Every year, a new crop of films premiere with a focus on fashion. Sometimes fashion is written into the script (in the case of 2009’s Coco avant Chanel) and in other instances, fashion emerges as an unlikely character in a film as in the case of 2010’s Black Swan’s Rodarte-designed costumes. Check out our top five fashion films of 2011 below. Rodarte-designed costumes. Check out our top five fashion films of 2011 below.

My Week with Marilyn
How could fashion not play a role in a film featuring the most iconic Hollywood celebrity of all time? Marilyn Monroe was almost held captive by her fashion choices: the infamous, billowing white halter dress, or a pared down Monroe, slightly vulnerable, photographed in oxford shirts, simple turtlenecks and bathrobes. In My Week with Marilyn, costume designer Jill Taylor focused on just that: Monroe’s private side (in which she dressed largely for comfort) to draw the viewer deeper into the troubled world of the outwardly glamorous and sexed-up celebrity. Check out My Week with Marilyn to get a glimpse of the much-hyped Williams performance as she dons sporty, American-inspired fashions from the’ 50s – a period in time when everything was possible, no dreams were too big and public smiles so often shrouded insufferable inner turmoil.

Learn how to emulate Marilyn Manroe’s iconic style here

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In David Fincher’s take on the 2009 Danish sleeper hit of the same name, Rooney Mara stars in the hard-edged leading role of Lisbeth Salander. First Rooney Mara appeared on the cover of Vogue looking every bit Lisbeth, and then the costume designer for the film, Trish Summerville, recently created a clothing line for H&M based on Salander’s edgy fashion choices that debuted exclusively at Colette in Paris on November 28th and on December 14th. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo collection is also available at 100 select H&M stores internationally (prior to the film’s release on the 21st of the month). If a studio-endorsed capsule collection with one of the world’s biggest fashion retailers doesn’t scream “fashion film,” we don’t know what does.

More fashion films on the next page…


Madonna doesn’t have the most outstanding track record in the film industry, but script and direction aside, the woman has a keen eye for aesthetics and that can’t be denied. With everything coming up Wallis Simpson in recent fashion inspiration (where conservatism meets sensuality), Madonna taps into this notorious American socialite’s allure in W.E. starring Andrea Riseborough. Costume designer Arianne Phillips spearheaded Riseborough’s transformation in to Wallis Simpson by studying the Parisian couture from the ‘30s that she was famous for. As an average looking woman, Simpson was known for her impeccable taste in fashion – a tool she openly used to climb international social ranks. With 60 different looks worn by Riseborough in W.E., this film is certainly a feast for fashion eyes.

Meek’s Cutoff
Meek’s Cutoff, another film starring of-the-moment celebrity Michelle Williams, is the unlikely fashion movie of the year (a Western!), focusing on 1845 Oregon. As we’ve seen skin disappear from the runways with collars buttoned high, maxi lengths and a general embracing of modesty, Meek’s Cutoff is feeling very on-trend with its plethora of prairie skirts and pioneer fashions. With so much fashion inspiration currently stemming from heritage brands and tailoring of decades (and centuries) gone by, this film is one to watch – even just for the fashion alone – however, we don’t see bonnets coming back into popularity anytime soon.


Not a fashion film per se, but with so much wedding (and wedding dress) hysteria in 2011 perpetrated by the Royals, the Kardashians and fashion icon brides like Kate Moss and Sofia Coppola, it’s only fair to include a film with one of the more memorable shopping scenes in recent film history. If you haven’t seen it already, rent Bridesmaids over the holidays to see Kristen Wiig in a peak comedic performance opposite an over-the-top polished and fashionably put-together Rose Byrne. (And don’t let the movie poster fool you — the hot pink dresses pictured are merely a stereotype of the fashion disasters that can happen with weddings – they aren’t featured in the film.)

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