Oscars, fashion and movies


Niki Tehranchi
by Niki Tehranchi

The Oscars ceremony will be broadcast this Sunday and as usual, most people's attention will be focused on the fashions instead of the films. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Fashion and the movies have been a marriage made in heaven since the beginning of the film industry. The difference is that, since roughly the 80s, movie stars now prefer to be dressed by international, haute couture designers rather than the film studios' costume designers or simply by fishing from their own closets. The results have been uneven and sometimes hilarious over the years with people like Cher going way over the top. Over the past couple of years though, we are seeing kind of a return to a very carefully crafted public image. Stars often employ a small army of publicists, managers, hanger-ons, personal make-up and hair stylists, personal shoppers and "image consultant" all pitching in to create that perfect look for the red carpet. Although most stars end up looking fashionable and glamorous, it has also been a bit boring. Oh, Bjork, of the dead swan dress, where are thou?

This got me thinking about the iconic fashions portrayed in films and how they have affected our pop culture, the way that we dress, and even the way that we chose our particular dream man or woman. In no particular order, here are my personal choices for the most iconic fashion moments in film.


-Viven Leigh's green curtain dress in Gone with the Wind.

Though each gown was more exquisite than the next in this fashion heaven of a film, the one that struck me the most especially as a child was the green dress made of curtains, which Carol Burnett famously spoofed on ehr comedy show.

-Marilyn Monroe's white dress in the subway scene in the Seven Year Itch

She is so delicious, like vanilla ice cream. Secretly, we all wish we had the nerve to do what she did with that dress.

-Audrey Hepburn's little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany's

I think it is safe to say we are all still wishing we could find a perfect little black cocktail dress as chic as the one Pierre Givenchy designed for his muse

-Diane Keaton's urban granny chic look in Annie Hall (check at 5:23 of the video)

I am sure there is a better way to describe it. Please be my guest. The result was so cute and endearing.

-Julia Roberts' hooker get-up in Pretty Woman

Though the Rodeo Drive fashions she sports later on in the movie are more chic,the initial outfit is what got our attention (and let's face it, would Richard Gere have stopped his car if she was dressed in Prada?)


-Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp character

-Marlon Brando's T shirt look in A Streetcar named Desire and The Wild One

I know everyone will think of James Dean with his T shirt and red leather jacket from Rebel without a Cause but technically, he stole the look from Brando. So there.

-Elvis' Hawaiian shirts in those B movies

Poor Elvis, such a talent, wasted on those amusing but really low quality B movies. I miss the King.

-Sean Connery in his James Bond tux

Do I really need to say more here?

-Richard Gere in those Armani suits in American Gigolo

Probably the film that first introduced American audiences to a little known designer named Giorgio Armani. Hollywood would never look the same. I was going to mention Mickey Rourke in 9 1/2 weeks but he has had enough press as it is :-)

I would love to know if you have favorite fashion icons from the movies. (Remember, they don't have to be chic, just memorable)


Recently by Niki TehranchiCommentsDate
First day of school
Aug 15, 2012
What would you say?
Jan 31, 2012
Rebound girlfriend
May 11, 2011
more from Niki Tehranchi

Nah let's stick with movies.

by Hairy (not verified) on

Nah let's stick with movies. I just couldn't resist that cheap white cotton suit! So many memories.

Although many of those 80s TV shows are now movie productions. Like Starsky and Hutch, Dukes of Hazzards, Miami Heat and so on.

Niki Tehranchi

If we're gonna start doing TV shows...

by Niki Tehranchi on

... then there will be no end to it.  And I agree with you the 80s were the best at CRAPTACULAR fashion TV moments. (Maybe I am biased)

-The entire cast of Dynasty and Dallas(cowboy hats and shoulder pads anyone?)

-Tom Selleck's mustache in Magnum PI

-Mr. T's mohawk in the A Team

-Mrs. Garrett's bouffant bun in It's a different world and on the Facts of Life

-Tootie on her roller skates in Facts of Life (did she inspire Roller Girl in Boogie Nights?)

-MacGyver's mullett (business in the front, party in the back)

-Robin Williams' suspenders in Mork and Mindy

-Angela's perpetual black roots in Who's the Boss (did she inspire the Amanda look on Melrose Place)

-Oh and who can forget those sexy sexy ripped jean shorts sported by Lou Ferrigno in my all time favorite childhood TV show: The Incredible Hulk



I always confuse Robert

by Hairy (not verified) on

I always confuse Robert Redford and Paul Newman!

What is with men wanting to give a dress to a woman to wear?! Who are they, fashion consultants?! Some of them are fatherly like Mr. Miagi giving a dress to Hillary Swank but some like Robert Redford are kinky!

- Tom Cruise's short sleeve Navy uniform in A Few Good Men

- Arnold's leather jacket and sunglasses in Terminator

- Don Johnson's white suit in Miami Heat! And sock less shoes! LOL this one is my favorite. My friends and I actually had a variety of those cheap white cotton suits and we pulled up the sleeves! Some came with rolled up sleeves, stitched that way! LOL!

