I often find myself revisiting classic movies just to look at the vintage fashion. So many of the styles have had an enduring influence, from Brigitte Bardot’s cigarette pants in A Very Private Affair, to Catherine Deneuve’s iconic trench coat by Yves Saint Laurent in Belle de Jour. Here are some of my favorite fashion moments in film.
Belle De Jour
Catherine Deneuve’s wardrobe for this iconic French movie was designed by Yves Saint Laurent. Women fell in love with the character’s black dress with ivory satin cuffs and collar, and the trench coat Deneuve wore, from YSL’s rive gauche collection, has much to do with its timeless appeal. The character’s black shoes with large silver buckles, which were originally designed for YSL’s 1965 Spring/Summer collection, were eventually named after the film.
From cigarette pants and wide hair bands to figure-hugging dresses paired with a tousled up-do, Brigitte Bardot solidified much of her iconic style in this 1962 movie. A clear reference to her own life, it features an overwhelmed actress who tries to withdraw from the spotlight at the height of her fame.
The on-screen connection between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is still mesmerizing. Her clothes and make-up are too, with a total of 65 outfits, including a 24‑carat gold cape designed to look like the wings of a phoenix, which helped earn the movie an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. Cleopatra was hugely influential, beginning a craze for arm cuffs, geometric bobs, and heavy eye make‑up.
Capturing the elegance of the era, Grace Kelly plays a fashion-loving socialite to perfection in this joyful musical, also starring Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Hollywood designer Helen Rose created Kelly’s wardrobe for the movie (as well as her wedding gown for her marriage to Monaco’s Prince Rainier), and was renowned for her expertise with chiffon.