High School vs. High Fashion – Which film takes the costume cake?

Fashion is a favourite subject for filmmakers. Some mock the idea,  such as 2001 comedy Zoolander in which Ben Stiller plays the role of a stereotypical self-centred model living in a hilariously exaggerated portrayal of the fashion world. Others embrace it, like the classic 1995 chick flick Clueless, in which Alicia Silverstone channels Cher Horowitz a knee-high-sock-wearing blonde who embodies everything about being a 90s teen. But what film can be deemed the best? Movie Talk’s special correspondent Soraya Ali weighs up her three contenders.


Sex and the City
A serious contender for the best fashion film is the wildly popular 2008 film adaptation of the popular HBO series Sex and the City. The series was already associated with being fashion-forward as it is responsible for making Manolo Blahniks a must-have item in every woman’s wardrobe. The film included over 300 ensembles and a coveted Vivienne Westwood wedding dress.


The Devil Wears Prada
The only other film with a more impressive collection of costumes is none other than The Devil Wears Prada, which depicts the fashion transformation of an aspiring journalist and stars Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. The director David Frankel and costume designer Patricia Field had previously worked together on Sex and the City but pulled out all the stops for this feature film, which was reflected in the staggering final cost of costumes reaching an estimated $1 million with the help of Field’s friends in the fashion world, thus making it one of the most expensively costumed films of all time. However, the lead role played by Streep is believed to be based on the Prada-wearing, notoriously ruthless editor in chief of Vogue herself, Anna Wintour


The September Issue
So what could be better than the real thing? Which was given to us in the form of a 2009 documentary – The September Issue. Which chronicles the lives of Anna Wintour and her staff during the days leading up to the release of the Vogue September 2007 issue. This film allows women everywhere to be a part of the blood, sweat and shoes that go into making their fashion bible. It also features an assortment of influential figures in the fashion industry including models, photographers and designers which gives viewers and insight like no other, making it the very best fashion film of all time.

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