Famous film stars have often become fashion icons via their movie characters. What an actress wears in a movie, whether it be a one-off film or a popular TV series, can greatly influence the fashion styles out on the street and, of course, on the catwalks.
A fine example of this influence on fashion and the making of a fashion icon is when Audrey Hepburn wore the little black dress when she played one of her most memorable of movie characters – Holly Golightly, in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
Generations after wearing Givenchy’s basic dress, Audrey remains a fashion icon. Today, women tend not to have the long black gloves or the tiara as accessories, but a string of pearls is very often still worn with the little black dress.
In 1940 Katharine Hepburn played the character, Tracy Lord in “The Philadelphia Story” and a fashion trend began with women being stylish in trousers. Before this assertive movie character, it wasn’t fashionable for women to wear pants. Tracy Lord actually wore men’s pants and looked elegant in them.
Grace Kelly played the glamorous and charming Frances Stevens, in 1955, in “To Catch a Thief”. She wore 10 costumes designed by Edith Head. The floaty dress that stands out in the movie is the gown in blue chiffon.
This was similar to Dior’s New Look designs which came out in 1947, the era when “To Catch a Thief” was set. The gay New Look was high-waisted above a very full skirt, with a full bust accentuated with a padded bustier.
Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy transformed from a sweet schoolgirl to hot lady in the still popular “Grease” movie in 1978.
Many young women began wearing tight black pants and strapless, low-cut tops. Olivia actually had to be sewn into hers!
In 1985 Madonna played the famous Susan in “Desperately Seeking Susan”. Susan immediately set a craze for lace gloves, hair bows and wearing a number of necklaces together.
“Sex and the City” has the incredibly vibrant of movie characters, Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, as the glamorous narrator and sex columnist. Carrie adores shoes. This character has made the shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik a household name. Women will pay high prices for his shoes as a result of Carrie setting a trend.