Watch These Movies If You’re Craving Iconic Fashion Eye Candy

·10 min read

There's nothing wrong with Audrey Hepburn noshing in front of Tiffany's in Givenchy couture. And yes, the Jill Sobule-soundtracked makeover scene in Clueless will forever echo in our minds when we're, say, cutting our own crop tops or bleaching our hair in the sink. But, any fashionable person worth their salt likely memorized those films front-to-back by the time they entered high school. In which case, you're ready for your post-Golightly graduate studies: the 19 films ahead, all of which feature fashion at its absolute finest.

They aren't all set in the fashion world, in fact, most of them don't have anything to do specifically with clothes — but they do feature costumes that deserve iconic status as much as Annie Hall's Buster Keaton waistcoat or Dionne and Cher's matching skirt suits. And since we're all in need of a pick-me-up these days, not to mention something to distract us during hours of quarantine, we thought it best to share our favorite fashionable flicks of all time.

Click ahead for a slew of cinematic skater girls, horror heroines, 18th-century queens, scrappy fashion-designer wannabes, and one immaculately dressed trophy wife.

<h2><em>Queen & Slim (2019)</em></h2><br>The most recent film to make this list is Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas's drama <em>Queen & Slim</em>, which features costumes by one of fashion's most revered stylists and editors: Shiona Turini. For the film, Turini spotlighted a number of Black designers, from Brother Vellies to Pyer Moss. She even got the chance to work with renowned Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, who designed a special look for the character Uncle Earl, played by Bokeem Woodbine. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.</span>

Queen & Slim (2019)


The most recent film to make this list is Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas's drama Queen & Slim, which features costumes by one of fashion's most revered stylists and editors: Shiona Turini. For the film, Turini spotlighted a number of Black designers, from Brother Vellies to Pyer Moss. She even got the chance to work with renowned Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, who designed a special look for the character Uncle Earl, played by Bokeem Woodbine. Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
<h2><em>Atonement (2007)</em></h2><br>We've been thinking about this dress a lot, or maybe, we never really <em>stopped</em> thinking about it at all. Designed by Jacqueline Durran, <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/01/9295800/green-dress-gown-fashion-trend-history" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the green dress" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the green dress</a> worn by Keira Knightly's character Cecilia Tallis in Ian McEwan's <em>Atonement</em> is a wonder to this day, 13 years after it won Durran an Oscar for Best Costume Design. Slinky, sensual, and most of all, eye-catching, if you're looking for a flick to stir up some emotion about fashion (among other things), this is the one for you. <span class="copyright">Photo: Focus/Kobal/Shutterstock.</span>

Atonement (2007)


We've been thinking about this dress a lot, or maybe, we never really stopped thinking about it at all. Designed by Jacqueline Durran, the green dress worn by Keira Knightly's character Cecilia Tallis in Ian McEwan's Atonement is a wonder to this day, 13 years after it won Durran an Oscar for Best Costume Design. Slinky, sensual, and most of all, eye-catching, if you're looking for a flick to stir up some emotion about fashion (among other things), this is the one for you. Photo: Focus/Kobal/Shutterstock.
<em><h2>Mahogony (1975)</h2></em><br>The story of a fashion design student, played by the one-and-only Diana Ross, struggling to succeed in Chicago, <em>Mahogony</em> is everything that we always pictured a career in fashion to look like: glamorous, yet extremely demanding. The costumes, designed by Ross herself, are equally as impressive, from the rainbow frock she can be seen twirling around her aunt's garment factory in to the brown beaded gown she wears while taking a final bow after presenting her collection. <span class="copyright">Photo: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock.</span>

Mahogony (1975)


The story of a fashion design student, played by the one-and-only Diana Ross, struggling to succeed in Chicago, Mahogony is everything that we always pictured a career in fashion to look like: glamorous, yet extremely demanding. The costumes, designed by Ross herself, are equally as impressive, from the rainbow frock she can be seen twirling around her aunt's garment factory in to the brown beaded gown she wears while taking a final bow after presenting her collection. Photo: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock.
<h2><em>Marie Antoinette (2006)</em></h2><br>As the winner for Best Costume Design at the 79th annual Academy Awards, <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/07/203957/marie-antoinette-review-mean-girls-kirsten-dunst" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Marie Antoinette" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Marie Antoinette</a></em>, Sofia Coppola's historical drama-comedy starring Kirsten Dunst as the infamous Austrian princess turned French queen, undoubtedly deserves a spot at the top of this list. Between the gowns, the gloves, the headdresses, and the shoes (which were all designed by Manolo Blahnik and Pompei), everything about the film's wardrobe was a dream, something you can thank Italian costume designer Milena Canonero for. <span class="copyright">Photo: Columbia/American Zoetrope/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock.</span>

