Saturday, October 16, 2010

Elle UK's Most Stylish Films

One of my guilty pleasures is reading foreign magazines and I am always intrigued by the trends they predict, determine and invent as well as their particular take on pop culture. Naturally the following article piqued my interest...

British Elle's 25th Anniversary issue (October 2010) asked a panel of fashion and film insiders to nominate their most stylish and influential films. While many of the usual suspects made the list such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, La Dolce Vita, Top Hat and The Graduate (Thomas Crown Affair was inexplicably left off), I thought I would cover a few of the more interesting and seldom seen choices:

Le Mepris aka Contempt (1964)
Nominated by Rachel Weisz, Actress

Jean Luc-Goddard's film was purely a  Brigitte Bardot vehicle (shown here in brunette wig and bathrobe) the focuses on the tensions between a writer and his wife as he attempts to make a Homer's The Odyssey into a commercial film. 

Bardot with actor Jack Palance

Gigi (1958)
Nominated by Leslie Sloane Zelnik, Film Publicist

20th century Paris is the setting for the directed -by- Vincent Minnelli  and songs-by-Alan Jay Lerner musical. Leslie Caron plays Gigi, a courtesan-in-training who enjoys a platonic turned romantic relationship with wealthy playboy Louis Jordan.

Caron and Jourdan in a 20th Century version of Cinderella

Leslie Caron
The Women (1939)
Nominated by Zandra Rhodes, Designer

The Women is George Cukor's classic saga of women and divorce in the thirties. The all star cast includes Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell and was sadly remade a couple of years ago to horrible reviews. Like everything in life, stick to the original.

American Gigolo (1980)

Clothing takes front and center in this film starring Richard Gere (actually this may have been the vehicle to place him on the celestial map) as a male escort and Lauren Hutton as his suitor. Who can forget the classic scene as he sang Smokey Robinson's "More Love" and coordinated his ties and shirts? They had me at Armani.

About De Souffle aka Breathless (1960)
Nominated by Michael Winterbottom, Director

Actress Jean Seberg and her signature pixie haircut escape to Italy with petty thief Jean Paul Belmondo. One of the first films of the French New Wave genre, it was remade years later with Richard Gere and Valerie Kaprisky. Again, rent the original.

Jean Seberg

Darling (1963)
Nominated by Roland Mouret, Designer

Julie Christie took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal as a fashionably trendy Brit who seeks fame and fortune. And she has an affair with Laurence Harvey. The setting is mid-sixties Pop England and was considered quite controversial (in the states anyway) at the time.

Laurence Harvey, Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde

Costume Sketch of Christie

Scarves as headgear were all the rage in the sixties and seventies

Quietes-Vous, Polly Magoo? (1966)
Nominated by Alexa Chung, TV Presenter

The film spoofs a supermodel on the Paris fashion runways and told in dizzying black and white, eyeliner and all. And all very sixties.

Mary Quant inspired models

Sabrina (1954)
Nominated by Cameron Crowe, Director

This film would always make my top ten. Audrey Hepburn as the chauffeur's daughter who flees to Paris to become chic and gain the attention of her father's employer's son only to fall in love with his brother...well you get the picture. Hepburn teams up with fashion designer  Givenchy and as fellow Sabrina actor Humprey Bogart would famously say in an earlier film "this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Hepburn with William Holden
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Nominated by Amanda Silverman, Publicist

This film would not be on my top ten list but it certainly was an emblem of New York in the eighties with its leather, safety pins, black lace, overgrown roots and all night clubbing. Roseanna Arquette as a bored housewife meets and emulates Susan (Madonna in her heyday) in this comedy.

And the winner is....

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

A great novel by Truman Capote, New York in the early sixties, Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Cat and the quintessential little black dress and pearls. Enough said.

Photo Credits: Paramount, MGM, Jennifer's Blogspot

You can read more of Elle UK here.


  1. Thanks for reminding us of these wonderful films that have had such an impact on a whole generation. I must add some of them to my Netflix list so I can revisit them.

  2. What a great list! Gigi is my top favorite movie of all time, actually. Surprised 'weekend at marienbad' didn't make the list! Even Karl Lagerfeld recently said it was his favorite movie.

  3. I just discovered your blog thanks to Fox News and congrats!!!!!!
    Have not seen Weekend at Marienbad and will check it out.

  4. "Marienbad" didn't make it?

    I nominate "Two For The Road" with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney.

  5. No Mareinbad did not and I need to check this film out. It's interesting to see their take and an Audrey Hepburn film will always make the list. Loved Two for the Road!