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Fashion in movies and movies about fashion: five films you must see

There is a symbiotic relationship between fashion and cinema. We say that the costume designer does a great job when the viewer does not notice the stage clothes, which become a simple means of describing the character and his personality. There are also a growing number of examples that belie this belief, just think of Sex and the City and the wardrobe of Carrie Bradshaw or her collection of shoes (how to forget her love for Manolo Blahnik?) to understand how the costumes become a sort of additional character indispensable for the narration. Just as films rely on fashion to tell a story, so fashion increasingly chooses to express itself through film production to narrate the extraordinary lives of its actors. 2018 is an example of the fashion-cinema combination success, because the release of several films and documentaries in which fashion is one of the silent protagonists. Here are five that are worth seeing.

Ocean’s 8

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Released at the beginning of June in the English-speaking countries, it will be in Italian cinemas from July 26th with an all-female all-star cast: Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna are just some of the present names. The concept is a spin-off of Ocean's 11 with Sandra Bullock in the role of Danny Ocean's sister, who wants to organize a theft during the annual Met Gala and to make it she creates a team of women with very different personalities that are made visible just from clothes. The fact of choosing the Met Gala as the event shows how fashion is a central theme in the story. In addition to selecting different designers for each character - for example Prada for Stella McCartney and Alaïa for Bullock; Saint Laurent and Burberry for Blanchett- costume designer Sarah Edwards wanted all the actresses to have unpublished clothes created specifically for the film by the designers chosen for each one for the Met Gala scene. Givenchy, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Zac Posen have collaborated respecting both the guidelines in terms of style and the needs of the scene. The end result is therefore a film that visually fascinates and that is worth watching even for clothes.

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace

courtesy of IMDB

Although it is now eleven years since the designer's death, his murder is still remembered for the impact it has had on the whole fashion world. After exploring the OJ Simpson case, then, the second season of American Crime Story reports the facts that led Andrew Cunanan to kill Gianni Versace. The uncertainties related to the motive of the crime become a pretext for the director to explore the life of the designer and his family, including his sister Donatella - interpreted by Penelope Cruz - who later became the designer of the Italian fashion house. Even if it does not represent the central aspect of the narration, it is interesting to be able to enter into the somewhat more hidden dynamics of the people behind a world brand such as Versace and see how the creative and business soul is managed, together with the public facade.


courtesy of IMDB

Lee Alexander McQueen is tragically found lifeless in his London home on 11 February 2010. His disappearance, although anticipated by other suicide attempts, was a tragic event that marked the end of an untidy life and inner suffering, but the beginning of a new chapter for his homonymous brand, passed under the guidance of Sarah Burton, his assistant almost from the beginning. The documentary tells, in addition to private life, McQueen's perception of the world and beauty, defined wild, through interviews with him, his family and collaborators who followed and supported him during his very difficult and sometimes not understood path by critics and the general public. Despite the difficulties and initial skepticism McQueen is remembered as an innovator and a genius in his field, a person able to bring his sometimes very strong vision and not politically correct and translate it into his bosses and fashion shows, which almost always touched the performance art and left the people time for thought. The film, released on June 8 in America, is therefore an opportunity to deepen the knowledge of the designer through his words too.

The Times of Bill

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Street style, now a normal and widespread phenomenon, was once far from ordinary. From his birth and development we can thank Bill Cunningham, New York photographer, who became famous for being among the first to go around the streets of the big apple with his bicycle to find and capture unique outfits. This feature film directed by Mark Bozek, who interviewed Cunningham 25 years before his death, is a tribute to his genius and ability to anticipate the times. Famous names have participated in the realization of the story. For the narration was chosen Sarah Jessica Parker, as Bill an icon of the city of New York as well as a supporter of the work of the photographer and fashion lover, the illustrator Ruben Toledo instead took care of the animations and finally Pat Cleveland lent his voice for the feature film theme, "Tonight, Josephine". Released on May 1 in America, The Times of Bill is therefore an interesting glimpse into the work of one of the great protagonists and promoters of fashion seen from a different perspective.

Olivier Rousteing

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Still in process of being finalized and scheduled for release in 2019, it is the documentary about Balmain's designer, Olivier Rousteing, directed by the crew who created "Valentino: The Last Emperor" in 2009. Despite his young age (32) Rousteing is He has been at the helm of the French brand for a good eight years and this underlines the extraordinary nature of the character and his story. The film will then immortalise his contribution to Balmain and the most private part of his life since childhood, the difficulties encountered on his path, criticism and all that led him to be what he is today. With this documentary Olivier wants to give a strong and positive message, as he always tries to do both through his edgy clothes and well defined style, and with the initiatives in which he takes part to fight racism in the world of cinema and of fashion.

Original language article by Laura Zanovello

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