Fashion on film: The 9 best cinematic style moments of 2013

Best Fashion Film Moments 2013
Best Fashion Film Moments 2013

While red carpet celebrities continue to be the ambassadors of choice for luxury brands, big studio film-making was bound to get a little haute with their marketing tie-ins this year, resulting in some of the best on-screen fashion moments we’ve seen in ages. Prada got behind The Great Gatsby and Alexander McQueen dressed Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Meanwhile, Blue Jasmine’s many alcohol-fueled meltdowns were accessorized in everything from Hermès to Louis Vuitton.

Here, we take a look back at the year in cinematic fashion and count down the 9 best fashion on film moments of 2013. There were plenty to choose from:

American Hustle Amy Adams

American Hustle
Sydney Prosser’s plunging neckline

If ever there was a time to go braless, it was the 1970s. As a sultry, scheming con artist alongside a disheveled Christian Bale (virtually unrecognizable with paunch and comb-over), Amy Adams works that uptown hustle in painted-on Gucci and Halston gowns. “She epitomizes the spirit of fashion in the 1970s,” suggests the film’s costume designer Michael Wilkinson, who won the Hollywood Costume Design Award in October. “Clothes were much less structures, they have less underpinnings — you see the body coming under the clothes. It takes a kind of confidence.” And, of course, lots of double-sided tape.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Wedding Dress

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Katniss Everdeen’s wedding dress

For Panem’s 75th Games kickoff, Katniss Everdeen (played effortlessly by butt plug aficionado J.Law) served pure Capitol Couture with a stunning Tex Saveiro wedding dress, complete with frothy organza layers and a silver bodice embellished with Swarovski crystals. Catching Fire costume designer Trish Summerville further blurred the lines between reality and fantasy with her Panem-inspired Net-A-Porter capsule, alongside a Cover Girl tie-in. Setting aside the $995 laser-cut leather dress and nail art stickers, it’s worth noting the film’s “O Canada!” scene-stealer: the sculptural pinky rings worn by flashy television host Caesar Flickman (played by Stanley Tucci) were designed by Quebec jeweler Claudio Pino.

The Bling Ring Court Room Outfit

The Bling Ring
Nicki Moore’s courtroom transformation

What, you think we were going to mention Paris Hilton’s shoe closet? In Sofia Coppola’s meditation on celebrity tabloid culture (and the LA super rich kids caught up in burglarizing the homes of their favourite gossip column fixtures), there was just one outfit that epitomized the culmination of their dreams. When Nicki, played to Juicy sweatsuit perfection by Emma Watson, finally had her day in court, she pulled together an “I’m innocent” demure look that rivaled La Lohan’s best: Jackie O sunglasses, string of pearls, three-inch Loubs, and an “I’m a firm believe in karma” speech delivered in perfect Valley Girl pitch outside the courtroom for the flashing cameras.

Spring Breakers Bathing Suits

Spring Breakers
All that neon

Balaclava, bikini, and squirt gun: Harmony Korine’s fluoro-overload ode to coed excess spawned one of Halloween 2013’s most memorable costume ideas and even an Opening Ceremony capsule collection. Whereas Miley chose twerking as a means of wrecking her Disney princess reputation, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez chose robbing a Chicken Shack with their on-screen BFFs to fund their Florida-bound debauchery. Spring break forever, bitches!

House of Versace

House of Versace
Donatella Versace’s gold-plated vices

Though the Versace camp never sanctioned this Lifetime biopic, it made pretty epic of its resources. “We had to buy books and look on the Internet and try to find enough documents to base ourselves upon,” confessed the film’s costume designer Claire Nadon to the Daily Mail. But come on, you didn’t watch this film for the medallion damask: no, you watched it for Gina Gershon’s campy turn as Donatella, and all those GIF-able cocaine-snorting moments.

The Great Gatsby Prada

The Great Gatsby
Daisy Buchanan’s party dress

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into a past… filled with Prada archives. Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby may have been 2013’s most-overhyped film, but the filmmaker’s stylish flourishes — the Jay-Z-produced soundtrack, those swooping CGI camera shots of Jazz Age debauchery—set fashion trends, even warranting a Style Panel post on 1920s fashion. Whether it was Daisy’s chandelier dress from Prada’s Spring 2010 collection or Jay Gatsby’s pink Brooks Brothers suit, many luxury brands got in on the movie tie-in action. (And, of course, benefitted: Tiffany & Co.’s Gatsby collection reportedly boosted its first quarter sales.)

Blue Jasmine Birkin Bag

Blue Jasmine
Jasmine French’s Birkin bag

The camel-coloured Hermès Birkin bag was a crucial accessory to Cate Blanchett’s performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. As a latter day Blanche DuBois, Blanchett desperately clings to her Chanel boucle amidst her downward riches-to-rags spiral. So tight was the film’s wardrobe budget, that Blanchett had to borrow one from the luxury brand’s PR officer. “Women wear their Birkins like a shield,” explained Blue Jasmine costume designer Suzy Benzinger. “It says, ‘Don’t get near me.’”

Wolf of Wall Street Armani

The Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort’s archive Armani power suits

Giorgio Armani has long held a sartorial hold on celluloid menswear. In the 1980s, his American Gigolo deconstructed power suits for Richard Gere made men everywhere embrace Italian cottons and silks. And in Martin Scorsese’s 1990s-set The Wolf of Wall Street, Armani’s broad-shouldered, pinstriped suits properly befit a Leo needing to be a nouveau riche Wall Street shark. “The dark side is always the most intriguing,” suggests the Italian maestro in an interview with the Financial Times. “I think that the figure of the anti-hero on Wall Street, who is capable of making lots of money without showing any scruples at all, is extremely attractive to the public, whether they admit it or not.”

Behind The Candelabra Costumes

Behind The Candelabra

The sparkling opulence of this acclaimed Liberace biopic knows no bounds. As the renowned closeted Las Vegas showman who once lavished his-and-his facelifts on himself and his much younger boyfriend, Michael Douglas wore campy kitsch on his sleeve. Case(s) in point: a white fox fur coat with 16-foot train, an ostrich cape lined with red-and-gold sequins, and numerous silk caftans. Equally fierce was Matt Damon as Liberace’s boy toy chauffeur Scott Thorson who shone in two memorable diamond-encrusted Speedos.