?).

A satirical representation of the fashion industry and life as a model "is there anything below the surface of Polly's pretty exterior?".

I was lucky enough to find the actual film on youtube, however, if you are reading this in 2024 I would go ahead and download it straight onto your built-in google glass. Ha. 

Surreal, jam packed with motifs and symbolism which could be used to fuel a whole collection if you so wished. 
   "The story of two girls who try to understand the meaning of the world, and their life" deeeeeeeep.

"A fashion show!"

(find the film with English subtitles on Netflix)

A fashion magazine from the 1950s, and Audrey Hepburn in wedding dresses. Think "the love child of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Blow-Up & The Devil Wears Prada" with a bit of a song and dance.

An American avant-garde film, starring Edie Sedgwick. Although persistently described as not being a documentary, the film depicts Edie as a pretty close representation of herself, reminiscing.

I know everyone was obsessed with Edie, but rightly so, an innocent icon with a tragic demise. One girl at my college admired her so much she insisted on doing the classic 60s "crease" look with layers of false eyelashes (as did Edie) everyday. I couldn't cope with that! 

A tale of unrequited love, betrayal and Christina Ricci showing off her tap dancing skills. Pulp Fiction-esque, shot through a blue filter (constantly making you feel cold).

Two films by Larry Clark, although nothing to do with fashion, I am constantly inspired by Clark's raw attitude to teenagers. Two films that synonymously represent 90s street style at its most organic.

(a photocopy from one of my foundation sketchbooks, 
hence the threads to represent colour ways)

Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like this film has been severely overlooked. A biographical film about the grandmother of fashion, the woman who introduced us to androgyny and popularised Breton stripes

A biographical film about the model "Gia Carangi", Angelina Jolie at her best. Depicts Gia's struggles with breaking into the modelling industry despite her different image (something the industry would relish nowadays) and drug abuse.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013



Ursula Andress, similar to Bardot, was a siren of the sixties who was at the height of her fame when she starred in the Bond film "Dr. No" as the provocatively named Honey Ryder. 

Born: 19th March 1936
Famous for: Being a sex symbol of the 1960s (first coming to the world's attention in the James Bond film Dr. No)
Style Characteristics: Feline eye-makeup, blonde bouffant hair and a sexy selection of swimsuits, minidresses and leopard print.

Early Life
In the 1950s, Ursula Andress was still trying to "make it big" in Hollywood. Although she hadn't blossomed into the sex symbol image she is famed for now, she was, at that time an innocently beautiful girl. This interested the tabloids and pictures emerged of Andress with the young movie star James Dean. It was said that the icon became involved with the 19 year old actress shortly before his death in 1955. This set her up to follow in his footsteps of becoming a similarly iconic film star, however, like all other icons, Ursula needed to make an entrance that would grab the attention of audiences across the world... 

Dr. No
...What better entrance than to be shown in a skimpy bikini emerging from the water, the first of many bond girls.

Andress is truly one of the most iconic Bond girls and although there are many - (it is an iconic franchise in itself), she was referenced in "Die Another Day" as Halle Berry wore a modernised version of the bikini. It was complete with a large buckled belt which suggests that, while a very minuscule detail, the women are ready to take on the world with their leading male.

Fun in Acapulco
The year following Dr. No, Andress starred in a musical alongside Elvis. Her beauty and screen presence had previously been shown off to an international audience with the release of the first Bond film and so now she was introduced to working with other "movie stars". 
   Fun in Acapulco, as is said of many of Elvis' other films, wasn't the epitome of 60s cinematography. However, it was considered to be a fun family musical, slightly tongue in cheek - and it continued to elevate both Elvis and Ursula as household names. 

Ursula, The Icon
I suppose Ursula could be likened to Brigitte Bardot and Sharon Tate in the sense that all three were considered sex symbols, were naturally gorgeous and had an effortless sense of style (or perhaps they're all so gorgeous they got away with wearing anything!). 
   Nevertheless, popular styles of the 60s and early 70s (when Andress was at her most famous) shone through in her wardrobe. Simple/chic mini dresses, leopard print, pleated trousers. All this paired with the blonde bouffant and feline eyes - it's like Sharon, Brigitte and Ursula got together and wrote a recipe for sex kitten success.
 Comparison: Ursula Andress (left) and Brigitte Bardot (right) 
wearing "cigarette" leg trousers.

Comparison: Ursula Andress (left) and Sharon Tate (right) both in animal print coats. Sharon's was designed by famous designer of the 60s/70s, Ossie Clark.

Comparison: (left-right) Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot and Sharon Tate all sporting mini dresses - the recipe for 60s sex kitten iconography.

Other "looks" worn by Ursula: (left-right) a dress with a plunging neckline and jewelled bra showing underneath; a royal blue mini dress with quite a "boxy" structure to it; lastly, pictured wearing a wide-brimmed hat, flared trousers and buckled shoes - we begin to see her 70s style emerging.

Ursula Andress certainly didn't shy away from her "sex symbol" label, both on and off screen. She was continually offered roles that would depict her as an innocent screen siren; had famous affairs with actors and directors; and even recently, was pictured at her 70th birthday on a yacht surrounded by adoring fans. 

She grew into the movie star accolade all too well, divulging the public with the lifestyle everyone imagines and aspires to when they think of the 60s.

Get the look: an Ursula Andress make-up tutorial.


Next post coming soon: 
"Must See "Fashion" Films"!