Fashion finds its inspiration in a variety of unexpected things, and most of them are found off the runway. At The Volts, we are constantly seeking out sources of aesthetic inspiration and have found no better place to look than the cinema.
Movies are a modern art form and source of popular culture that combines sound, visual and narrative all in one. Considering their huge influence on many aspects of modern day culture and fashion, we thought we’d share ten movies with you that we consider to be timeless pillars of style.
Here are our first 5 in no particular order. We will follow-up with you next week for the second half of this post.
1. A Single Man (2009)
Tom Ford’s directorial debut is not only a heart-wrenching story of friendship and loss, but it is also a masterpiece of style. Set in the early 1960s, every outfit, hairdo, scene and shot is absolutely perfect. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for Spanish male supermodel, Jon Kortajarena’s James Dean-inspired cameo.
2. In the Mood For Love (2000)
Another beloved melodrama, this film by Chinese Director Wong Kar Wai is set in Honk Kong in 1962 and deals with two unhappily married neighbors who become intertwined in an unrequited love affair. Practically every scene in the film features the gorgeous Maggie Cheung in a 60s, western-influenced cheongsam that is intentionally chosen to match her mood and surroundings.
3. Grey Gardens (Original 1975 version)
This documentary depicts the everyday lives of two reclusive socialites, a mother and daughter both named Edith Boyle, who lived in a decrepit mansion called Grey Gardens in a wealthy neighborhood of East Hampton, New York. A slightly bizarre piece of cultural history, it nonetheless bring us great outfit ideas such as wearing fur indoors, elegantly-worn head scarves, and creative accessorization. Both mother and daughter parade around throughout the film in then-outdated ensembles that would now create a riot in any proper vintage boutique.
4. Beathless (A bout de souffle, 1960)
This French New Wave masterpiece by legendary filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard screams style in every frame. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo who plays a small time thief works the hat, sunglasses, cigarette look he looks like he was born in it, and Jean Seberg accompanies him in his misdemeanors wearing pretty summer dresses and an avant-garde pixie haircut.
5. Chinatown (1974)
This Roman Polanski detective thriller takes place in 1937 Los Angeles and features Jack Nicholson as a rugged private eye who gets caught up in a family drama revolving around a beautiful and glamorous heiress played by Faye Dunaway. Nicholson is rarely featured in a scene without a double-breasted blazer and matching fedora, and Dunaway epitomizes the femme fatale in her sultry veil netting and red lipstick combinations.