Month of Movies: I Am Love and Fashion on Film
There are films with style. There are films about style. And, every so often, one has both. Oscar nominated for costume design, I Am Love is steeped in fashion. It’s the story of an Italian family who made their fortune in the industry. Behind the scenes, the design houses of Jil Sander and Fendi dress its stars. It joins a long list of film collaborations between directors and fashion designers.
Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures
Love stars Oscar winner/fashion muse Tilda Swinton -- an English actress playing a Russian woman speaking almost entirely in Italian (she learned both languages for the part…um, where’s the Oscar nom?). Costume designer Antonella Cannarozzi worked with Jil Sander’s Raf Simons to create Swinton’s entire wardrobe. As her character evolves, so do the clothes, from jewel tones to vibrant corals to muted neutrals. And don’t even get me started on the jewelry.
The film’s fashion pedigree goes beyond the script. Style icon Marisa Berenson (granddaughter of couturier Elsa Schiaparelli) plays Swinton’s mother-in-law and producer Silvia Venturini Fendi gave us the famed baguette bag.
From films about fashion to those where clothing stole the show, a week’s worth of director/designer collaborations:
Fashion editor Kay Thompson tells women to banish black and “Think Pink,” but Hepburn’s black and white wardrobe -- from Givenchy gowns to Edith Head turtlenecks and cig pants is perfection.
Everyone’s talking about Baz Luhrman’s upcoming 3-D Gatsby, but I adore Ralph Lauren’s designs for the ‘74 version. (FYI, Lauren also helped create Diane Keaton’s Annie Hall ensembles.)
If I could choose films to shop from, this would be one of them. Yves Saint Laurent’s wardrobe for Catherine Deneuve is timeless.
In dark and magical City, Jean Paul Gaultier takes French classics -- mariner stripes, berets, boatneck sweaters -- and gives them a twist. Love the look of Jeunet’s Amélie, but his collaboration with Gaultier in City is awesome.
Watch Coppola’s fashion montage set to Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy.” Look closely, between period shoes designed by Manolo Blahnik, and you’ll spot a pair of Chuck Taylors. Brilliant.
High school in LA in the 90s -- I wasn’t wearing Alaia and didn’t go to Beverly (though my mom did), but my prom dress totally looked like Cher’s white Calvin Klein sheath with the sheer coat.
I grew up in the film business but some of my best friends families were in the schmatta business -- making clothes. This incredible doc looks at the disappearing US clothing industry. Watch it, then go out and support local designers!
Tell me, what film fashion moments inspired you?
(P.S. If you’re in the LA area, costumes from this year’s top films are on display at the FIDM Museum now.)