Fashion Bytes — Film & Fashion

New York fashion week has closed, London fashion week has commenced, and the reports from the runways on both sides of the pond are full of Downton Abbey and Art Deco references. From Tadashi Shoji‘s chantilly lace and Ralph Lauren‘s clearly Downton-inspired collection (he even used the theme song as the background music) in New York, to Holly Fulton‘s geometric pieces in London, it seems as though the costumes from the PBS miniseries have spilled onto the catwalks along with a few pieces from The Artist and Boardwalk Empire. This trend towards costuming is well-timed with the Academy Awards ceremony scheduled for this coming weekend and FIDM Museum’s 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit having debuted last week.

All the film and television references reminded me of an opinion piece from the Guardian last year which argued that a show’s success could be determined by its affect on our wardrobes. The article focused primarily on Boardwalk Empire, and cited Mad Men as a prime example of this type of success, but can the concept be extended to films? Is a film where the costumes influence the runways more or less successful than those that do not? Mellissa wrote about the growing trend for all things 1920s in November, is the popularity of Downton Abbey-inspired fashion only going to increase as the show moves into that decade? Will shows like Boardwalk Empire gain more attention as a result?

Two weeks ago Fashion Bytes looked at the relationship between royalty and fashion, has the power to dominate our fashion trends shifted from their hands to those of the film and television industry? Is there more behind the trends than simply having seen it on tv and wanting it in our closets? Do we covet clothing inspired by a film because of the film, or is the popularity a reflection of a shift in aesthetics and cultural norms? Do the runways or the films and television shows which inspire them have any real affect on what people purchase, or is it artistic expression to be appreciated as such? Have films and fashion always looked back, or is this a new trend, and if so, what does it say about our society? Are the films and runways changing peoples minds or educating them about the past? Do you agree that a show or movie that influences what people wear is more successful than one that does not?

Please share your thoughts.

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