Bonnie J Brown
Fashion and Hollywood have always had a love-love relationship. Ever since the first â€œIt Girlâ€ of the silver screen walked the red carpet, a fashion runway show ensued. Beautiful women draped in the latest fashions from exclusive designers had everyday women longing to be just as glamorous. Even in the early days of cinema, women imitated the fashions of Mary Pickford, Mae West and Joan Crawford, among other famous movie stars, who were dressed by none other than the costume designers of their movies.
It’s no wonder fashion and Hollywood make such a great duo. The fashion industry, with its glossy picture books hailed as fashion magazines and memorable runway shows that incorporate props, make-up, lighting and cameras is so similar to movies and television that it’s a wonder they aren’t more interconnected than they already are. Each has the ability to create a world of fantasy that we all want to be a part of.
Like most friendships, the relationship between fashion and Hollywood has evolved. While both industries are clearly separate, it doesn’t seem like a day goes by when an actress introduces her own clothing line (or acts as artistic adviser, a la Lindsey Lohan, for a fashion label) or a designer dresses an actress for a red carpet event. And let’s face it, the main reason we watch the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes (both award shows that honor actors and actresses) is to see who is wearing what label. However, the biggest fashion-Hollywood trend these days seems to be coming from the television shows. This past year designer Anna Sui was commissioned by Target to create a line inspired by the already fashion-infused television show Gossip Girl. In this instance we have fashion used to demonstrate a lifestyle within a TV show which then inspires a completely new line of clothing for the Target customer.
Even more popular than Gossip Girl is the fashion influence coming from the hit AMC drama, Mad Men. The show, which revolves around a 1960’s advertising department, has not only made costume designer Janie Bryant a household name, but has inspired other fashion designers’ clothing lines as well, including Thom Browne and Michael Kors. Ms. Bryant is also rumored to becoming out with her own line as well. In addition, the show has encouraged us shopaholics to check out vintage shops for great fashion finds as well and stylist are quick to give tips on how to incorporate vintage pieces into your modern wardrobe. While the drama that surrounds the characters on the show is far from being enviable, the fact that the characters are all young, beautiful, wealthy, and have access to beautiful clothes brings to mind another show that had just as much influence on the fashion industry…The ever popular, Dynasty.
The prime time soap opera that was Dynasty aired during the bulk of the 1980s and told the story of the Carringtons, a wealthy southern family. And the man in charge of dressing the characters was Nolan Miller. The 80s was certainly an era of excess and that may have been encouraged by Dynasty and Nolan Miller. His designs featured on the show more often than not included fine lace, silks, fur, over the top shoulder pads, more fur, and jewelry which dripped diamonds and pearls. The show was a hit and so were the clothes. Nolan Miller designed a clothing line, â€œThe Dynasty Collectionâ€ which was made up of couture gowns based on the dresses worn by Joan Collins and Linda Evans on the show. The show had such a presence in the fashion industry and influenced many of the men and women who watched the show that perfumes were named after the characters. Dynasty certainly created a lifestyle for not only the characters on the show but for those who watched it.
Fashion, Hollywood and television are so popular these days since they provide a bit of fantasy for all of us who take part. Watching Gossip Girl, Mad Men or reruns of Dynasty helps us escape the mundane issues of our lives. If we can play dress-up by imitating the looks we see our favorite characters, we can become a part of that fantasy. I can only hope the relationship endures and that I can continue to play along.
1. Anna Sui Gossip Girl-Inspired Collection For Target
2. Anna Sui Gossip Girl-Inspired Collection For Target
3. Michael Kors Bubble Dress
4. Michael Kors Cross-Front Dress
5. Mad Men Fashion
6. Dynasty Fashion