Style Observer

What's In A Dress?

Sunday, February 10, 2013    

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It's a perennial go-to scene in films. The one where a female protagonist has jaws dropping or heads silently nodding, when she makes a stunning entrance in the dress you're guaranteed to remember. SO shares our faves.

ATONEMENT (2007)

Keira Knightley created a celluloid 'wow moment' in an emerald silk dress in the British romantic war drama film Atonement, sending her onscreen paramour James McAvoy's heart (and ours) racing. Grade-A work by costume designer Jacqueline Durran.

CASABLANCA (1942)

Okay, Ingrid Bergman's wardrobe might not have been the most head-turning, but let's face it, Casablanca is one of filmdom's classic romantic films, and her character Ilsa was no slouch in the wardrobe department.

DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002)

Halle Berry was a no-brainer casting choice as a Bond girl in Pierce Brosnan's final outing as the super-spy in Die Another Day. She left us and the protagonist shaken and stirred in this fab, floor-length number.

EVER AFTER (1998)

"Just breathe," Drew Barrymore's character Danielle whispers to herself, trying to subdue her frayed nerves. Why? She's about to debut an awe-inspiring design ensemble, complete with wings in the Renaissance-set, Cinderella-inspired drama.

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

Gone With The Wind is a bona fide granddaddy of epic films, and dresses don't come grander than Scarlett O'Hara's. Oh yes, Vivien Leigh, we do give a damn even if Clark Gable's Rhett Butler said otherwise.

TITANIC

Titanic rests hook, line and sinker on the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet's Rose DeWitt Bukater. We bought it completely and Winslet's iconic red dress recently US$330,000 at an auction in Los Angeles last year speaks to just how much of a statement it made.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (2003)

Kate Hudson's Dina Bar El-designed yellow gown in this romantic comedy is best summed up in one word: FLAWLESS!

MAID IN MANHATTAN (2002)

Jenny From The Block made us lustily applaud her gorgeous, strapless pink ensemble created by the film's costume designer Albert Wolsky.

MAHOGHANY (1975)

A classic film for black and fashion audiences alike, this Dianna Ross-starring vehicle featured a treasure trove of fashionable wardrobe choices. Delicious haute couture aside, we remain forever smitten with the pairing of Miss Ross and Billy Dee Williams. FUN FACT: Ross is credited as the movie's costume designer.

MOULIN ROUGE! (2001)

Aussie actress Nicole Kidman plays the tragic Satine in this 1900-based musical. What's no tragedy is her fabulous wardrobe, particularly the bright red-corseted ensemble.

THE NOTEBOOK (2004)

We're ferklempt just recalling this new-age romance classic's way with our heart. As star-crossed lovers, Ryan Gosling's Noah Calhoun and Rachel McAdams' Allie Hamilton radiate white-hot chemistry, but we also adore costume designer Karyn Wagner's lovely subtle touches. Our fave Allie outfit -- the simply elegant blue dress she dons for a fortuitous boat ride with Noah.

PRETTY WOMAN

It's the movie that made Julia Roberts a household name. And to its credit, Pretty Woman's memorable scene -- where Roberts' prostitute character Vivian dons an elegant, sweeping red gown for her opera date with Richard Gere's Edward -- still holds up pretty well.

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1998)

Gywneth Paltrow won a Best Actress Oscar playing Viola de Lesseps, an aspiring actress who wins the role of Romeo in playwright William Shakespeare's new play, sneakily doing so by cross-dressing as a male. Paltrow, a regular on modern-day best- dressed lists, made a fashionable impression in this period romance, thanks to Sandy Powell's exquisite costume design, who won an Oscar herself.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961)

Audrey Hepburn's black Givenchy dress from the iconic romantic comedy is still much-imitated and referenced (see Tina Fey on a 2012 cover of Entertainment Weekly and Natalie Portman on Harper's Bazaar's cover in 2006), but nothing has quite matched Hepburn's impossibly chic turn as Holly Golightly.

TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 (2011)

The rooting for Team Edward or Team Jacob was put to rest when Kristen Stewart's Bella made it to the altar with her vampire beau played by Robert Pattinson. Bella's Carolina Herrera-designed wedding dress, made of crepe satin and French Chantilly lace, was a certified stunner.

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