During this hectic season, one of our favorite ways to get in the festive mood is to watch some films that are imbued with holiday atmosphere and long on style. Here are our top 8 film picks for fashionable holiday films. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!
dir: Whit Stillman | starring: Chris Eigeman, Carolyn Farina, Taylor Nichols
This great independent film is about a group of young adults in Manhattan whose holiday get-together is interrupted by a man who completely disagrees with their way of life. The funny drama is also a perfect example of classic holiday fashion for upper-class New Yorkers from that time period. The women are wearing beautiful dresses, some with strong shoulders and others with big bows. For the most part the men wear the classic black tux and bowtie, but casual outfits include classic sweaters, vests layered over oxford shirts, simple turtleneck sweaters, and pleated trousers.
dir: Richard Donner | starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Carol Kane
Starring Bill Murray as the ‘modern Ebenezer Scrooge’ Frank Cross, this holiday movie is a fun spin on the original Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol”. The classic suits and winter coats are shown up by the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Present, Carol Kane. Her iconic fairy outfit really makes the film and drives this movie straight into place as a holiday fashion film. Kane’s teased hair and frosted makeup are sublime 80’s flashback.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
dir: Jeremiah S. Chechik | starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Juliette Lewis
The hilarious Christmas classic follows the Griswold family and their big family Christmas. The Griswolds' style is a great example of a typical family’s clothing in the late 80’s. They are seen wearing winter sweaters either in kitschy intarsias and bold color, dress slacks, full skirts, and puffy winter jackets. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) sports a business suit, a Santa hat, and ties with fun Christmas prints throughout much of the film. His wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) is shown wearing a beautiful long, emerald skirt and an elegant white collared top. It's really the daughter, Audrey (Juliette Lewis), who steals the show fashion-wise, though. Her headbands, teased perm, accessories, and leopard sweater were right on target for teen fashion from that time.
Love Actually (2003)
dir: Richard Curtis | starring: Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson
Love Actually follows eight couples during the Christmas season. The movie does a great job of portraying Christmas in London in the early aughts and the many different styles throughout keep the audience’s eyes focused on the characters' outfits. There are enough signature fashion statements from this period to keep an avid fashion fan engaged. Iconic holiday costuming such the provocatively dressed Santa girls cavorting with Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) are classic examples of holiday aesthetic, while Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) angelic feather-trimmed wedding gown are evocative of the spirit of the season.
dir: Todd Haynes | starring: Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson
The fashion throughout this film is indicative of both the time period the film is set in and the holiday season. Carol (Cate Blanchett) is elegantly dressed throughout the film. Her hair, nails, and makeup are always perfect, befitting a woman of her class and wealth. Her beautiful, form-fitting clothes were meticulously chosen from the undergarments up. Some stand out pieces are a hammered silk blouse, elbow sleeve grey sheath, and several nipped-waist suits. She also sports costly brooches and accessories and is frequently pictured in her luxurious mink coat indicative of her upper-class status. The colors of her wardrobe are almost always neutral, muted colors punctuated by the bright hues of her nails, lips, scarves, or hats. Her romantic interest, Therese (Rooney Mara) wears clothing indicating her more naive nature. The plaid patterns, prim sweaters, youthful accessories, and less sophisticated looks she favors reveal her lower status.
Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
dir: George Seaton | starring: Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara
This Christmas classic is all about a man, Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwen), who claims to be Santa Claus and eventually brings his argument to the court. Filled with all the styles you would expect in 40s New York, the film delivers a beautiful fashion aesthetic. Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) channels the era's fashion ideal with her collared dresses, exaggerated shoulder pads, and layered strings of pearls. There are lots of great examples of iconic men's fashions as well with their larger proportioned suits and wide cuffed pants in classic menswear patterns.
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
dir: Frank Capra | starring: James Stewart, Henry Travers, Donna Reed
The beautiful Frank Capra film is the holiday ideal heartwarmer and nearly always makes every top holiday film list. There are some very good reasons why many will watch this habitually every December. The great storyline, marvelous acting, and also the accurate portrayal of small town living and style back in the day. George Bailey (James Stewart) is a businessman who, while in the middle of an overwhelming crises, wishes he had never been born. With this wish, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent down to show him how his life has affected everyone around him and how all his small acts of kindness and integrity affected so many. The classic 40s style is showcased throughout with the vintage shoulder pad dresses, big suits with cuffed, long coats, and ubiquitous polka dots. The women are seen with their beautiful pearl necklaces and matching pearl earrings. The film has been praised time and time again for its elegant and perfect style choices.
dir: David Berenbaum | starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan
The famous Christmas film that follows Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) on his journey to find his real father has an overall fun and charming aesthetic. His love interest, Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), is first seen dressed in an adorable elf costume. Throughout the rest of the film, Zooey Deschanel’s typical whimsical, feminine style shines through. She sticks to her vintage thrift finds and simple colours to pull off a quirky look. Buddy stays dressed in his elf costume, bringing his special brand of naivete and the holiday spirit everywhere he goes. This Christmas spirit and classic style of typical New Yorkers during the holidays is prevalent throughout the film.
For more fashionably inspiring film suggestions, be sure to see our other posts tagged #FashionFilmFun - and don't forget to check our Trend Market for all the latest in upcoming fashion trends!
What are your top picks are for films showcasing holiday style?
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sources: imdb | YouTube
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