As it’s Paris fashion week I thought I’d make my usual fashion week series about my favourite movies set in ‘Gay Paree’.
Although, fashion weeks come and go and street style changes when it comes to lasting style its the big screen that has it all. As a well styled movie can immortalise a look forever.
Yes – the special effects, the soundtrack and of course, the stars are all important – but, for now I am focusing on the best dressed movies.
Some are timeless examples of ‘iconic’ movie style, a few are modern classics with some very memorable ensembles and some are a little more quirky, but nevertheless all chic in their own right.
These movies have eternal style and even now continue to inspire the fashion world in one way or another.
* 9 stylish Movies set in Paris*
MOVIE: Coco Before Chanel
PLOT: Biopic of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel from obscure beginnings as a child in an orphanage, her life as a night club singer and seamstress to her rise in Paris society and the prestigious fashion world thorough the men she loved, hard work and pure vision beyond her time.
ICON: Gabrielle Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou)
STYLE: See the evolution of the signature Chanel style – from her humble early beginnings wearing fisherman’s stripe tops and menswear as women’s wear because she had nothing else to work to the suiting, quilting and pearls we know today.
PLOT: Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as an American woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust in this movie of mirth, mayhem and mystery?
ICON: Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn)
STYLE: A wardrobe designed by Givenchy was never going to be wrong was it? Neat, elegant and pure 1960’s Audrey with streamlined funnel necks coats, boxy jackets, little black dresses, pillbox hats all mixed with kitten heels, patent handbags and white gloves.
MOVIE: April in Paris
PLOT: Chorus girl Miss Ethel ‘Dynamite’ Jackson mistakenly receives an invitation from the State Department to represent the American theatre at an arts exposition in France. One problem, the invitation was meant for Miss Ethel Barrymore. Meanwhile, the bureaucrat who made the mistake tries to correct his mix-up before Dynamite gets to Paris.
ICON: Ethel S. ‘Dynamite’ Jackson (Doris Day)
STYLE: I have a massive soft spot for Doris Day and this movie showcases the glamorous side of the 1950’s chorus girl with outlandish costumes, full skirts and dresses all in a Technicolor dream of silk and satin purples, marigolds and spring greens.
MOVIE: Midnight in Paris
PLOT: Nostalgic Hollywood screenwriter Gil is struggling to write his first novel so takes a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family. Mysteriously everyday at midnight he finds himself going back in time to the Jazz Age of 1920’s Paris where he meets infamous faces of the time who may well just give him the inspiration he needs.
ICONS: Inez (Rachel McAdams), Adriana (Marion Cotillard)
STYLE: Flicking between past and present sees the modern-day belted shirt dresses, designer jeans and casual wear overshadowed by the rose-tinted view of the roaring 1920’s Paris with flapper dresses, lace headbands and vintage beading.
MOVIE: Pret a Porter (Ready to Wear)
PLOT: The run up to Paris fashion week draws in the usual bunch of people – designers, reporters, models, magazine editors and photographers. Showing a chronicle of unconnected stories yet, interconnected lives featuring an all-star cast.
ICONS: Isabella de la Fontaine (Sophia Loren), Kitty Potter (Kim Basinger), Anne Eisenhower (Julia Roberts)
STYLE: Less of a style trendsetting movie than a nostalgic glimpse into the madness of PFW littered with a host of stars – who at the time were at the height of their careers.
MOVIE: Belle de Jour
PLOT: A beautiful, yet frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.
ICON: Séverine Serizy/Belle de Jour (Catherine Deneuve)
STYLE: Yves Saint Laurent designed the costumes for this movie with such precision that it hardly looks dated today. Military coats, Safari and minimalist A-line dresses, Eisenhower gold buttoned jackets, little black dresses with white collars and cuffs all finished with Roger Vivier pumps, tortoiseshell glasses and the perfect sixties root-lifted bouffant hair. Let’s not forget the peach lips, doe-eyed elongated eyeliner and baby pink painted nails either. A lesson in true style.
PLOT: In 1934 Paris a struggling female soprano Victoria finds work playing a man pretending to be a female impersonator Victor. Although, she/he/she becomes the toast of the town it complicates her personal life somewhat.
ICON: Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews)
STYLE: Set in Paris in 1934 its a mix of ‘drag queen’ stage costumes and headwear and the masculine tuxedo and pinstripe dinner suiting of the day. And, of course the iconic cropped and slicked hair do.
MOVIE: Le Divorce
PLOT: American Isabel heads to Paris to visit her half-sister, poet Roxeanne, who pregnant with her second child by her French husband Charles in a story of the differences in French vs. American social customs, lifestyles, culture, behaviours and of course fashions.
ICON: Isabel Walker (Kate Hudson), Roxeanne de Persand (Naomi Watts)
STYLE: Watch the transformation of causal, bohemian Californian girl into an expensive and chic looking French mistress in pantsuits, trenches and white shirts all finished off with a red Hermes Kelly – which is almost another character in the movie.
MOVIE: Funny Face
PLOT: An impromptu fashion shoot by fashion photographer Dick Avery at a book store in New York brings about a new fashion model discovery in the guise of shop clerk, Jo. Intrigued by her unique appearance, as too is Maggie Prescott, the editor of a leading fashion magazine they offer her a modelling contract and a trip to Paris.
ICONS: Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson)
STYLE: Like watching a high-end vintage magazine unfold before your eyes. The Givenchy gowns and fashion montages, Think Pink and the ballerina wedding gown are the stuff of movie fashion legends. And, the homage to editors Diana Vreeland, Carmel Snow and photographer Richard Avedon is evident in every scene.
There was so many stylish Paris movies to choose from – did I miss your favourite?
** Click HERE to see my 9 Stylish movies set in New York (#NYFW part one)
** Click HERE to see my 9 Stylish movies set in London & the UK (#LFW part two)
** Click HERE to see my 9 Stylish movies set in Milan & Italy (#MFW part three)