Screen Play: Oldie But Goodie

It is curious how deeply we can be inspired by fictional characters. On second thought, however, maybe not so curious – after all, they are often everything we wish to be and more. When it comes to fashion, film has always been a fabulous partner-in-crime. If you have ever been caught in the proverbial “I don’t know what to wear” rut (it happens to the best of us), there is nothing quite as simple or effective as watching a good movie filled with colorful, stylish characters to get your mojo back. In this case, imitation is indeed the highest form of flattery, but it will not hurt to put in a little (or a lot) of yourself when channeling your favorite girl on screen. It is the perfect way to play out that more glamorous/quirky/edgy girl that is lurking somewhere inside of you. The best part is, you do not have to wait until Halloween to try out these “costumes”.

The Sixties was truly a watershed decade for fashion and its influence continues to be felt today. Here are three of my favorite fashion icons from classic films of the 1960s, whose timeless looks will never go out of style.


Can any round-up of movies fashion icons miss out on Holly Golightly of Breakfast At Tiffany’s (almost certainly Audrey Hepburn’s most famous role)? I think not. The first things that come to mind when one thinks of Truman Capote’s effervescent heroine is a beautiful little black dress adorned with stunning jewellery and a pair of over-sized sunglasses. However, there is more to Holly than that. She can also look très chic in a grey sweatshirt, denim capris and black flats or polished in a classic trench coat. When all else fails (or just for a bit of fun), turn a jersey bedsheet into a toga dress for your next party!


Jean Serberg’s role as Patricia Franchini in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless cemented the position of the pixie-girl in cinematic imagination for decades to come. As pointed out in the film itself, Patricia, with her cropped hair-do, sharp features and quirky striped ensembles, is the “charming girl”. Making her first appearance in the ground-breaking French New Wave film as a newspaper girl in a New York Herald Tribune t-shirt and cropped black pants, she transformed into the quintessential American In Paris with a striped sailor shirt and full black skirt. This film is a sartorial goldmine for the Francophile.


Featuring clothes specially designed by Yves Saint Laurent for his long-time muse Catherine Deneuve, the protagonist of Luis Buñuel’s controversial Belle de Jour is one well-dressed woman. A upper class housewife, Severine Serizy moonlights as a high class prostitute in the day while her husband is at work. As a subtle tribute to Monsieur Saint Laurent’s beautiful designs, a scene depicts one of Severine’s colleagues admiring her fine designer threads. A shiny PVC trench coat (hinting at a kinky reference) stole the show in my opinion, although the line-up of impeccable and luxurious fur-lined coats deserves a salut as well.

by Dottie Tan

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