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Designer Pieces in Film and TV

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Fashion is more than a moment or a little black dress with the right heel or jewel. As much as a pair of red bottoms or our partner’s sweatshirt in autumn bring us a sense of chic and comfort, the significance of fashion in film and television has been watered down into a few moments and haircuts. Of course, modern television shows that center fashion, like Sex and the City gold Schitt’s Creekact as free advertising for designer labels.

Fashionista, however, points out that designer brands didn’t initially see the legitimacy of loaning pieces to TV shows. This could be due to actresses like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn wearing Cartier or Tiffany & Co. diamonds or pieces by Chanel in classic films. Then, shows like gossip girl, Empireand How to Get Away with Murder changed how high-end fashion labels lent clothes to networks. Television marketing transformed for brands: they could lend pieces to a show, meaning they’d spend less on advertising all while devoting more time to creating original items. Here’s a look at designer fashion in film and TV through the ages.


Jewels and Classic Hollywood

The person who made diamonds and Hollywood inextricably interconnected is none other than the legendary Marylin Monroe. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, for instance, Monroe wears a pink satin dress with matching gloves and a gorgeous diamond necklace. CR Fashion Book explains why the necklace is just as significant as the dress: “Monroe didn’t fuse her movie star legacy into any old diamond, rather she wore none other than the epic 24.04 carat Moon of Baroda diamond.” While Monroe’s impact on fashion and film whilst wearing the Moon of Baroda diamond, one of Monroe’s peers has a similar experience with the Tiffany’s & Co.’s Ribbon Rosette necklace. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, one of the most iconic opening scenes shows Audrey Hepburn wearing this necklace, which has since only been worn by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. These pieces were known too few beyond the Hollywood and socialist scene, but they marked the emergence of the synthesis between entertainment and fashion.

Related: Funny Face: A Fashion Masterpiece Long Before Devil Wears Prada

From Funny Face to The Devil Wears Prada

While an actress’ fashion sense provides much of today’s discussion, it was Hepburn who brought Italian and French designers to the big screen. Hepburn has a myriad of prolific scenes and characters, but the fashion across each film stands out as much as her signature cry/scream. Her movie funny face stands out for several reasons. First, the film won an Oscar for Edith Head’s costume design, who won over Hubert de Givenchy. Second, each piece worn in the film is like a fashion magazine transforming into a musical with the legendary triple talent, Fred Astaire. Finally, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) is an homage to the legendary Diana Vreeland, who ran Harper’s Bazaar in the 1950s.

Many films have been these hallmarks fashion like Funny Face, but it has been eclipsed by another film that has just as much acclaim. The Devil Wears Prada was released during a time when fashion was having a revival across entertainment. Much like The Office signaled a shift in sitcom focus for the next decade and beyond, The Devil Wears Prada signaled to audiences that the blue sweater we’re wearing was chosen by someone else.

The Real Star of Sex and the City

Carrie and her best friends, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, spent a decade in NYC trying to find Mr. Right Now, or Mr. Right. Sex and the City was one of those shows that made women feel seen in the tumultuous world of dating. While the four besties are the primary focus, New York City and the designer labels are arguably just as memorable. New York City is regarded as a fashion capital, like Paris and London, but not for the fabrics or groundbreaking styles, at least at first. According to Urbanist, during the 1880s, the garment industry in the Lower East Side took off due to the Civil War. With department stores becoming the place to spend an afternoon, if you had that kind of free time. Sex and the City revived this history with each woman’s love for a specific garment which in turn set various trends.

Related: Iconic Fashion Moments in Sex and The City, Ranked

Schitt’s Creek and Fashion Finds

When Schitt’s Creek premiered, it was more than a satire of the über-wealthy and their adjustment to losing everything. For fashion-lovers, it was a goldmine of designer labels. In an interview with Green Living, creator and actor Dan Levy revealed, “Wardrobe is probably the most important element in storytelling outside of actually writing… To me, wardrobe was like a huge focus, making sure that we thought through each of our characters and making sure the details were there.” The details of each character’s clothing were thoroughly impressive. First, designers like Givenchy, Celine, and Alexander McQueen were behind several of Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and Alexis’s (Annie Murphy) clothes. O’Hara is also the reason why Moira had a collection of wigs, which were just as significant as her outfits and outbursts.