My Top 5 Fashion Films of 2009

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As its major form of social entertainment and as its product of manufacture, movies are to Los Angeles what theater is to London or New York. Movies here dictate the currency of our pop culture and of the world right outside of our doors. I view a lot of films, it is no question. Going to see the latest film is very de rigueur here, and really is the most prominent topic of conversation all over town. There has been so many films released this past year that one can easily forget about many of them (so many are unforgettable anyway), or miss them entirely. A movie about fashion or a movie that has fashion at its center point, I am sure to make the effort to see, and hope that it will be memorable. Here are my choice picks of the top five fashion films of 2009, in no particular order:

The September Issue
To be privileged to get not just a sneak but a full tilt boogie peek into the hallowed halls of Vogue Magazine and to see Anna Wintour at work, was such a treat. The undeniable star of this film was and will always be Grace Coddington. Her keen and sharp eye and attention is unsurpassed, and I am so glad to have been able to witness it and to cheer her on!

Valentino: The Last Emperor
Valentino is truly the last of the famous international designers. What a great treat to see how this genius rules (and creates) his kingdom. The best part of it all: the endearing love and partnership between Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti. It is the most touching part of the whole film.

Another hit musical for our time, this time about Italian style, Italian life, Italian fashion! There’s even a costume designer (Dame Judy Dench) who easily whips up costume confections right in front of us (sequins, feathers, and mesh oh my!) a Vogue journalist (Kate Hudson, in mirrored glass mini skirt!) and all the rest of the gorgeous female stars in their distinct looks/costumes. We get to be treated to the fabulous Colleen Atwood’s fine costume work here and it does not disappoint!!

A Single Man
In Tom Ford’s world, everyone is gorgeous and everyone has style in everything on and around them. This film just dripped with true classic style, everywhere. From George’s fantastically dreamy Santa Monica home, to his sleek Mercedes Benz, to his sharp, tailored clothing he leads the pack when it came to men’s style in the movies (or out in the real world).  Everything was visually lush and it drew you in with wishes that the world was simple and stylish and classic like it was back in 1963.

(500) Days of Summer
Aside from all of the charm that this non-traditional romantic comedy gives us, it reflected back to us how we really dressed in our everyday lives. Zoë Deschanel’s “Summer” couldn’t have been styled more real: I see women dressing with the same indie flair every day in my favorite LA neighborhoods of Los Feliz and Silverlake, and young professional hipster guys wearing classic and modern clothing like Joseph Gordon-Leavitt’s “Tom”. The style was simple and realistic, and it reflected that face back to the audience who, in their indie-hipster garb, could easily see themselves in the characters. And as each of the characters grew, so did their clothing, also reflected in a real-time and concise way. And when “Tom” puts on his grown up suit, I swear the four times I saw this film I spotted guys in the audience mentally check how neat, presentable, and fashionable he looked, and took notice.

It is a New Year, and a new slate of films are yet to come out. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes up on the silver screen and hope to see some great fashion notes reflected back at me.
So far, “Sherlock Holmes” doesn’t miss a beat with its presentation on Victorian England style with a very subtle modern flair (Adler in pants and waistcoat!) and of course, “SATC 2” in the Spring, a bona fide fashion film if there is to be at least one for the year!



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