Some of the greatest movies ever made are a combination of storytelling, directors choices and a cohesive costume aesthetic. Who can forget the prep school inspired outfits of Clueless or Mia Wallace’s iconic white shirt and black pants in Pulp Fiction? Fashion styles can be popularized in movies or like in The Lost boys, utilize the trends of the time to reflect reality on screen. There’s no denying that clothes guide viewers journey through a plot and help build characters without having to state the obvious. A noteworthy example is in The Queen's Gambit. Just as the main character is on a chess champion quest, her fashion mimics this. There is a heavy emphasis on her wardrobe functioning a visual representation of her state of mind as well as her changing economic status. Just from a base level fashion evaluation the beginning few episodes show Beth’s simple, yet outdated clothes as a reflection of her poor upbringing. When she starts to make big chess moves her fashion becomes high end and designer. While going through her mental breakdown/ climax of the show we see her clothes and makeup take a nosedive. She is very on trend with the times, her makeup exudes this party lifestyle and excellently showcases that her priorities are not on the game. We could spend a few blog posts dissecting her wardrobe even further right down to color theory but suffice to say; nothing gets a message across faster than fashion. Viewers watch movies and TV shows to get lost in these worlds and wardrobe plays an important part of that. Piggybacking on the theme of red this month we are going to share our most noteworthy red wardrobes in movies and how color helped shape the narrative. Who can forget Laney’s red dress when she walks down the stairs as a transformed hottie with the bod of a goddess? Now there was a huge list of contenders when we started this project but we had to narrow it down, so maybe part 2 next week? Who knows. If you have any outfits you want added to the list comment below and leave u some compelling reasons! Let's get started.
Katniss’ Girl on Fire dress during her interview isn’t getting many points for structure and design in our opinions but it's an introductory moment for the rebel in making. In retrospect this bold fashion move serves as a foreshadowing to everything Katniss will bring. Red represents Katniss undying commitment to the people, her burning passion for what is right and revolution. Stylist Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz, realizes this and uses red as a motif. In many ways their relationship and his choices help Katniss realize her potential. In the last movie, Mockingjay part 2, it was a deliberate move by the movie's stylists and marketers to make her rebel suit a deep disturbing wine red in all the promos. The outfit was part sinister, reeking of betrayal or at least in the eyes of President Snow as much as it was a beacon for other districts to join the uprising. Red is a color of endearment just as it is a color of passion. People were inspired, why most of her noteworthy fashion moments are built off this motif.
Red is not a motif in this 2019 adaptation of the Joker nore is it a primary color when you think of the Joker. For those of us who sit outside the nerd culture spectrum, red is not too far off the mark when it comes to this character. The Joker’s theme is a mix of grape purples and moody neon greens traditionally but the earlier more cartoonish versions of this villain incorporate red.. This new iteration of the Joker leans on the color green for the most part but his main outfit is red. His crimes are committed in red. The anger that Arthur feels at his flailing life is represented in the color red, it represents his financial status and his upbringing according to the costume designer on set, Mark Bridges.
Lydia from Beetlejuice:
Talk about iconic! This is the red dress that kick started this whole red fiasco for the month of February. Lydia’s iconic red wedding dress. If you’ve been living in movie limbo and don’t know what Beetlejuice is then now is your chance to learn. Beetlejuice is an iconic 80s movie about a family who moves into a supernatural house, spirited by the previous owners who died in a crash off the bridge. It's a funny, scary and slapstick brain fart from the mind of Tim Burton. Lydia, played by Winona Ryder, is the titular character if you ask me. Rebellious (and iconic) movies from the 80s had main characters who portrayed different aspects of unpopular teenage life, like Molly Ringwalds vintage grandma-esque fashion in 16 candles. Lydia was unapologetically goth, the female version of Robert Smith of the Cure. What more really needs to be said here, red is a bold choice and it served Lydia well. Let's savor the lace trim and the hair, it's the hair for us.
Schindler’s List is a black and white film and you're probably wondering why is it on this list then? The little red-coated girl we see in the movie is the only colored part of the film and its impact is sickening and sad. She embodies the hopelessness, anger, resentment that we only imagine the people feeling. Steven Spielberg stated that she represents the complete obviousness of what was happening in Germany to those in power here in the U.S
Red serves as not only a middle ground color for the transformation of Julia Roberts’ character Vivian, but again it is a motif for passion, lust and desire. When Vivian wears red the best is when her character is happy with herself and not trying too hard as a former prostitute or as a woman parading as a wannabe socialite. The loveliest use of red is used in the movie’s climax. The scene where they enjoy an evening out and come back to his room for a night of lovemaking is encapsulated in glowing halo red dreamy quality. She is dressed in a stunning red dress, red lipstick and ruby pearls. She is an object of desire and someone who Edward lusts after. But she isn’t just a sex toy to be discarded after use, red serves her well. The color choice brings out her warmth and charms playing with her sexual prowess.
Do we really have to address the elephant in the room, Marvel? They have built arguably the largest mega movie franchise in recent history with red as their preferred color of choice. It's perfect really, Iron Man stands proud and strong, the youthfulness of spider man is reflected in his suit and think about all the animated movies like The Incredibles. Needless to say the color red imbues a lot for these characters.
If you're a Netflix enthusiast then you’ve likely seen the thumbnail for the hit show Casa De Papel, or in English, Money Heist. It's a show that is lauded as a fresh play on the heist genre. The honorary red jumpsuit and Salvador Dali mask are symbolic of revolution. Red is bold and passionate but it is also the color of blood. Where would we be if a little blood wasn’t shed in a revolution? The color also has ties to Spain and the history considering it is one of three flag colors.
We are going to end it off here, let us know if you are looking forward to anything in the new year, or if you have any iconic red outfits in movies you want us to look at.