The Impact of Cinema and TV on the Fashion Industry

The influence of cinema and television on fashion is undeniable. From the birth of Hollywood’s Golden Age to the expansion of TV and streaming services like Netflix, shows and movies have helped shape and define the style of generations. From iconic on-screen ensembles to memorable red carpet looks, it’s no surprise that some of the most memorable style moments onscreen remain ingrained in our minds.

 From Euphoria-inspired pearls to Blair Waldorf’s tiaras, the influence of cinema and television on fashion continues to shape our style choices in creative ways. Let’s take a look at the influence of film and television on the fashion industry, how it has evolved over the years, and what it means for fashion today.

Hollywood’s Golden Age: Classic Red Carpet Looks

When it comes to iconic on-screen fashion moments, few eras are as influential as Hollywood’s golden age. During this time, stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe defined the style of their era, making unforgettable appearances on the red carpet with timeless looks. Hepburn’s famous LBD (little black dress) from the 1961 comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most iconic looks of the era to this day.

Meanwhile, Monroe solidified her fashion icon status in the classic 7 Year Itch’s subway grate scene. Her white halter dress became an iconic representation of sex symbols and fashion during this period. As the decade progressed, fashion stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly introduced their own versions of on-screen glamour, incorporating elements like jewelry and elaborate hair-dos that arenned the screen.

The rebellious 1960s: From Beatniks to Mod

The rebellious, antiestablishment fashion of the 1960s also left its mark on cinema and television. Beatnik fashion was a fashion trend defined by intellectual-youth and drawn mainly from Bohemian and avant-garde European styles. The look was often marked by contented slouching and an oversized, genderless wardrobe pieces, featuring classic items like berets, turtlenecks, and trench coats.

The mod movement, on the other hand, gained steam with the rise of British Invasion bands like The Kinks, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. Its fashion-forward style, often featuring bold prints, geometric shapes and vibrant colors, was worn proudly by stars like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.

The 1970s: Disco Glam, Disco Fabulous

The 1970s saw an explosion of disco-inspired fashion on both the big and small screen. From artifice-laden shiny suits and fur coats to platform shoes and sunglasses, the signature looks of stars like John Travolta and Diana Ross in Saturday Night Fever and Rhinestone Cowboy, respectively, gave the era its bold namesake. A-list stars like Barbra Streisand and Farrah Fawcett-Majors continued to shape fashion trends on the silver screen, helping to establish that decade’s signature styles.

The 1980s: Neon, New Wave & Pop Music

The 1980s saw the emergence of the pop culture-driven fashion of the ‘80s. Neon-hued spandex and tank tops, leg warmers, denim jackets, and oversized sweatshirts were among the most popular looks of the era. Music stars like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper were responsible for ushering in this new wave of pop fashion. Both were able to establish a strong sense of personal style and influence the fashion scene of the decade with their onscreen and offscreen looks.

The 1990s and Early 2000s: From Sportswear to Reality TV

The 1990s and early 2000s were heavily influenced by the emergence of two counterculture movements: grunge, and hip hop. Grunge styles brought onscreen by stars like Winona Ryder and Kurt Cobain featured classic items like baggy jeans and flannel shirts, whereas hip hop stars introduced a more flashy, contemporary style to the trend. Meanwhile, reality TV popularized the use of sportswear, as seen in shows like Friends and The Real World as well as classic films like Clueless.

The Design Explosion of the Mid-Late 2000s

The mid to late 2000s saw an explosion in fashion design in the entertainment industry. Trends like J-horror, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and Rainbow Lolita began to dominate cinema and television screens, ushering in a wave of trend-setting style and self-expression. Television shows like Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, and The Devil Wears Prada and movies like Mean Girls and Sleepover further helped to define 21st century trends.

Fashion Television: From Music Videos to Streaming Services

The 21st century has also seen a resurgence of fashion-driven television, particularly amongst music videos. With an unprecedented level of exposure to style trends and the influence of the internet, music videos have become an important platform for the promotion of fashion. From SoundCloud rappers to hip hop fashion, music stars like Cardi B, Travis Scott and Drake have elevated the status of fashion through their music videos and performances.

Streaming services have also become key players in fashion television. Netflix is arguably one of the most influential platforms for fashion, with its library of classic shows as well as its own line-up of original programming. Movies like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and series like Stranger Things, Elite, and GLOW feature fashion trends that reverberate way beyond the screen.

The Influence of Actors on Fashion: Celebrity Style Icons

In addition to wardrobe choices seen in shows and movies, actors have also become icons of fashion in their own right. Stars like Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Gwyneth Paltrow have shined on the red carpet, appearing in tailored suits, luxurious gowns, and more. Other A-list stars like Zendaya and Lady Gaga have established themselves as fashion trailblazers, consistently pushing the boundaries of fashion and inspiring fans around the world.

Reality TV’s Impact on Fashion Trends

Reality television has also become an increasingly influential player in the fashion industry. Although reality TV shows are often derided for their surface level content, shows like Project Runway, Queer Eye, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians have made a lasting impression on fashion trends. These series have given us close-up looks at developing trends, designs and unique style statements by contestants and designers, propelling them into the mainstream.

The Enduring Legacy of Film and Television on Fashion

Throughout the decades cinéma and television have helped to shape fashion trends, giving us timeless red carpet looks as well as more daring fashion statements. With the influx of streaming services, talent competitions, and digital platforms, fashion television has come back in a big way. Through ever-evolving platforms, millennials and Gen Zers are continuously looking to the silver and small screens to find inspiration for their own creative looks and styles. As the industry continues to progress, the influence of film and television on fashion – from Hollywood to Netflix – doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.