Marie Antoinette (2006)


As the winner for Best Costume Design at the 79th annual Academy Awards, Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola's historical drama-comedy starring Kirsten Dunst as the infamous Austrian princess turned French queen, undoubtedly deserves a spot at the top of this list. Between the gowns, the gloves, the headdresses, and the shoes (which were all designed by Manolo Blahnik and Pompei), everything about the film's wardrobe was a dream, something you can thank Italian costume designer Milena Canonero for. Photo: Columbia/American Zoetrope/Sony/Kobal/Shutterstock.
<em><h2>A Bigger Splash (2016) </h2></em><br>Before Luca Guadagnino awed us with <em>Call Me By Your Name</em>, he created this equally endearing film starring his muse Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, and Ralph Fiennes. At first glance, the location, a villa on the Mediterranean sea in Italy, would appear to be the shining star of the movie. But, in reality, it's the clothes that truly make it great. Swinton in silver sequins as a renowned pop star, Johnson wearing a perfectly damaged motorcycle jacket and cut-offs, linen, bikinis, sundresses, and more — if you're in need of a summer mood board, this is the film to watch. <br><span class="copyright">Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock.</span>

A Bigger Splash (2016)


Before Luca Guadagnino awed us with Call Me By Your Name, he created this equally endearing film starring his muse Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, and Ralph Fiennes. At first glance, the location, a villa on the Mediterranean sea in Italy, would appear to be the shining star of the movie. But, in reality, it's the clothes that truly make it great. Swinton in silver sequins as a renowned pop star, Johnson wearing a perfectly damaged motorcycle jacket and cut-offs, linen, bikinis, sundresses, and more — if you're in need of a summer mood board, this is the film to watch.
Photo: Moviestore/Shutterstock.
<h2><em>B*A*P*S* (1997)</em></h2><br>Despite the film having nothing really to do with fashion, <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/07/205522/baps-bad-reviews-halle-berry-movie" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:B*A*P*S" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">B*A*P*S</a></em>, starring Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle, has its fair share of grade A looks. This 1997 flick is centered around two waitresses from Georgia who find themselves in Los Angeles to try out for a music video, for which Berry's character wears the highlighter orange two-piece set of our dreams. Also appearing in the film is a fantastic array of leopard prints, plenty of statement earrings, and Halle Berry wearing a hot pink tweed skirt suit. Need we say more?<span class="copyright">Photo: D Stevens/New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock.</span>

B*A*P*S* (1997)


Despite the film having nothing really to do with fashion, B*A*P*S, starring Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle, has its fair share of grade A looks. This 1997 flick is centered around two waitresses from Georgia who find themselves in Los Angeles to try out for a music video, for which Berry's character wears the highlighter orange two-piece set of our dreams. Also appearing in the film is a fantastic array of leopard prints, plenty of statement earrings, and Halle Berry wearing a hot pink tweed skirt suit. Need we say more?Photo: D Stevens/New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock.
<em><h2>Taxi Driver (1976)</h2></em><br>If we're being honest, it's not just the fashion that should motivate you to watch this cult classic drama starring a young Robert De Niro and an even younger Jodie Foster. But that doesn't make the clothes any less impressive. <br><br>Foster, who plays 12-year-old prostitute Iris, shines throughout the film in her iconic sun hat, platform wedges, and extra tiny crop tops. <br><br>On HBO's beloved Gen Z series <em>Euphoria</em>, <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/euphoria-halloween-costumes-outfits#slide-2" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Maddie (played by Alexa Demie" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Maddie (played by Alexa Demie</a>) dressed up as Foster's character in the show's Halloween episode. It's a classic through and through. <span class="copyright">Photo: Weinstein Co/Fade To Black/Kobal/Shutterstock.</span>

Taxi Driver (1976)


If we're being honest, it's not just the fashion that should motivate you to watch this cult classic drama starring a young Robert De Niro and an even younger Jodie Foster. But that doesn't make the clothes any less impressive.

