25 Feb 2018
2 min read
With the 90th Academy Awards in the near horizon, it’s time to sit back, relax and immerse yourself in a world where fashion and cinematic art converge. From the legendary Miss Chanel to the ‘unofficial mayoress’ of New York City (guess who?), here’s your definitive list of the most fashionable movies to watch, primetime.
The Devil Wears Prada
The film adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling novel about life as Anna Wintour’s assistant at Vogue may not go down as a classic, but it’s a whole lot of fun and probably your only source to knowing what it’s like at the bottom of the fashion food-chain. In The Devil Wears Prada, a very naïve Andrea Sachs (Anna Hathaway) has the job ‘a million girls would die for.’ She assists the iconic, not to forget, ruthless Wintour-like magazine editor, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Even though Andrea gets loads of free designer goodies and gets to travel all the way to Paris, Miranda, literally, puts her through hell. Guess the industry isn’t so fab after all.
Fact File: With at least USD one million worth of clothing used in the film, The Devil Wears Prada is one of the most expensively costumed movies in cinema history. The single priciest item was a USD 100,000 Fred Leighton necklace worn by Streep.
The September Issue
Curious about what the single most important figure in the USD 300 billion global fashion industry is like? Thanks to The September Issue, you get an exclusive insider access to know what makes the real Anna Wintour tick and get a chance to see her up close and personal. The flick follows the Vogue staff as they put together the year’s biggest (a whopping 5 pounds in weight and 840 pages in length) and most important issue. Although many well-known fashion names (Vera Wang, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton, etc.) make their appearances, it’s creative director Grace Coddington, whose quixotic aesthetic often clashes with Wintour’s bottom-line sensibilities, who ultimately steals the show.
Fact File: Due to the popularity of the film, the September 2007 issue of Vogue that was documented in the film has peaked to prices of between USD 80 and USD 115 on eBay, making it one of the most sought-after Vogue magazines ever.
Valentino: The Last Emperor
If the Devil in Prada convinced you to believe that everyone in fashion is nothing but hateful narcissists, Valentino is your antidote to that. The documentary follows the life of one of Italy’s greatest fashion designers as he prepares for the 2007 show that serves as a tribute to his fantabulous fashion career that spans almost five decades, capturing the end of an era in global fashion. But the famed designer is obviously not going down quietly. As all finales end grand, the movie is full of footage from his professional swan song: a lavish couture runway show with a mega celebrity bash. Apart from all that glitz and glamour, at the heart of the film is a love story, a unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.
A Single Man
The saviour of Gucci’s directorial debut was sure to become one of the most stylish films of the era (from Firth’s oversized retro glasses to Moore’s classy monochrome house dresses). But apart from all the beautiful outfits and the impeccable art direction, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood, sees Firth play George Falconer, a middle-aged English college professor, who is struggling to find meaning in his life after the death of his longtime partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). He’s so distraught with the heartbreak that he’s decided to kill himself, and proceeds to get all his affairs in order while carrying on with what would otherwise be a normal day. But throughout these methodological preparations, George keeps running into people—a colleague’s daughter, an attractive hustler—who offer him glimpses as to why he should stay alive. There is no question that A Single Man is an exquisite film and an enviable filmmaking debut.
Coco Avant Chanel
From being the only person in the courtier field to be named on ‘Time 100: The Most Important People Of The Century’ to establishing what probably is the one of today’s most successful luxury labels, Coco Chanel reigns as one of fashion’s all-time most fascinating figures. So, it makes perfect sense that there have been tons of movies made about her. Our pick is the recent French flick Coco Avant Chanel, which depicts the designer’s early beginnings as a poor lounge singer and seamstress who sleeps her way into high society, before meeting the man and finding the career she loved. Audrey Tatou stars as the young Gabrielle Chanel, who begins her life as a headstrong orphan, and through an extraordinary journey becomes the legendary courtier who embodied the modern woman and became a timeless symbol of success, freedom and style.
Finally, ever wondered why so many Italian movies of the late ’60s were so obsessed with the fashion industry and the models who populated it? The answer lies in Michelangelo Antonioni and his 1966 masterpiece Blow-Up. The renowned filmmaker’s first English language debut follows a hip hedonist British photographer who discovers hidden clues in some harmless pictures he has snapped. Perhaps there’s been a murder! Yet Blow-Up isn’t a crime drama or a mystery thriller. It’s actually a portrait of youthful dissatisfaction and a snapshot of London in the 1960s. Just watch it to understand it.