Lights, Camera, Fashion

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How many times have you ever been star struck by someone whose outfit you liked? My guess is probably never. But how many times have you been star struck by a celebrity? Probably a lot more often.

In reality they’re just normal people, but actors and actresses have the power of being dozens of different characters at any given time. As movie goers we are subject to be inspired.

I’ll be the first to admit I get rather inspired when I watch movies, new and old, that are notorious for starting trends. I ran around for years rocking two braids in my hair thanks to Dorothy Gale.

I’m not the only one though. In fact, thousands of people latch on to fashion trends made big by their favorite flicks. Just have a look at these few…

Let’s go back 61 years to 1955. Any guesses yet? The Seven Year Itch was released and thanks to Marilyn Monroe not so cautiously holding her dress down over a street vent, the white halter dress blew up. Women everywhere were dying to get their hands on one. Today you can look at any Halloween store and I can guarantee that costume will be there.

Two years later another fashion classic struck. Audrey Hepburn gave a charismatic performance on the silver screen in Funny Face. A black turtleneck, black cigarette pants, and black flats was all it took to push the mod influence of the early 1960s into high gear. For decades to follow women and men never wanted to let go of the black on black trend.

Audrey’s black on black ensemble is a classic that has never gone out of style.
Audrey’s black on black ensemble is a classic that has never gone out of style.

It’s now 1977 and without knowing it, creative genius George Lucas directed what would become one of the greatest movies in the galaxy – no pun intended. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope sparked fashion trends for both men and women. In the years to follow two more films were released and ladies everywhere were sporting cinnamon roll buns much like Princess Leia, and guys were rocking a good old fashioned vest much like the galaxy’s best smuggler, Han Solo.

Fast forward 6 more years and the 80s are just about to get into full swing. In 1983 Risky Business gave Tom Cruise his first leading role – and come to think of it, Ray Ban’s first leading role as well. It was said that Ray Ban asked to have its sunglasses featured in the movie, and thanks to this film over four million pairs were made and sold.

That same year another film made itself known and sparked one of the most iconic trends of the 1980s: leg warmers and off the shoulder sweatshirts. Yes, that movie would be Flashdance. Don’t be fooled though, this might have started as an 80s trend but in the early 2000s the trend resurfaced.

Who knew that school girl plaid was going to be the rage in the 1990s? Maybe not any of us, but Alicia Silverstone might have had an idea. Thanks to Cher Horowitz skirts that were way too short to cover anything and platform shoes that were way too hard to drive in were flying off shelves. Girls weren’t the only ones to have a fashion “moment” in this cult classic. Despite being somewhat hidden behind the magic of Cher Horowitz, kudos is in order to Paul Rudd for making dad jeans and a flannel shirts look so good.

Cher’s miniskirts and platform shoes have started to resurface in trends today. That’s about 20 years later!
Cher’s miniskirts and platform shoes have started to resurface in trends today. That’s about 20 years later!

Beyond clothing, hair styles are largely influenced by movies – and 2012 was one of those years. (It was also a good year for Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s another story for another article). But thanks to Jennifer’s character Katniss Everdeen no one was wearing their hair down and loose anymore. Maybe people caught on to her infamous braid because it was pretty impossible to wear a dress that safely caught fire.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance captured our hearts in The Great Gatsby, but Carey Mulligan’s style captured all of our money. Luxury designers couldn’t make 1920s inspired clothes fast enough after the 2013 release of this film. Fast fashion retailers even began adding fringe and beads to just about anything they could. I was guilty of grabbing onto the trend as well.

In 2015 various websites predicted that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would spark new parents to name their children Kylo, Rey, Finn, or Poe. While they were right – yes people are naming their children after Kylo Ren – they failed to mention that new fashion trends would also emerge. Much like Princess Leia’s cinnamon roll buns, Rey’s triple bun took over, and I imagine sales in hair ties spiked too.

Apart from being one of the most likable newcomers in Star Wars, Rey’s triple bun has become the most likable up do.
Apart from being one of the most likable newcomers in Star Wars, Rey’s triple bun has become the most likable up do.

The good news is that 2016 is still young and there are a slew of movies that have yet to be released. Who knows what fashion trends will emerge from this year’s star-studded lineup.

Francesca Aloe, '18

I'm a Disney fanatic who happens to also watch baseball and soccer like it’s my job.  Oh, and I'm probably a Jedi.