Fashion’s fantasies on film, pt. 2

The 2013 Great Gatsby party scene, costumes by Miuccia Prada, production by Baz Luhrmann

When I began this post a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find out how often the worlds of fashion design and film design overlapped. It turns out that Hollywood has always snapped up fashion’s best creators the same way they have done with writers and stories. Many fashion designers also have entries in the IMDB.

So this post is a listing of movies where the costumes were designed by big shots in the fashion design world. Most of the entries are straight from IMDB itself, but in a few cases, sharp eyed bloggers have spotted designer gowns in otherwise run of the mill movie images.

Elizabeth Taylor as Caterina in Zeffirelli’s production of “The Taming of the Shrew”


A few notes here on Hollywood practice: It was very common at the height of the studio era (1930-1960) for the clothes worn by the leading lady to be designed by someone other than the costume designer. A really visible example of this is the costumes worn by Elizabeth Taylor in “The Taming of the Shrew”, designed by Franco Zeffirelli, released in 1967. The film reflects Zeffirelli’s loving attention to Renaissance detail *except* for the fitted gowns worn by the star actress.





Edith Head holding 5 of her 8 lifetime Oscars for “Best Costume”




It was also common practice for well-known costume designers to take credit for the work of many people who worked under them in the studio. Hence Edith Head is known for having won the most Oscars for “Best Costume” of any costume designer in Hollywood history. But a lot of the costumes she got credit for were designed by lesser-known fashion talent.



Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wearing Givenchy





In other cases, a few actresses were known as the muse to particular designers. The most obvious example of this is Hubert de Givenchy’s fascination with Audrey Hepburn. After she appeared in “Sabrina” wearing his clothes, he designed just her wardrobe for most of her remaining films.





This is the list I cobbled together from IMDB. Links go to the library’s record for the movie if we have a copy, and to the IMDB record if we do not.

Seed, 2016: Miuccia Prada
This Changes Everything, 2015: Vivienne Westwood
The Great Gatsby, 2013: Miuccia Prada
Elysium, 2013: Giorgio Armani
I Am Love, 2009: Raf Simons for Jil Sander
The Dark Knight, 2008: Giorgio Armani
Appleseed Ex Machina, 2006: Miuccia Prada
Shadowboxer, 2005: Vivienne Westwood
Romeo + Juliet, 1996: Miuccia Prada
The Fifth Element, 1997: Jean-Paul Gaultier
The City of Lost Children, 1995: Jean-Paul Gaultier
Leaving Las Vegas, 1995: Vivienne Westwood
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, 1989: Jean-Paul Gaultier
Untouchables, 1987 (Giorgio Armani)
American Gigolo, 1980 (Giorgio Armani)
Violette, 1978: Karl Lagerfeld
Annie Hall, 1977: Ralph Lauren
Anna Karenina, 1975: Pierre Cardin
Maitresse, 1976: Karl Lagerfeld
Arthur! Arthur! 1969: Pierre Cardin
Barbarella, 1968: Paco Rabanne
You Only Love Once, 1968: Pierre Cardin
Belle du Jour, 1967: Yves Saint Laurent
Mata Hari, Agent H21, 1964: Pierre Cardin
The Wheeler Dealers, 1963: Norman Norell
Last Year in Marienbad, 1961: Coco Chanel
Indiscreet, 1958: Dior
Fernandel le Couturier des Dames,1956: Pierre Cardin
And God Created Woman, 1956: Pierre Balmain
Death of a Cyclist, 1955: Jacques Fath
Indiscretion of an American Wife, 1954: Christian Dior
Moulin Rouge, 1952: Elsa Schiaparelli
Love in Exile, 1936: Elsa Schiaparelli
Camille, 1936: Adrian
Transatlantic Tunnel, 1935: Elsa Schiaparelli
Les Amoureux, 1933: Lucien Lelong
Merry Widow, 1925: Adrian
Way Down East, 1920: Lucile
The Perils of Pauline, 1914: Lucile

Hubert de Givency for Audrey Hepburn:
Love Among Thieves 1987
How to Steal a Million 1966
Paris When It Sizzles 1964
Charade 1963
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
Funny Face 1956
Love in the Afternoon 1957
Sabrina 1954

Here are a bunch of other people’s lists of great fashion moments in film:


The library has lots of good books on fashion in film:

Fictionally Fabulous: the characters who created the looks we love

Film, Fashion, and the 1960s

Fashion in Film

Dressing for the Dark: From the silver screen to the red carpet

Styling the Stars: Lost treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox archive

Dresssing the Screen: Costume design in Hollywood

Hollywood Before Glamour: Fashion in American silent film


This entry was posted in design, fashion, FIT Library, media and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *