Fashion Trends Inspired Hollywood
Is there a woman in the world that doesn’t own a little black dress? You know the one I’m talking about; typically sleeveless, cut about two inches above the knee, with a sensual neckline. It either slips over your head or zips up the back and looks outstanding with a short strand of pearls. But would this fashion staple occupy even half of our closets today if it was not for the movie in which Audrey Hepburn donned hers? I’m talking about Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The original little black dress was actually designed by Coco Channel in the 1920’s, but did not become popularized until Ms. Hepburn wore it in her iconic movie. Since then, few women have attended dressy functions without wearing one. This little black dress may be the most famous example of how Hollywood has influenced fashion over the years. Just for fun, let’s look at a few more:
Blondes Have More Fun
It's long been said that blondes have more fun. Do they? Maybe, maybe not; but to this day there is no shortage of women willing to find out. Seeing the likes of bottle blondes such as Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Jayne Mansfield on the big screen paved the way for other bold and daring women to emulate this fashion trend. Other celebrities such as Madonna, Pamela Anderson and Gwen Stefani have copied this iconic look over the years, assuring that the bottle blonde look never dies.
The Eyes Have It
Elizabeth Taylor set a new standard in the application of eye makeup with her turn in the title role of the 1963 classic, Cleopatra. Heavy eyeliner never looked so good and in fact, this is one style that has ebbed and flowed in popularity over the years, but is making a comeback. The charcoal eye pencil is a standard item in most women’s makeup bags. Heavy liner across one's top eyelid is reminiscent of the 60s and often copied for theme parties and bold parties such as New Year's Eve bashes across the globe.
Diane Keaton made it acceptable and even popular for women to don men’s suits and ties and call it fashion when she stepped out in the same attire in 1977’s Annie Hall. Her fearless experiment in fashion quickly caught on as women everywhere reveled in the free flowing, oversized suit coats and wing tipped shoes. Women embraced this look as the movement toward gender equality really took off. Ironically, this playfully androgynous style of dress came to be considered sexy by many. Though it was Diane Keaton that really cemented the look for American culture, she was not actually the pioneer. Two decades earlier, the incomparable Katherine Hepburn began stepping out in men’s shoes and pantsuits. While this must surely have caused a stir in her day, Ms. Hepburn was still regarded as an iconic sex symbol by many man and women alike, including her partner of many years, the notoriously macho, Spencer Tracy.
Jennifer Beals turned the torn, off-the-shoulder sweatshirt into a must-have for every woman. Tight leggings with leg warmers capped off this casual style, which was reflective of what dancers wore to workouts. Despite the origin of this look, probably 99% of women wearing the style never set foot in a dance studio! Like many fashion trends, this one quickly faded. Yet in the 2000s the leg warmer is beginning to make a comeback. Who knows? Perhaps we'll be seeing women running around in leggings and torn up, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts again soon too.
The Future's So Bright...I Gotta Wear Shades
Today he may be more known for his controversial beliefs on Scientology, his many divorces (which may be related to the Scientology thing) and his couch-jumping antics on Oprah, but before all of this non-sense, he was famous for his 1000 watt smile and those shades. When Tom Cruise slid into his foyer wearing nothing but socks, tidy-whities, a button down shirt and those iconic black sunglasses in his 1983 movie, Risky Business he started a fashion trend that endures to this day. Of course I'm not talking about seeing men running around in their underwear - I'm talking about those black, ever-hip sunglasses. Ever since that epic moment in cinema, there are few, if any, people that have not owned at least one pair of those glasses. I still have a pair!
The Madonna Look
I’m not sure what else to call it, but you know what I’m talking about; the lace gloves, ratted and streaked hair, dark glasses, red lipstick, torn legging, and bustiers. This look was a hodge-podge of styles that looked as if they were assembled from a variety of second-hand thrift stores. In fact, I believe it was. Young girls everywhere rushed out to emulate the look. Fashion magazines, movies such as Suddenly Seeking Susan, and music videos kept the style relevant for much of the 80s. It's not one that's likely to make a comeback, but when you see pictures of girls decked out in this attire, it's impossible not to think of Madonna, the 80s queen that started the trend.
Saturday Night Fever
It’s a look we can’t forget, though we may want to. John Travolta danced his way into our hearts in 1977’s Saturday Night Fever, and for a time, disco dance halls everywhere were crawling with men in white suits with silk shirts unbuttoned to mid-chest, gold chains and fashionable loafers. A decade later, the tv show, Miami Vice, dressed lead characters in outfits that were reminiscent of that style, minus the silk shirts.
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