Fashion Onscreen, The Throwbacks

To look back to look at some of TV’s fashionable highlights is more than a pleasurable expeience, its historical fashion research of course… 

Inevitably, one must look back to a Ms Carrie Bradshaw, who in season 4, wore a floral Dolce and Gabbana gown and a blue and leopard print coat and nickers in Sex And the City‘s The Real Me episode. Bradshaw has never been shy of a fashion statement and has been seen to wear everything from tutu’s to nickers, so what makes this Dolce and Gabbana, a piece of fashion magnificence? Of course, for those in the know, it was not Bradshaw who wore the dress on the runway, she wore something somewhat even more enticing, but either way, both outfits encapsulate something fashionably exquisite. The episode remains a firm favourite, and after many episodes of Sex And the City, it is these two outfits which often stand out; She got to live out every girls fantasy; then she fell, hard, and she got right back up again and created a storm. She was also perfectly styled, so on that note, Bradshaw, though a winner in many fashion categories, wins with this one. 

Photo: Tumblr

In Felini’s 1960’s classic, Nights Of Cabiria, Cabiria’s outfits remain simple and classic, but the selection makes this list. It seems that everything, from her sailor dresses to her various coats and her breton-esque outfits, are all wanted in the wardrobes of many. The film is far more complex than one can initially fathom, (i have been lucky enough to study the film) and it is therefore concrete that the fashion have much linkage to the details of the filmmaking; but purely on aesthetics, its a film worth watching for just that. My favourite outfit is the buttoned up white coat worn and Church and to the theatre where she is hypnotised. It is the significance of the coat and the floral headwear (a religious connotation of the film) which makes for the aesthetically stunning still (below). It is a film full of stunning imagery, but the film remains but one image in my mind, that of her white coat. It may be the way it hangs of her dainty figure, or maybe it’s the naive state it presents this somewhat raw character in. Representing purity, it’s a significant and fashionable image onscreen. 

“Fellini seemed to me to represent the height of contemptible pseudo-art pandering: silly melodramas slathered in manipulative music, fancy costumes, exotic locations and “meaningful” themes like religious yearning and the True Nature and Importance of Art”-


In Gossip Girl’s ‘Double Identity’ (season 4, episode 2), Blair Waldorf runs from the car, through a Paris station and confronts the only man who will ever be enough for this fashionable lady, and she did it all wearing a stunning gown. As one who has ventured through Paris’s Gare du Nord, never have i been encapsulated by such a gown, nor have i ever had such a romanticised encounter in Paris, nevertheless, this entire outfit deserves a place at the top. This Oscar de la Renta pre-fall (2010) gown was paired up with a hot pink clutch (Roger Vivier) and Harry Winston sparkles, which were the icing on the cake. The whole premise of Blair and Serena’s Parisian trip fulfil every fantasy of the perfect Parisian adventure; and thus, many of the outfits, including Blair’s 2010 Bensoni polkadot dress and her Maxime Simoens Spring 2010 black and silver dress take the biscuit. In this case, Blair takes the macaroon for best dressed in Paris… ever. 

'Blair' on set Photo:
‘Blair’ on set

Taking a more unusual turn to a less significant movie still from the 1998 version of The Parent Trap. It was something about that wedding gown in the window, which encapsulated what a wedding dress should be. As far as personal preference goes, the dress is, dare i say, perfect and though this still is barely significant in the film, in say comparison to the wedding dress in the photoshoot, the gown is feminine and glamorous, and not too overdone, nor underdone like many wedding dresses can be seen to be. 


Cleopatra was an idol of mine, so once i’d seen none another than Elizabeth Taylor, yet another idol of mine, play such a character, it was almost inevitable that i would fall in love with her clothes too. In Cleopatra (1963), Taylor wears an array of outfits, and picking any one to single out is a difficult task, but the still below, shows the intricate detail of one of the gowns. 

” Taylor had 65 costume changes in Cleopatra, a record for a motion picture at the time… Costume designer Renie Conley won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Costume Design (along with Irene Sharaff and Vittorio Nino Novarese), for her creation of Taylor’s stunning gowns, which placed emphasis on the actress’ beauty and sexuality over historical accuracy…The armies of extras alone were issued 8,000 pairs of shoes.”-


Coyote Ugly (2000) came out when i was about seven years old. I think i watched it no later than the age of nine. The film fascinated me. Violet Sanford’s life, Kevin O’Donnell’s accent and the patterned trousers and Violet’s red tube skirt. These women were edgy, as a nineties child was emerging into the films of the noughties, i was beginning to admire the fashion i’d be soon choosing for my own wardrobe, within reason. This may be where my love of crop tops and jeans began, though my crop tops were know for the odd Barbie logo or brightly coloured flower.  The noughties were a time of low rise jeans, waistcoats and studded round belts, to name but a few statements of the era, and Coyote Ugly epitomises many of them; a definition of an era some might say. 

Coyote Ugly movie poster

Who would have thought that a 1999 film would star a prom dress which bares similarities to that of Simone Rocha and Dior in the years which followed, and now as street-stylers rock crops and tutus, swapping their prom-shoes for neon trainers. In 10 Things I Hate About You, Bianca Stratford goes to the prom, after some altercations, and goes pretty in pink. It’s not the most traditional of prom dresses, but possibly one of the greatest, and though it may be too pink for some, the concept of the dress is divine. It joins the ranks as one of the most recognisable prom dresses of movie history. 

Bianca Stratford ( Larisa Oleynik) goes to the prom



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