As it’s Milan fashion week I thought I’d make my usual fashion week series about my favourite movies set in Milan and Italy.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, – of course 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 Milan & Italy *
MOVIE: It Started in Naples
PLOT: A Philadelphia lawyer goes to Naples to settle the estate of his long estranged “black sheep” brother. Only to discover he has a nephew being raised by his sister-in-law Lucia, a nightclub dancer. Immediately disapproving of the Italian lifestyle he believes the only solution is to have the boy brought up in the States…
ICON: Lucia Curcio (Sophia Loren)
STYLE: Italian mama style frocks, headscarves and aprons by day to sexy Dolce-Vita style goddess come evening.
MOVIE: To Rome With Love
PLOT: The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into in true Woody Allen story-telling style
ICONS: Anna (Penelope Cruz), Hayley (Alison Pill)
STYLE: A little bit of everything from young American girl in floaty holiday clothes, vintage Prada style full-skits and blouses to sexy Versace – style sirens in shorts dresses and brash accessories.
MOVIE: Under the Tuscan Sun
PLOT: San Francisco based literature professor and writer Frances life falls apart when she discovers her husband is having an affair. To escape she goes on holiday with her friend and impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.
ICON: Frances Mayes (Diane Lane)
STYLE: Casual American slacks, blouses and jackets are replaced with Roman Holiday-esque button through shirt dresses in sunny shades as Frances falls in loves with her new life.
MOVIE: A Good Woman
PLOT: On the Amalfi coast in 1930 while retaining her secret identity, the illustrious Mrs. Erlynne saves Lady Windermere from making a grand social faux-pas with the scoundrelly Lord Darlington.
ICONS: Mrs Erlynne (Helen Hunt), Meg Windermere (Scarlett Johansson)
STYLE: Classic 1930’s styling with silk or rayon crepe ‘afternoon dresses’ with puff sleeves, belted waists and shoulder pads to old Hollywood style evening glamour. Gloves, hats worn on one side and furs flung over the shoulder feature heavily too.
MOVIE: Come September
PLOT: Wealthy American businessman Robert Talbot arrives early for his annual vacation at his Italian villa to find three problems. Firstly, his long-time girlfriend has left and given up waiting for him to pop the question. Secondly, his butler has turned the estate into a posh hotel to make some easy money. And, finally, the “hotel” guests – a group of young American girls are trying to fend off a gang of Italian boys.
ICONS: Lisa Helena Fellini (Gina Lollobrigida), Sandy Stevens (Sandra Dee)
STYLE: Classic 1960’s Italian style silk beaded frocks, bracelet gloves, headscarves and veiled hats meets young preppy American girl on holiday full skirts, blouses and headbands.
MOVIE: The Talented Mr Ripley
PLOT: In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young under-achiever, is sent to Italy (taking in Rome, Venice and the island of Ischia) to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.
ICON: Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow)
STYLE: This is one movie where the mens style (and a preppy jacket) is equally as important to the movie. Smart playboy suiting and casual resort wear is just a little overshone by all American Marge in her Italian Riviera holiday chic. Think flirty mid-length printed skirts, retro bikinis and white shirts tied at the waist with wicker baskets, espadrilles and headbands.
MOVIE: Tea with Mussolini
PLOT: In 1935 a group of elderly British women, whom the Italians have named the ‘Scorpioni’ choose Italy, specifically Florence, as a place to live to blend their proper British sensibilities with their love of Italian art and culture along with a brash younger nouveau riche Jewish-American woman named Elsa.
ICON: Elsa Morganthal Strauss-Armistan (Cher)
STYLE: A nostalgic looks at 1930’s style with garden dresses, floral tea dresses, lace gloves, brooches and more fur stoles than you can imagine. Not only is the style in this film a vintage fashion lovers dream the setting, Deco cars and art is a glimpse into the social and financial elite of the time.
MOVIE: The Tourist
PLOT: American tourist Frank visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path as she has chosen him as a decoy, making believe that he is her lover who is wanted by police and the Mob.
ICON: Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie)
STYLE: Powerful, feminine and ladylike – the clothes are a mix of old and new world. Exquisite but simple suiting, pencil skirts and gorgeous bias cut gowns in monochrome, camel and grey literally steal every scene.
MOVIE: Roman Holiday
PLOT: A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
ICON: HRH Princess Ann/Anya Smith (Audrey Hepburn)
STYLE: Forget the royal gowns it’s really all about the poster and escape outfit – classic white shirt with rolled up sleeves, a full circle skirt with a neat belt, flat strappy gladiator sandals and a silk scarf knotted at the neck. And, of course the memorable ‘gamine’ hair cutting scene.
Actually on reflection I’m not sure any of these were set in Milan…. can you think of any stylish movies that were?
** 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)