Fashion’s Favorite Films

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Blade Runner and Un Chien Andalou

As you may have seen from this week’s tweets, I made the unfortunate mistake of leaving my laptop in East Hampton while I spent the week in the city. Being without a computer for the past few days has freed time for activities – like watching movies – that are usually compromised to allow for my massive internet browsing habit. I decided on two films that I think historically have had the greatest influence on fashion, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Luis Bruñel and Salvador Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou.

Blade Runner has served as inspiration to designers for years, but the character Pris‘ makeup is unquestionably the most replicated aspect of the film. Fashion has seen this trademark black line over the eyes on both men and women every season and FW12 was no exception.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from: Jean Paul Gaultier FW09 Couture, Armani FW12 Couture, Christian Dior FW06 Couture, Alexander McQueen FW04 Ready-to-Wear, and Thom Browne FW12 Menswear

The Balenciaga runway, along with countless others, have been invaded by sic-fi-inspired looks for seasons now. Ghesquière used Blade Runner as a reference most notably in his collections for FW 2007 and FW 2012, pictured below.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Balenciaga FW12 and middle look from Balenciaga FW07

The opening of Impossible Conversations and the relaunch of the House of Schiaparelli have brought surrealism back to the forefront of fashion. I watched Bruñel and Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou this week and got totally inspired. His use of the human face and bugs, while at times gruesome, was equally exciting. His influence outside of the art community was apparent in the days of the surrealists and still holds true today.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Un Chien Andalou

Elsa Schiaparelli was the first to commission Dalí to design jewelry. His fascination with nature and humanistic features, as exhibited in his film, was later incorporated into his designs (pictured below). Who knew Dalií was the originator of grillz?

Fashion's Favorite Films
Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist jewelry

Season after season designers have turned to Dalí and other surrealists for inspiration. It was particularly evident at both the Ready-to-Wear and FW12 Couture shows. Giambattista Valli adorned his models in gold branch necklaces and butterflies while Alber turned Dalí’s delicate pieces into statement costume jewelry at Lanvin.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Giambattista Valli FW12 Couture and Lanvin FW12 Ready-to-Wear

My all-time favorite example of surrealism invading the runway was a product of the always offbeat Rei Kawakubo. Her use of lips as an accessory to the face in addition to the model’s own was striking.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Comme des Garçons FW09 over a Damien Hirst butterfly background.

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  1. [...] FW 2012 Lanvin – art by Salvador Dali (previously seen here) [...]

  2. [...] with designer Elsa Schiaparelli and his collection of surrealist jewels (previously featured here), he guest edited a few, select issues of Vogue. His art appeared on covers, including the June [...]

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