Foster, who plays 12-year-old prostitute Iris, shines throughout the film in her iconic sun hat, platform wedges, and extra tiny crop tops.

On HBO's beloved Gen Z series Euphoria, Maddie (played by Alexa Demie) dressed up as Foster's character in the show's Halloween episode. It's a classic through and through. Photo: Weinstein Co/Fade To Black/Kobal/Shutterstock.
<em><h2>A Single Man (2009)</h2></em><br>What happens when you put Tom Ford, one of today's most prolific fashion designers, and his longtime muse in Julianne Moore together in a film set in 1960s Los Angeles? A movie made for this list, that's what. <br><br><em>A Single Man</em> tells the tale of George, played by Colin Firth, a college professor mourning the loss of his longtime partner. Between his horn-rimmed glasses, the younger student (played by Nicholas Hoult) whom he begins seeing's mohair sweaters, and Moore's mod mini dresses and oversized baubles, this beautifully crafted film is a must-watch for any fashion-minded movie buff.

A Single Man (2009)


What happens when you put Tom Ford, one of today's most prolific fashion designers, and his longtime muse in Julianne Moore together in a film set in 1960s Los Angeles? A movie made for this list, that's what.

A Single Man tells the tale of George, played by Colin Firth, a college professor mourning the loss of his longtime partner. Between his horn-rimmed glasses, the younger student (played by Nicholas Hoult) whom he begins seeing's mohair sweaters, and Moore's mod mini dresses and oversized baubles, this beautifully crafted film is a must-watch for any fashion-minded movie buff.
<em><h2>Boomerang (1992)</h2></em><br>Any movie featuring Grace Jones is a fashion film in its own right, whether or not it has anything to do with actual fashion. <em>Boomerang</em>, though, just so happens to also be stacked full of covetable looks, from a perfectly fitted burgundy suit worn by Robin Givens to Halle Berry's hot pink monochrome dinner party ensemble. <span class="copyright">Photo: Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock.</span>

Boomerang (1992)


Any movie featuring Grace Jones is a fashion film in its own right, whether or not it has anything to do with actual fashion. Boomerang, though, just so happens to also be stacked full of covetable looks, from a perfectly fitted burgundy suit worn by Robin Givens to Halle Berry's hot pink monochrome dinner party ensemble. Photo: Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock.
<em><h2>On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)</h2></em><br><em>Yes</em>, this is the Bond movie everyone hates because it stars the drippiest 007 ever — a male model named George Lazenby who had the misfortune of being neither a real actor, nor Sean Connery. But, as an artifact of midcentury cheese, this film cannot be beat.<br><br>Bond's paramour is played by <em>The Avengers</em> star Diana Rigg, the official <a href="http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/9300000/Diana-Rigg-diana-rigg-9381019-2105-1820.jpg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:queen of the jumpsuit" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">queen of the jumpsuit</a>. And the Bond villain, played by Telly Savalas, attempts a world takeover by brainwashing 12 beautiful women at a Swiss allergy clinic (no really) into "angels of death." Have I mentioned that these women are played by a Pre-<em>Absolutely Fabulous </em><a href="http://ris.fashion.telegraph.co.uk/RichImageService.svc/imagecontent/1/TMG9625837/m/abfab-rex_2375799a.jpg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Joanna Lumley" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Joanna Lumley</a> and an assortment of <em>Playboy</em> bunnies?<br><br>One hundred percent worth it for the groovy late-'60s fashion (Rib-knit jumpsuits! Cheetah pants!), and the laughably anti-climactic chase scene on skis.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of MGM.</span>

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)


Yes, this is the Bond movie everyone hates because it stars the drippiest 007 ever — a male model named George Lazenby who had the misfortune of being neither a real actor, nor Sean Connery. But, as an artifact of midcentury cheese, this film cannot be beat.

Bond's paramour is played by The Avengers star Diana Rigg, the official queen of the jumpsuit. And the Bond villain, played by Telly Savalas, attempts a world takeover by brainwashing 12 beautiful women at a Swiss allergy clinic (no really) into "angels of death." Have I mentioned that these women are played by a Pre-Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley and an assortment of Playboy bunnies?

