top of page
  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

Some Iconic Women's Fashion Moments In Film

The perfect way to enhance a film is to have an iconic on-screen outfit. Although there have certainly been thousands of these throughout the existence of cinema, it's safe to say that the most iconic looks come from women. So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the best women's fashion moments in far.

Cher's Yellow Plaid Co-ord - Clueless (1995)

For me, this look will always be synonymous with the 90's. The iconic, wacky yet fabulous matching set worn by Alicia Silverstone is far from the only memorable outfit in Clueless, and it was hard to pick between this and the red Alaia dress Cher gets mugged in, but in the end this took the cake. It's the look the made everyone instantly want a computer to pick out their wardrobe for them. Will this ever go out of if!

Natalie Portman's Final Ballet Costume - Black Swan (2010)

Kate and Laura Mulleavy's Rodarte costumes in Black Swan are the epitome of dark beauty. Everything from the headpiece to the tutu to the makeup is so fitting to the character and undeniably elegant. The white costume is of course, beautiful but to me, it pales in comparison to the black outfit she dons during the peak of her depravity. If it were up to me, these would be housed in a museum.

Satine's Bejeweled Dapper Ensemble - Moulin Rouge! (2001)

I could've easily picked any of Nicole Kidman's costumes from Moulin Rouge! but when it comes to the most unique, none stand out quite like the fully stoned performance outfit she wears while singing "Diamomds Are A Girl's Best Friend." And what better way to wear it than on a giant swing, floating above a crowd of spellbound men. It's no wonder why Moulin Rouge! won the Oscar for best costume design all those years ago and I can't think of someone who could wear them quite like Nicole Kidman.

Grace Kelly's Princess Dress - Rear Window (1954)

Although James Stewart might have the most screentime, Grace Kelly steals the show with her fashion in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. Practically every outfit worn by her could've taken individual spots on this list but the one that still lives rent free in my mind is her black and white dress. It shows that Grace Kelly was already a princess long before she ever married into royalty. Let's all hope 1950's fashion never goes out of style.

Keira Knightly's Green Dream - Atonement (2007)

So simple yet so stylish, Keira Knightly's emerald green silk dress from Atonement is the epitome of elegance. This is how every woman wants to look in a dress. The flowing material paired with the regal color is such a stark contrast to the other period pieces of Joe Wright. There's something about the subtlety of this dress that makes it so incredible on screen, it's something that's a lot easier to picture yourself in than a pink ballgown or something completely rhinestoned. Hopefully one day we'll all be able to find a dress that makes us feel this beautiful.

Hedy Lamarr's Star Dress - Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

Rarely will you find a dress where its reputation will exceed that of the film it appears in, this however, is the exception. From the draping sleeves, to the translucent fabric, to the beautiful star decals on the wrists and headpiece, this whole ensemble is utterly mesmerizing. The severe dark makeup paired with the delicate white fabric creates such a fascinating contrast that only Adrian Greenburg could achieve. I can't think of another costume that instantly caught my eye quite like this one.

Audrey Hepburn's LBD - Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

No list about fashion in film would be complete without Holly Golightly's black Givenchy dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's. The simple black gown, long gloves, and sparkling jewels make this a truly classic look. Although it's been replicated countless times by movie homages and Halloween costumes, none can compare to the original, iconic look worn by Audrey Hepburn as she gazed into the window of Tiffany & Co.

Vivien Leigh's Green Prairie Dress - Gone With The Wind (1939)

Choosing a singular dress from Gone With The Wind was a difficult task, but ultimately I decided to go with the iconic green and white look worn by Vivien Leigh. Despite the film's complicated moral history, there's no denying the impact it left on Hollywood in terms of fashion. This movie set a standard for costume designers throughout the industry and this flowery gown is just about as good as it gets, Frankly my dear, I do give a damn.

Marlene Dietrich's Genderbent Suit - Morocco (1930)

Lord can only imagine how shocked audiences were in 1930 to witness a glamorous movie star like Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo and top hat on the screens of the local cinema. While the film it appeared in is remembered as a poor man's Casablanca, this outfit singlehandedly revolutionized women's fashion in the early 20th century. The way Dietrich toes the line between masculine and feminine with this costume is truly unforgettable.

Marilyn Monroe's Giant Pink Bow Dress - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

How could anyone not fall head over heels for Marilyn Monroe after watching this scene? If Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is known for anything, it's the fashion, and nothing is more iconic than this pink ensemble Monroe wore during the historic musical number. It is scientifically proven that if "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" is used in a scene, the fashion is going to be amazing, it's just a fact. While this particular look has been replicated countless times over the years, none can match the elegance of Marilyn Monroe in this unforgettable scene.

Sophia Loren's Dreamy Tulle Robe - Arabesque (1966)

Never before has a piece of clothing felt so delicate yet so powerful at the same time. Although the film might be long forgotten, Sophia Loren's outfits throughout Arabesque reign supreme in the world of costume design. Loren is no stranger to iconic vintage looks and the way this baby pink tulle robe fits and flows just ticks all the right boxes.

Thanks for reading and make sure to keep an eye out for more future lists about the history of fashion in film!

167 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page