Perhaps, it always was. Recently, labels such as Prada, Gucci and Saint Laurent have launched their very own homages to cinema in the form of fashion campaigns. The references to the seventh art form and great Hollywood names are common in fashion’s imagery. But, what connects fashion and films so strongly?
Gucci's homage to Stanley Kubrick - "Exquisite Gucci" F/W 2022 Campaign
There exists an almost symbiotic relationship between both ever since cinema’s inception. Several reasons can be to blame. One is the ability clothing has for representing people. Costume design can either make or break a film. Not in vain there are specific awards dedicated to costume design within large cinema award galas. “Clothing is there to transmit emotions” (from Spanish), said once Pedro Almodóvar himself.
As largely visual arts focused around storytelling, fashion and fill retrofeed each other from their beginnings. Previous to filmographic culture, theaters were already aware of the importance of costumes. The first costume designers date back to Ancient Greece. Simultaneously, the glamour and the image of fashion and Hollywood keep them strongly linked even outside of film sets and studios. This mutually beneficial relationship served as a window for the great fashion houses to reach a larger audience, at the same time as building the essence and persona of actors and actresses in front of that audience.
Amongst our own labels in store, Givenchy is one of the most relevant names in cinema. Hubert de Givenchy had been in charge of dressing Dame Audrey Hepburn from the movie Sabrina on, in 1954. Rumour has it that Hepburn had felt offended by the costume designer’s apparent disdain for his work, thus proceeding to sign an agreement with Givenchy to be dressed by him and him only for her roles. This set off a century of strong film-fashion interconnection.
Saint Laurent has also famously ventured into the world of movie studios with Catherine Deneuve, French movie star with whom they still maintain a close relationship. Many French movie icons actively participate in their country’s fashion industry, French fashion being one of the most supportive of its talent as ambassadors. The outfits in the movie Belle de Jour (1967) continue to be referenced as Yves Saint Laurent’s most pure imagery and aesthetic. Its latest campaign, entitled The Director’s Cut, showcases film masterminds Pedro Almodóvar, David Cronenberg, Jim Jarmusch and Abel Ferrara. Almodóvar and Anthony Vaccarello, now heading Saint Laurent, are preparing to release their short film Strange Way of Life at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. For this instalment, Saint Laurent has not only designed the entire wardrobe of the film, but has also taken charge of its production.
Vicent Cassel in Prada Spring/Summer 2023 Ad Campaign
Miuccia Prada was appointed to create the costumes for Romeo+Juliet by Bar Luhrmann. In 1996, just three years upon release of her first menswear sartorial line, Prada commenced a longstanding connection to cinema. Within this period, Prada has been part of projects such as The Great Gatsby. The relationship of the label with the world of movies is palpable in each of their runway shoes, were alternative atmospheres conjunt with sounds, visuals and clothing. Just one year ago, Jeff Goldblm and Kyle MachLachan among other actors were launched onto the Prada autumn/winter 2022 catwalk. Consequently, they both also fronted the subsequent campaign, joined by Rami Malek. A year later, today, movie stars like Vincent Cassel, Jaehyun Jeong and Louis Partridge are the new faces of the latest Prada campaign. This, apart from solidifying her relationship to cinema, allows the brand to enjoy a diverse balance between their models and real people showcasing Prada’s intellectual elegance.
To summarise, films are perhaps the art form most closely related to fashion. At large, fashion and art promote human creativity in equal parts. They both balance between utility and beauty, a game many great brands have as their trademark. The intrinsic relationship between fashion and art in general is most salient during events like couture fashion weeks. This past month, we got to witness again one of the largest biannual showcases of historic artisanship. The great fashion houses showed their own proposals for the upcoming red carpet season, bridging to light some of the most show-stopping moments. Certain labels, however, also launch collections with a purely aestheticist approach. They celebrate fashion for the sake of fashion, beauty for the sake of beauty, much like 20th century Aesthetics.
Our own brand philosophy honours the history and tradition of the brands we represent. Behind all grand fashion names, stands a history and a solid background holding them. We treat each piece in our stores as the piece of handcraft they actually are. Not pointlessly, one of our beloved clients recently referred to our work as “treasure hunters”. Within our physical spaces, there coexists a gallery of art pieces collected from several artists. Their presence further brings roundness to a space dedicated to art in its different forms: painting, sculpture and fashion.