One hundred percent worth it for the groovy late-'60s fashion (Rib-knit jumpsuits! Cheetah pants!), and the laughably anti-climactic chase scene on skis.Photo: Courtesy of MGM.
<strong><h2><em>Cabaret (1972)</em></h2></strong><br>Nearly fifty years ago, <strike>Lucille Two</strike> Liza Minnelli was a bona fide sex symbol, playing Sally Bowles, an American libertine in Weimar Germany. Be inspired to live your life in glittery robes, bowler hats, and visible lingerie, and — maybe best of all — Sally's sequin faux beauty mark.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.</span>

Cabaret (1972)


Nearly fifty years ago, Lucille Two Liza Minnelli was a bona fide sex symbol, playing Sally Bowles, an American libertine in Weimar Germany. Be inspired to live your life in glittery robes, bowler hats, and visible lingerie, and — maybe best of all — Sally's sequin faux beauty mark.Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
<em><h2>Kids (1995)</h2></em><br>The gritty film about a group of East Village skater kids put <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/03/9513792/chloe-sevigny-maternity-style-simone-rocha-dress" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Chloë Sevigny" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Chloë Sevigny</a> and Rosario Dawson on the map. Upon rewatching, this film is a nasty little morality play about the perils of sex and drug use that's as conservative as any slasher film. But, the naturalistic performances hold up, as do the characters' '70s-inflected wardrobe of shrunken ringer tees and old-school sneaks.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate / Trimark.</span>

Kids (1995)


The gritty film about a group of East Village skater kids put Chloë Sevigny and Rosario Dawson on the map. Upon rewatching, this film is a nasty little morality play about the perils of sex and drug use that's as conservative as any slasher film. But, the naturalistic performances hold up, as do the characters' '70s-inflected wardrobe of shrunken ringer tees and old-school sneaks.Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate / Trimark.
<em><h2>Le Mepris (1963)</h2></em><br>Like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot was a capable and nuanced actress all too often slotted into the role of blonde bubblehead. In this Jean-Luc Godard film (also known as <em>Contempt</em>), she found a role worthy of her chops as a woman who loses respect for her novelist husband when he accepts an assignment to punch up a hacky screenplay. Watch it for Bardot's resplendent, pouty disdain, and her wardrobe of pared-down basics that define French chic.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate.</span>

Le Mepris (1963)


Like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot was a capable and nuanced actress all too often slotted into the role of blonde bubblehead. In this Jean-Luc Godard film (also known as Contempt), she found a role worthy of her chops as a woman who loses respect for her novelist husband when he accepts an assignment to punch up a hacky screenplay. Watch it for Bardot's resplendent, pouty disdain, and her wardrobe of pared-down basics that define French chic.Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate.
<em><h2>Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)</h2></em><br>The white dress on the subway grate from <em>The Seven Year Itch</em> gets more ink — as does the iconic pink dress from this film's closing musical number "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." But, for me, Marilyn's most stunning fashion moment is her purple sweater (with daring V-shaped cutout), her matching purple wiggle skirt that could only have been sewn on, and her shiny, gold cuffs. This look only gets more impressive when Marilyn's character, Lorelei, accessorizes it with (spoiler alert!) a stolen diamond tiara. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.</span>

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)


The white dress on the subway grate from The Seven Year Itch gets more ink — as does the iconic pink dress from this film's closing musical number "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." But, for me, Marilyn's most stunning fashion moment is her purple sweater (with daring V-shaped cutout), her matching purple wiggle skirt that could only have been sewn on, and her shiny, gold cuffs. This look only gets more impressive when Marilyn's character, Lorelei, accessorizes it with (spoiler alert!) a stolen diamond tiara. Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
<em><h2>Cry Baby (1990)<br></h2></em>Who needs <em>Grease</em> when you have <em>Cry Baby</em>, John Waters' demented ode to teenage toughs and the squares they occasionally love? In it, Traci Lords plays the gum-snapping delinquent of every rockabilly dude's dream — so what if she has bougie parents? The flicked eyeliner, leather jacket, chiffon neckerchief, and ever-present sneer is a look worth copying forever. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.</span>

Cry Baby (1990)

