Lights, cameras, fashion: Designers reveal their cinematic inspiration

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

When glamorous star meets beautiful clothing, something magical happens. On the eve of the second Fashion in Film Festival, Rhiannon Harries asks four designers where they find cinematic inspiration

Cinema has always helped to define notions of glamour and style. From Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy (Breakfast at Tiffany's) to Catherine Deneuve in YSL (Belle de Jour), some of the medium's most memorable moments are revered as much for the costumes as for the acting.

And while we may bemoan the current lack of old-fashioned stars, we still look to the screen and the red carpet as attentively as ever for sartorial guidance.

Tomorrow, London's second Fashion in Film Festival kicks off, with the theme "If Looks Could Kill: Cinema's Images of Fashion, Crime and Violence". To mark the event, we asked four top designers to choose the films whose fashions have inspired their own creations. n

John Rocha: Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)

One of the all-time great movies on every level. I have no idea why, but I find that men make more of an impact on me in films than women – even very beautiful ones.

I love the film-noir look and Jack Nicholson, as Jake (above), embodies that in this film. He is super- cool and sharp but at the same time it is totally effortless.

It's a combination of his clothes – the suits, the trilby, the sunglasses – and his laid-back attitude that makes him the kind of guy that men aspire to be. Guys want to be cool without appearing to be bothered about trends.

When I design menswear, I always think to myself: what would Jack like from this collection? If I can imagine him in most of it, I know I've done a good job.

I turned my hand to costume design a few years ago when I created the outfits for This Is the Sea, with Richard Harris and Samantha Morton. It's a very different discipline to being a fashion designer, though – you have to rein in your own vision and work to a tight brief. The trickiest thing is working with actors rather than models – they have a lot more to say for themselves about what they will wear.

Philip Treacy: Giulietta degli spiriti' (Juliet of the Spirits, Federico Fellini, 1965)

Fellini's first feature-length colour film is a surreal masterpiece in fashion and film.

I saw it when I was a student and I'll always remember the night scene, where someone walks into a garden and the rose bushes are wrapped in Cellophane.

A lot of hats are worn in this film but Fellini's brilliance ensures they are not peculiarities but important statements for the characters. Most directors are scared of hats, but Fellini knew that they could be a very expressive part of the mise en scène and here they help to create the fantastical temptress Suzy, played by Sandra Milo.

As a hat designer everyone presumes that my favourite film will be My Fair Lady. Cecil Beaton's costumes are superb – but it gets repetitive to hear customers say for the umpteenth time that they want to look like Audrey Hepburn.

Alice Temperley: Mata Hari (George Fitzmaurice, 1931)

I watched this film on holiday in Mexico last year and I knew it had to be the inspiration for our new autumn/winter collection.

Greta Garbo is beautiful as Hari, probably the most notorious spy of the 20th century. It's an unashamedly glamorous piece; the costumes are so decadent. There's lots of gold fabric, dripping jewels and sumptuous fabrics.

Garbo's wardrobe demonstrates Hari's sensuality. She was a classic seductress but also a true eccentric – in one scene she blows kisses to the firing squad.

My collection captures her hard edge by taking dresses in luxurious fabrics and adding thigh-high boots and sharp military-style hats.

Osman Yousefzada: In The Mood For Love (Wong Kar Wai, 2000)

This is just a very beautiful and considered piece of cinema. It centres on a group of migrants from Shanghai who settle in Hong Kong but remain attached to their own culture, differentiating themselves through their clothing: all jewel-coloured cheongsams that represent the 1960s take on traditional Shanghai style. Since this is a very slow-moving film it works on atmosphere and sensuality, and the colours of the clothes are integral to that. The look of the film just sucks you in.

I find it amazing how modern the vintage styles look. The prints wouldn't look out of place on the catwalks at the moment.

From the point of view of my own work, I find it an interesting film because I deal with ethnicity and the relationship between culture and clothing. The way the characters hang on to home through the way they dress has parallels with what I see today on the streets of London – you might be on Brick Lane and see someone in a sari with a modern coat over the top; it's the evolution of traditional clothing.

Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

    High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

    £70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

    Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

    Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits