As the mercury finally drops in London, we thought it might be nice to focus on how we could get our fashion fix in a more indoor way. Below we’ve rounded up our favourite winter fashion films that should help get us through the cold weeks ahead.**
**Please note not all the films below feature winter fashions. Some of us are clearly in denial.
Rebecca // ‘The Pink Panther’, 1963
This has everything – Capucine in a reversible coat and turban, and a series of dreamy nightwear. Claudia Cardinale in skiwear, beaded cocktail dress and pink and gold sari. Both are dressed by Yves Saint Laurent – and every outfit is lovely. As if that wasn’t enough, there is more amazing winter knitwear than I have ever seen, a jewellery heist, plus, David Niven, Robert Wagner and Peter Sellers. Really it is just fantastic, I have loved it since I saw it on TV as a child and it is a major influence.
Liz // ‘The Pink Panther’, 1963
My favourite film for winter fashions is that memorable scene from Blake Edward’s The Pink Panther (1963), when Fran Jeffries – with dark hair piled high on top of her head, and scarlet red fingernails – sings and dances to the Italian song “Meglio Statsera” inside a crowded chalet in Cortina d’Ampezzo, watched by the likes of Claudia Cardinale, David Niven, Robert Wagner and Capucine. The epitome of apres-ski chic, she models a red, black and silver-beaded turtleneck jumper, worn with close-fitting black trousers that frame her fabulous figure as she elegantly moves across the room, captivating her audience.
Alexis // ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’, 1944
This musical is composed of four sections, one for each season, with clothing corresponding to each. Although set in 1903, hair and dress styles evoke its 1940s creation; and instead of blending into one harmonious picture, costumes stand out and play active roles in the story. The film is well underway by winter, and for the climactic dance scene sisters Esther and Rose wear red and green dresses, complementing one another and forming a perfect Christmas palette.
Aude // ‘Barry Lyndon’, 1975
Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975) for the sheer scope of it (hairdos included) and Marisa Berenson’s pensive moments.
Carolina // ‘Love Actually’, 2003
I recently re-watched Love Actually not only because it is a tradition to watch it with a mug of hot chocolate and a close friend every year, but also quite simply because in my humble opinion it is the best holiday film of all time. Costume plays an interesting role in the movie, marking important plot points and conveying key character traits. Most importantly however, it showcases the best or worst – depending how you feel – of late 90s / early 00s fashion. Favourite costumes include Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) wedding dress, a wonderful number complete with small feathers around the neck and nearly-see-through lace (I’m nostalgic regarding for the 90s but think we’re all glad wedding dresses have evolved since). In addition to Billy Mack’s (Bill Nighy) general rock star–gone–broke–and–pathetic costumes such as his horrendously loud Hawaiian shirts and distressed white denim suit. While last but not least, Natalie’s (Martine McCutcheon) nephew’s extremely obtrusive papier mache Octopus costume which manages to almost thwart the Prime Minister’s (Hugh Grant) attempts to win her over, never fails to make me laugh. The awkwardness it inspires whilst showcasing the best of mum’s home costume making is priceless.
Giovanna // ‘La Grande Belleza’, 2013
Though this film does not strictly showcase winter fashions, the costumes, which have been nominated for countless awards are nonetheless beautiful. The reason I love this film is because of the attention to detail paid to the sartorial elegance of the main character Jep Gambardella. Played by Toni Servillo, Jep is a former author who has spent the past years throwing fabulous parties for Rome’s social elite. He is styled according to costume designer Daniela Ciancio as, “an old-fashioned man alive today” surrounded by “a world that has lost a certain elegance”. Such a description is fitting as Jep is dressed in a range of immaculately cut Neapolitan suits, which feature colourful jackets and pocket squares. If Italian menswear is not for you, fear not as there are many a fabulous cape and turban in this beautifully shot award-winning film.
Eleanor // Bridget Jones’ Diary, 2001
The film counts its major transitions in Christmases so we are treated to some spectacular themed jumpers, cocktail dresses and flannel pyjamas, but Bridget’s finale run-through-the-snow is clearly the key fashion moment for the film. The sensory camaraderie in the scene between Bridget and the viewer is a glory, and revolves around the ridiculousness of her outfit. A triumph of incongruity and early oughties underwear, Bridget is caught out when she needs to go out, and retrieve the love of my her life Colin Firth. Knickers with a racy tiger print in a sensible ‘brief’ cut and a periwinkle cotton camisole won’t cut it in the snow and Bridget gives in to the indignity of forcing already snowy feet, bare, into pre-laced trainers and throwing on a grey cardigan that doesn’t quite cover her unmentionables. With Diana Ross belting in the background we share in Bridget’s embarrassment, and rapidly freezing thighs until the sentiment of the final moments when we’re finally wrapped up in Colin Firth’s smartly cut, black wool overcoat that we had last seen marching away, popped collar and swinging tails begging us to follow.
Leah // ‘High Society’, 1956
So I’ll admit that this is not exactly a ‘winter fashions’ film – but somewhere in the world right now it is summer, right? In the name of equal representation and fairness, then, High Society gets my vote simply for the poolside costume that Grace Kelly sports: a long, draped, white dress with a cape at the back that she removes to reveal a high waisted playsuit with a plunging neckline underneath.
Lucy // ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, 1947
Chic suits, elegantly draped with fur stoles and topped with neat hats; and intricately rolled hairstyles and ruffled dresses that were made for festive celebrations. It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra in 1947, is a winter holiday favourite, and also epitomises many of the fashion moments that the 1940s are remembered for.