Who needs Grease when you have Cry Baby, John Waters' demented ode to teenage toughs and the squares they occasionally love? In it, Traci Lords plays the gum-snapping delinquent of every rockabilly dude's dream — so what if she has bougie parents? The flicked eyeliner, leather jacket, chiffon neckerchief, and ever-present sneer is a look worth copying forever. Photo: Courtesy of Universal Studios.
<em><h2>Scarface (1983)</h2></em><br>You simply have not seen <em>froideur</em> until you have seen Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock, Tony Montana's gak-snorting trophy wife, who swans around in a succession of immaculate outfits the color of her favorite drug. These are clothes for a woman who keeps her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJS827RqN2A" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:pet tiger on a leash" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">pet tiger on a leash</a>.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal.</span>

Scarface (1983)


You simply have not seen froideur until you have seen Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock, Tony Montana's gak-snorting trophy wife, who swans around in a succession of immaculate outfits the color of her favorite drug. These are clothes for a woman who keeps her pet tiger on a leash.Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal.
<em><h2>High Tension (2003)</h2></em>Horror movies never make the list of films with inspirational fashion, and this here horror nerd thinks that's a crying (screaming, bloody) shame. Who doesn't love Laurie Strode's super-<a href="http://cdn2-www.craveonline.com/assets/uploads/2013/10/Halloween-Long-Walk.jpg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:high-waisted jeans" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">high-waisted jeans</a> from <em>Halloween</em>? Or Carrie's way with a <a href="http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120104022509/villains/images/7/73/Angry_Carrie_White.jpg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:statement prom look" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">statement prom look</a>?<br><br>For modern-day horror, you can't beat Cécile de France as Marie, the protagonist in Alexandre Aja's 2004 film <em>High Tension. </em>Her chic, simple, men's separates and gamine haircut are very <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8b/07/10/8b071024f8454ace0cee5f6cd813e5f9.jpg" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jean Seberg" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Jean Seberg</a>-with-a-buzzsaw. Too bad all the Tide pens in the world couldn't save this outfit.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate.</span>

High Tension (2003)

Horror movies never make the list of films with inspirational fashion, and this here horror nerd thinks that's a crying (screaming, bloody) shame. Who doesn't love Laurie Strode's super-high-waisted jeans from Halloween? Or Carrie's way with a statement prom look?

For modern-day horror, you can't beat Cécile de France as Marie, the protagonist in Alexandre Aja's 2004 film High Tension. Her chic, simple, men's separates and gamine haircut are very Jean Seberg-with-a-buzzsaw. Too bad all the Tide pens in the world couldn't save this outfit.Photo: Courtesy of Lions Gate.
<h2><em>Network (1976)</em></h2><br>In the classic 1976 satire, Faye Dunaway plays Diana Christensen, a hard-ass network programming executive who cares only about ratings, dammit — well, that and putting together immaculately coordinated earth-toned business-babe outfits. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.</span>

Network (1976)


In the classic 1976 satire, Faye Dunaway plays Diana Christensen, a hard-ass network programming executive who cares only about ratings, dammit — well, that and putting together immaculately coordinated earth-toned business-babe outfits. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
<h2><em>The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (1972)</em><br></h2>Fact: Any person who tells you they "like" this movie is lying (or a painfully pretentious art student). The 1972 film by German auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a long, slow dive into the crumbling psyche of its titular character. Von Kant is a successful fashion designer who spends most of the film drinking heavily, lolling about on her bedroom floor telling tragic tales of old loves, trying on a series of wigs, and spitting orders at everyone in her milieu, from her poor, put-upon assistant to her fashion colleagues. This film has no doubt inspired hundreds of drag performances, and possibly Anna Wintour.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Criterion Collection.</span>

The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Fact: Any person who tells you they "like" this movie is lying (or a painfully pretentious art student). The 1972 film by German auteur Rainer Werner Fassbinder is a long, slow dive into the crumbling psyche of its titular character. Von Kant is a successful fashion designer who spends most of the film drinking heavily, lolling about on her bedroom floor telling tragic tales of old loves, trying on a series of wigs, and spitting orders at everyone in her milieu, from her poor, put-upon assistant to her fashion colleagues. This film has no doubt inspired hundreds of drag performances, and possibly Anna Wintour.Photo: Courtesy of Criterion Collection.

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