In 2013, Hollywood had some stories to tell about fashion and style.
Pretty much every year at the Academy Awards, someone makes the banal statement: "It has truly been an amazing year in Hollywood filmmaking". Though on some occasions it is very accurate, this year I feel like that statement is only somewhat true. Sure, there have been some gems, but nothing truly groundbreaking (unless you consider the cinematography in Gravity).
However, unlike most previous years, this year seems to have produced a large number of influential films in terms of fashion and style. Why do we say fashion and style separately? Well, whilst some films portrayed a strong message about the uses and influences of fashion as a whole, others utilised a certain sense of style in order to successfully represent their characters and their stories.
So which ones did so the best?
To clarify, there are a few films on this list that I haven't had a chance to watch yet, but I felt obliged to include them due to their overall potential (and I still plan on watching all of them).
This biopic about the story of the infamous pornstar Linda Lovelace not only proved to be quite engaging, it also provided audiences with a seemingly accurate representation of style in the 1970s. It also (though perhaps unintentionally) begged the question: if a pornstar can dress this modestly, what can we say about the young women in our society?
#9: Gangster Squad
The first on this list that I haven't yet seen. Though it may not be an incredibly unique film, the fact that it's set in the late 1940s suggests that the leading lady, Emma Stone, will possess a seriously enviable wardrobe (particularly because the costume designer, May Zophres, has previously worked on such films as The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and many others).
#8: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Another film I have yet to see, but one that I am very excited about. Although these films are silly comedies, Veronica Corningstone (a.k.a. Christina Applegate) is quite a serious representation of the struggles that women still faced less than half a century ago. Luckily, Veronica's wardrobe decisions are not affected by this struggle, as she opts for a both stylish and professional look.
#7: Oz the Great and Powerful
Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz as witches (both good and evil). What could be better? The film in itself was not amazing, but the costumes were impeccable. There were so many outfits that were chic and dazzling that it was difficult to pick a favourite.
#6: American Hustle
The 1970s seems to have been a very popular decade this year. However, in terms of stylishness, American Hustle will probably beat out the competition (sorry Anchorman 2 and Lovelace). Combined with the talents of Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, this film is set to become a style favourite.
#5: The Wolf of Wall Street
Could a film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio wearing Giorgio Armani be anything but amazing? Especially when the costume designer is none other than Sandy Powell (of The Aviator (2004) fame)? I think not. I can hardly contain my excitement to see this.
#4: The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola's rendition of the events that occurred in the late 2000s to these fame-obsessed teenagers living in Hollywood is pure gold. The Bling Ring is a prime example of how films can make a statement about the world of fashion and how it obviously is such a powerful entity that it can drive people to commit illegal acts. The style in the film also reflects the impressionable nature of the characters who copycat their favourite celebrities' personal style. If you're looking for the perfect portrayal of the negative impact of celebrity style on our society, this is it.
#3: Blue Jasmine
Woody Allen's latest masterpiece is another perfect example of how personal style can reflect a character's own interpretation of themselves. Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a stereotypical Upper East Side socialite, who wears Chanel jackets and carries a Birkin because of the status they represent. After she loses her husband and money, she refuses to give up her status, and thus continues wearing designer clothing. Even if Cate had not looked as amazing as she did, this film would still be my favourite of the year.
#2: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
There is far too much to be said about the role of both style and fashion in this film. To sum it up: it's all incredible. So incredible, in fact, that the costume designer created her own line of clothing inspired by the work she did in the film (kind of).
#1: The Great Gatsby
It was a fairly obvious choice which film was the most stylish of the year. As with The Hunger Games, there is far too much that could be said about Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the classic story, but let's try to pinpoint the most vital elements: Leonardo DiCaprio, the 1920s' flapper-style, headpieces, feathers, over-the-top glamorous parties, Carey Mulligan, original Miuccia Prada designs... The list is pretty much endless. Expect to receive numerous invites to Gatsby-themed parties in 2014. Cannot wait.