While the fashion industry continues to introduce us to new styles every season, the industry would not be where it is today without the help of influential fashion icons. Nowadays, celebrities are able to take pictures of their outfit and share it with friends, family, and fans on social media. However, many of the women who invented these iconic styles didn’t have the same influential opportunities, so the fact that we still consider them fashion icons means they must have known what they were doing!

 

Frances Stevens To Catch A Thief

Grace Kelly’s costumes were designed by Edith Head. The two were close friends and Grace had become Edith’s muse. The almost always diplomatic designer broke her rules to name Grace Kelly her favourite actress with whom she worked, and To Catch A Thief (1955) her favourite film. However, Cary chose his own wardrobe, as he would usually do for his movies: “Generally I wore simple, tasteful clothes – the same kind of clothes I wear off screen.”

 

Elvira Hancock, Scarface

As Elvira Hancock, the trophy mistress of Frank Lopez, Pfeiffer modelled slinky slips way before Kate Moss et al in the Nineties. Instead of Mossy’s mussed up hair and grunge appeal, channel Elvira’s old Hollywood glamour. Think dazzling drop earrings (also very ‘now’), a sleek blow-out and plenty of kohl around the eyes.

 

Grace Kelly, Rear Window

Edith Head was the costume designer. She had previously worked with Grace and they had become good friends. Their relationship grew even closer when Hitchcock chose them both for Rear Window.

In one of the most famous close-ups in film history, we are introduced to Lisa in a scene where a drowsy James Stewart awakes to a full close-up of Lisa coming towards him for a kiss. The neckline of the dress was kept very simple so that Grace’s face was framed by it for the close-up. When the camera pulled back, Hitchcock made sure that the public knew that Lisa was a woman who came from wealth. A dress “fresh from the Paris plane” was how Lisa described it, with a fitted black bodice with an off the shoulder, deep “V” cut neckline and with cap sleeves, and a mid-calf full skirt, very New Look style, gathered and layered in chiffon tulle, with a spray bunch pattern on the hip area, a nod to Lisa’s adventurous nature. She is trying to convince Jeff that she is the right girl for him and that she can live his kind of life (it’s Hichcock after all, a man of details, and the costumes help advance the story). A black patent leather belt, a white chiffon shoulder wrap, white elbow-length silk gloves, a single strand of pearls and black high heeled strapped sandals complete the look.

 

Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman

We were bewitched by the film growing up and with two good reasons – firstly Vivian (hello, she’s the reason we still sing “Kiss” every time we have a bubble bath) and secondly Vivian’s outfits. There’s no one film that so definitively captures early ’90s uptown girl style better. Think shoulder pads, perms, polka-dots and denim hot-pants. Then toss in some hair mousse and you’re a third of the way to channelling Vivian Ward.