Niki Tehranchi

We could do a whole blog on hairstyles alone

by Niki Tehranchi on

from Demi's bald head to Deniro's mohawk, Samuel L. Jackson jerry curls (Pulp Fiction), Mia Farrow's Vidal Sassoon pixie cut (in Rosemary's Baby), Julie Christie's thick blond mane in Dr. Jhivago, or Carrie Fisher'side donuts as Princess Leia in Star Wars, to name but a few :-)

Although it was the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) not Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) who gave Demi a million dollars to sleep with her hehe.  Though I love that black dress he bought her, the one she tried on in the high fallutin' store over her T-shirt and overalls.  

Let me go on:

-Rita Hayworth taking off her gloves during her singing number Put the Blame on Mame in Gilda (a look that was stolen by Jessica Rabbit in Who framed Roger Rabbit)

- Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as the two cutest drag queens in Some like it hot

-Audrey Hepburn's little mod outfit in Sabrina

-Faye Dunaway's beret in Bonnie and Clyde

-Richard Gere's white navy uniform in an Officer and a Gentleman

- Sharon Stone's white dress from the interrogation scene in Basic Instinct (yes, THAT one)


Or how about Demi Moore's

by Hairy (not verified) on

Or how about Demi Moore's bald head in GI Jane?! And while on the subject of Demi Moore, how about her white outfit with tails in Striptease dancing for Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman's $1 Million offer to sleep with her only one time?! If Austin Powers films were made back then, Woody Harrilson could've asked how about one hundred Million dollars?!

Niki Tehranchi

Travis Bickle is a great addition

by Niki Tehranchi on

Aside from the military jacket, there was that scary mohawk hair that is now back in style :o)  Truly unforgettable


Niki Sonny wasn't a

by Hairy (not verified) on

Niki Sonny wasn't a wifebeater he actually beat his brother-in-law who was the wifebeater and beat him good he did! But I know what you're talking about. I can remember many wifebeating scenes with men in these tank tops. They are definately not muscle shirts, that honor goes to Paul Sr., the Chopper guy!

Another fashion icon is Robert Deniro's army jacket in Taxi Driver. This particular army jacket was a basic fashion staple of young Iranians after revolution in US!

I can also nominate Jack Nicolson's messed up hair and sleepy look after getting up in the mornings! in his various movies.

Another icon would be Batman and Superman outfits which ended up being punch lines for many occasions. For example, Fez wearing it in That 70s show or Shaquile Oneil and Dwight Howard's outfit in last year's slam dunk contest.

Niki Tehranchi


by Niki Tehranchi on

Dear Hairy:

I believe the term for that sleevelss Tshirt is tank top or muscle shirt but I think in this case, especially given Sonny's temper, we can use the slang term of "wifebeater" associated with that particular garnment.  Anyways, very memorable look indeed. I still can close my eyes and picture the very scene.  And James Caan's hairy forearms :-)


Dear Darius: From one film fan to another, you're welcome! I hope you enjoy the Oscar ceremony this year. I will have a few friends over and we will cast our ballots. The one who wins gets  a prize, a DVD compilation of the best Oscars moments, including that streaker!


A few more memorable fashion moments I thought about since last night:

-John Travolta's white disco suit in Saturday Night Fever

-Speaking of white pantsuits, Al Pacino's Miami ghetto fabulous get up from Scarface. Michelle Pfeiffer's look in that movie wasvery memorable too but I think Jean Harlow deserves the accolades

-Jennifer Beals' off the shoulder ripped sweatshirt and leg warmers from Flashdance, which launched the craze for fitness wear in the 80s (I know I know, Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John were guilty of that too)

-The black suits worn by Tarantino's gangsters in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Also a famous Tarantino look is the yellow jumpsuit worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and her black wig and pantsuit she wore in Pulp Fiction (I actually dressed up as her for Halloween when I was in college, including a fake syringe sticking out from my chest hehehe)

Darius Kadivar

David Niven Said it Best ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Favorite Oscar® moment - The Streaker



How about the men's

by Hairy (not verified) on

How about the men's sleeveless t-shirt look, what do you call them? Like in Godfather I, forgot his name -- Sonny -- Al Pacino's big brother who got machine gunned.

He wore sleeveless underwear with a suspender on top! Robert Deniro in the same movie when he was the young Marlon Brando, he wore sleeveless underwear too.


Come to think of it this look is very mucho, isn't it?! How many super dangerously sexy studs do we know in real life as well as movies who strive for this look?! LOL! ;0)

By the way one of Jeff Foxworthy's redneck jokes is; if you are wearing a strapless top with a bra that isn't ... you might be a redneck!

Darius Kadivar

Sweet Reminder;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Beautiful walk down the memory lane ...

nice article niki jaan,