Guest feature: Modern Film – A Style Perspective

Ava GardenerIn the 1940’s Fashion and film were two completely different entities. Although it was the when the word ‘Supermodel’ was first created it was an almost unheard-of term. Actresses were the golden girls of the decade, idolised and the epitome of glamour. Big screen darlings would wow the world, and then emerge as fashion icons.

On-screen ensembles spurring fashion trends and film styling would catapult little known actresses to the forefront of the fashion world. Somewhere along the way the lines have become somewhat blurred; is fashion more important now, or have we just reached a new era with a different definition of a film icon?

Ava Gardener shot to fame in the 1940’s Film-Noir and initially her roles alongside Fred Astaire and Burt Lancaster got her noticed. It wasn’t until after her acting skills had become firmly established that her now vintage dresses would get noticed. Fast-forward 70 years and a definite role reversal has occurred.

Our modern day film icons are applauded for their style choices, before their abilities to take on a role are even considered. Take Sienna Miller, a model and comparable nobody until the release of Layer Cake, and namely the infamous underwear scene where her outfit and of course her body made her the most talked about woman in Hollywood. Since then Sienna Miller’s laid-back boho style has made her top of every fashion list and front row of every show many more times than her films have graced the box office.

Sex In The City

Many of the current Hollywood elite come from fashion backgrounds, cementing the ideal that a look can far exceed the importance of actual acting ability. Keira Knightley and Cameron Diaz, although now both successful actresses in their own right came from modelling backgrounds where their main purpose was to dress well and display fashion.

However, the same cannot be said for other Hollywood stars. The first ‘Sex And The City’ film was amongst the top grossing romantic comedies of 2008. Based on the highly successful series it can be debated what made the film such a huge smash. Many would say the fashion aspects of the film were more memorable than the acting performances.

It’s modern day cult films that seem to set the standard for memorable fashion trends. Team the right actor with the right role and everything they wear becomes gold dust. Ryan Gosling in ‘Drive’ despite barely speaking epitomised mysterious and cool. The films dark 80’s tones are mirrored in the pop-synth soundtrack and in Goslings style which he carried from the screen to the red carpet wearing a sleek navy blue statement suit for the premier.


The films marketing relied heavily on the iconography of the silent hero’s scorpion jacket. The gold silk ‘bomber’ held an unlikely charm, but its popularity was undeniable. Satin sports jackets, especially ones emblazoned with garish Scorpion designs becoming heavily sought after. It is the overall package of Drive that oozes style, proving that simple style choices can have such a huge impact on the viewership and publicity that film will ultimately gain.
To answer the question whether fashion is more important, we certainly think so.

It’s a key consideration for most modern films looking for a hit at the box office. Without careful considering of these style aspects, (and without a decent script to compensate), they can easily end up on the straight to DVD list.

This post was written by Rebecca Brown on behalf of ASOS Marketplace.