From Audrey Hepburn's Givenchy LBD, to Faye Dunaway's runaway wardrobe and Rita Hayworth's Gilda moment, come and see the most iconic style statements to grace the big screen...
Words by Kat Lister
1. Audrey Hepburn In Breakfast at Tiffany’s
So iconic it has a Wikipedia page all of its own. From the moment Audrey stepped out of a yellow taxi cab and stared whimsically into Tiffany & Co’s window in this gorgeous Givenchy creation, our love affair with the LBD began. Audrey and Givenchy met and collaborated on the set of Sabrina in 1954, and a life-long professional and personal partnership was ignited. ‘It was a kind of marriage’, Givenchy would later tell the Telegraph. There was nothing ‘little’ about this LBD – it set a new style standard in Hollywood in direct opposition to Dior’s ‘new look’. A modern icon was born.
2. Marilyn Monroe In The Misfits
Whilst it’s tempting to go with Marilyn’s floaty white halterneck dress made famous in The Seven Year Itch, we’re going to defy convention and opt for an iconic look that doesn’t always top the style polls. Monroe was one of the first Hollywood stars to rock a pair of jeans on screen – and not just any jeans for that matter: Levi’s. As ‘mom’ jeans inundate the high street this year, let’s remember who first styled this high waisted, straight cut denim with a classic white shirt tucked in. Monroe will always be the original blue jean icon.
3. Diane Keaton In Annie Hall
The tailored style sported by Diane Keaton in this 1977 classic sparked a huge trend for androgynous clothing. We’re still copying Annie’s outfits nearly 40 years later – and for good reason. Waistcoats, high-waisted trousers, flamboyant ties and bowler hats. Diane pulled off these outfits on screen because they were exactly what she was wearing in real life too. She wrote in her book, Then Again: ‘I stole what I wanted to wear from the cool-looking women on the streets of SoHo. Annie’s khaki pants, vest, and tie came from them.’
4. Sean Young In Blade Runner
Everything about Sean Young’s style in Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction classic reimagines 1940s film noir for a new audience. Against a backdrop of dystopian Los Angeles, it’s a thrilling juxtaposiiton that gets us swooning every time we watch her. Where to start? With her incredible rolled fringe (a la Bettie Page), Lauren Bacall inspired shoulder pads and that full length fur coat. We’ve got the biggest girl crush on Rachael – no wonder she steals Harrison Ford’s heart.
5. Mia Farrow In The Great Gatsby
There’s a translucency to Mia Farrow’s ethereal wardrobe in 1974’s The Great Gatsby that perfectly captures the elusive spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Masterminded by Theoni V. Aldredge, with a little help from Ralph Lauren, each costume evokes a dreamlike quality that still renders this Jazz Age film timeless. The critics agreed. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Costume Design.
6. Keira Knightley In Atonement
Keira’s gorgeous emerald silk gown is the stuff that 1930s dreams are made of. Designed by Jacqueline Durran, this stunner has since been voted the best film costume of all time. It’s not hard to see why. The gorgeous fabric, the impeccable cut and that library scene make it our favourite, too.
7. Vivien Leigh In Gone With The Wind
The incredibly ornate, full-length, hoop-skirted costumes worn by Vivien in the 1939 epic have become iconic in their own right – and are just as overstated as her character, Scarlett. Costume designer, Walter Plunkett, also styled Singin’ In The Rain and An American In Paris. After he was hired for Gone With The Wind, he went straight to Georgia to research designs. Despite pressures both off and on set, he designed over 5,000 separate items of clothing for more than 50 major characters and 100 extras.
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8. Rita Hayworth In Gilda
There’s a reason why Jessica Rabbit styled herself after Gilda. Rita’s striptease performance in this dazzling black dress turned her into one of the most glamorous film stars of all time. Rita owed it all to costume designer, Jean Louis, who created many iconic dresses including the dazzing, glittery number worn by Marilyn Monroe when she sang ‘Happy Birthday, Mr. President’ to John F. Kennedy in 1962.
9. Grace Kelly In Rear Window
Grace’s full skirts and pearls were the epitome of regal elegance. They definitely enjoyed swishing across James Stewart’s living room, masterminded by legandary costume designer, Edith Head. Edith and Grace reportedly worked closely together to create the costumes for Hitchcock’s classic thriller. Her black velvet and white tulle dress would become one of Edith’s finest creations.
10. Madonna In Desperately Seeking Susan
Arriving right on cue in 1985, Madonna’s wacky thrift store look became the signature style of the 80s after this movie was released. It is reported that Madonna got the job as much for her own personal style than her acting skills at the time. The film’s clothes continues what Madonna’s 1984 video for Like A Virgin started: layered mesh tops, religious jewellery, cut-off gloves, bangles, leather jackets and ripped tights soon defined the 1980s.
11. Sharon Stone In Basic Instinct
Sharon’s white sheath dress turned her into the ultimate icy blonde baddie. We won’t mention the underwear situation. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick sketched this ensemble herself, keeping things clean and striking. In doing so she created a femme fatale for a modern audience.
12. Faye Dunaway In Bonnie And Clyde
Faye Dunaway’s depression-era wardrobe of berets, belted coats and fine knits simply oozes sex appeal. Costume designer, Theadora Van Runkle, masterminded the look. Evoking the spirit of the 1930s with the clean lines of the 1960s, Dunaway’s fabulous neck-ties and body skimming midi skirts still inspire the catwalk today.
13. Kate Hudson In Almost Famous
Penny Lane’s 1970s-inspired wardrobe made groupie (ahem, sorry – we mean band aid) chic the ultimate look to emulate. What’s not to marvel about Almost Famous’ outfits? Aviators, Mexican style blouses, SUEDE, flared denim and kimonos. We’re still lusting after that suede, shearling coat and as the 1970s refuses to loosen its grip on the catwalk, it’s no.1 on our Christmas list.
14. Gwyneth Paltrow In The Royal Tenenbaums
Who hasn’t dressed as Margot for Halloween? Gwyneth made fur coats and military-sleek bobs de rigueur after her 2001 turn as Margot Tenenbaum. Wes Anderson’s vision is still our fave look. According to the film’s costume designer, Karen Patch, Margot’s style was inspired by Peter Sellers’ film The World of Henry Orient. When she sketched a mink coat design and sent it to Fendi, they obliged. Bass loafers and a Hermes bag completed a look we are still desperate to emulate (minus the chain-smoking, naturally).