Hollywood style: a brief retrospective

Hollywood has long been a powerful influence on catwalk fashion, giving inspiration
to designers and influencing current trends. Now a new exhibition at the V&A
promises to display some of the silver screen’s most memorable costumes in an
exhibit sponsored by Harry Winston. The exhibition, entitled Hollywood Costume,
runs until next year and gathers together 130 of the most famous ensembles in
Tinsel Town’s history. Audrey Hepburn’s iconic little black dress from Breakfast at
Tiffany’s will be on show, as will Dorothy’s gingham number from The Wizard of Oz.

Hollywood and style have long gone hand in hand. Women’s fashion, in particular,
has been influenced by the movies. The imminent release of The Great Gatsby,
the new adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, promises to
bring 1920s style roaring back into fashion, with plenty of flapper skirts and beaded
dresses gracing high street stores. To get the look, ladies can pile on the beads,
push the bangles up their arms, and roll back the rug to cut a caper just like they did
in the 1920s.

Black Swan was a huge hit in 2011. The intense thriller made waves in the fashion
world, thanks to Natalie Portman’s distinctive eye make-up, and launched a flurry
of copycat costumes. Full skirts and tight bodices came into vogue. For the Black
Swan look, pile on the eyeliner and don’t skimp on the red lipstick. A lace-panelled
body gives a hint of ballet chic, or add leggings and a full, swishing maxi skirt to fully
emulate Portman’s prima ballerina.

In 2010 it was all about Sex and the City 2. The hit American TV show was always
a fashion inspiration when it was running, and the two movies which followed also
accrued their fair share of style points. To emulate the chic New York foursome, slip
on a pair of brightly coloured heels, or go metallic: try silver shoes to tap into this
season’s trend for precious metals. Add a demure but figure hugging dress, and top
with an It bag or sleek clutch, depending on whether you’ll be working the look during
the day or at night…

by Catherine M.

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