The Impact Of Fashion On Film

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The Impact Of Fashion On Film

The film industry is perhaps one of the biggest throughout the world and as such it has left a huge impact on cultural society as we know it. However, much of that success should be reserved for the impact of fashion in film. Ever since the first silent films, cinema has been influenced by the style and veneer of the fashion industry, with some of the most stylish outfits gracing many of the Hollywood greats.

People make films for a number of reasons, but not many of them get the exposure that they deserve. They need a little sprinkling of style and this is something that fashion has in abundance, as it has the power to transform a tired and dull character into something wondrous and full of imagination – a character that will make you want to sit forward in your seat and notice.

If you consider some of the greatest films that have been, you will notice that they tend to follow the same syllabus: an interesting plot; thought-out dialogue and, most important of all, a dynamic character. But how do we create a character that stands out? Well for starters they need to be believable. It doesn’t matter how implausible or uninteresting they may be, if you can make their story convincing then half the job is done.



The next part is to project that image of a character, with all its thoughts and dialogue, on to the screen and the best way of doing this is through their wardrobe. Think of all of the great movie characters over the years and you will notice that they are all wearing something that defines them as a character. John McClane has his vest; the Joker has his make-up and purple suit, and Travis Bickle has his green army field jacket.

All of these characters have left an imprint on our imagination at one stage or another, and this is largely down to what they wear. For instance, a pair of sunglasses can turn a fairly normal character into something of a rebel – something that is more relatable with audiences. Cinema has shown us some truly great characters throughout the years that have worn sunglasses, including Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Arnie in The Terminator.

To show you just how much fashion affects our judgement of character, test your wits at this Shades on Screen quiz and prove you really do know your films.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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