The Top 5 Stylish Italian Films

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • From La Dolce Vita to La Grande Bellezza, we've compiled a list of Italy's most stylish films.

    Italian cinema is synonymous with style, with the black and white films of its sixties heyday defining the fashion of the era. To celebrate this month’s fifth annual Cinema Made in Italy Festival, we’ve put together a few of our favourite stylish films from La Bella Italia.

    La Dolce Vita

    (The Sweet Life)

    This Frederico Felliniclassic is arguably one of the greatest pieces of cinema, and undoubtedly oneof the most stylish films of all time. La Dolce Vita won the 1962 Oscars for Best Director and Black-and-White Costume Design. The classic wardrobe,designed by Piero Gherardi, includes the iconic gravity-defying black straplessdress that the voluptuous Anita Ekberg famously dons for a dip in Rome’s Trevi Fountain.


    La Grande Bellezza

    (The Great Beauty)

    Paolo Sorrentino’sbrilliant 2013 film about writer Jep Gambardella and the upper echelons of Roman society is an aesthetic feast. Every scene in this Oscar winning film is beautifully set, portraying Rome in all its modern and ancient glory. Daniela Ciancio’s costume design frames Jep as every inch the Neapolitan gentleman in Rome, with sharply tailored suits and summery colourful jackets. The rooftop party scene is a particular highlight, with a multitude of extravagant outfits outshone only by even more extravagant behaviour.

    Cinema Paradiso

    (Paradise Cinema)

    The 1988 classic film by Giuseppe Tornatoreis a beautiful portrait of Sicilian village life, following the cheeky young Salvatore and his heartwarming friendship with the grumpy projectionist, Alfredo. The cinema is at the centre of the community and the glamour of golden-era movies comes through in every element of this Oscar-winner. What’s more, the picturesque Sicilian village and quirky villagers could be lifted from the page of a D&G campaign.

    Otto e Mezzo

    (8 ½)

    Another Oscar-winning masterpiece from the dream team of Fellini and Gherardi, 8 ½ is a surreal semi-autobiographical insight into the life, relationships and dreams of Guido Anselmi, a director suffering from ‘director’s-block’. The black-and-white cinematography perfectly captures the dramatic qualities of monochrome fashion, with female characters outshining the sleekly dressed men, with extravagant and elegant outfits.

    La Notte

    (The Night)

    The second part of Michelangelo Antonioni’s trilogy, following L’Avventura and preceding L’Eclisse, encapsulates a day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship. Set in Milan, La Notte oozes glamour, mainly down to the seductively smouldering Monica Vitti. Antonioni’s muse wears an LBD with purpose, has a perfect cat eye flick, and a classic sixties bob.


    Cinema Made in Italy is on at Ciné Lumière, London until the 9th of March; tickets £10-£12.


    Reading now