Royal Tenenbaums (Alamy)Royal Tenenbaums (Alamy) © Copyright

The most stylish moments in cinema

Sometimes a film blows you away with special effects, mind-blowing stunts or incredible locations. Then there are those ‘wow’ moments that are created by what the characters are wearing.

Films and fashion have been inspiring each other since the early days of cinema. How many times have you seen a clothing brand bring out a new range and claim it has been influenced by a classic film? Equally, you’ve probably seen loads of films featuring costumes by a top fashion designer without even realising it.

So to celebrate the most stylish moment in cinema, we've picked our favourites.

Giant (1956)

Giant (Alamy)


James Dean was the embodiment of teenage rebellion in the 1950s, never more so than in Rebel Without A Cause (1956). There are probably thousands of different shots of him giving off a timeless cool in just the eight films he made, but we’ve gone for this one from Giant where he plays the brilliantly named Jett Rink. 

North by Northwest (1959)

North by Northwest (Alamy)


From teenage rebellion to sophisticated style for the more mature gentleman, Cary Grant was 54 when making North by Northwest. In Hollywood terms that’s getting on but he was still young enough to dodge bullets being fired by a guy flying a cropduster straight at him. 

Easy Rider (1969)

Easy Rider (Alamy)


Made on a tiny budget, Easy Rider was probably the biggest counterculture film of the 1960s. Have you ever seen anyone look cooler with a massive handlebar moustache than Dennis Hopper? 

Shaft (1971)

Shaft (Alamy)


Sergeant Tom Hannon:Hey, where the hell are you going, Shaft?”
John Shaft:To get laid, where the hell are you going?”
Case closed.

 Quadrophenia (1979)

Quadrophenia (Alamy)


It’s the film that brings a tear of nostalgic joy to the eye of anyone who’s ridden a Vespa, and it featured Sting as the uber mod, Ace Face. When he dances in the club, all eyes are on him - even though it looks suspiciously like dad-dancing by modern standards. 

Rumble Fish (1983)

Rumble Fish (Alamy)


Would you want to mess with this street gang of Nicolas Cage, Matt Dillon and Chris Penn? No, but you do want to look that good in a white vest or steal Cage’s awesome jacket.

The Fifth Element (1997)

Fifth Element (Alamy)


Jean Paul Gaultier was given a hefty budget to design every costume in this sci-fi classic. Chris Tucker plays Ruby Rhod, the cross-dressing radio show host with over 50 billion listeners across the galaxy. A mention must also go to the iconic orange and white outfit worn by Milla Jovovich as Leeloo.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Big Lebowski (Alamy)


Is the Dude (Jeff Bridges) so anti-style that he’s actually stylish? Who knows, but the fact that he wouldn’t care either way makes him even more cool. Wearing a dressing gown, sandals and shades to your local supermarket to get a 69c carton of milk that you then pay for by cheque? Winner.

Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Royal Tenenbaums (Alamy)


Director Wes Anderson always has one eye on making sure his characters look the part. The Royal Tenenbaums had a strong retro vibe of muted tones, as this shot of Richie (Luke Wilson) and Margot Tenebaum (Gwyneth Paltrow) demonstrates. 

American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster (Alamy)


Denzel Washington plays 1970s drug kingpin Frank Lucas, who gives the following sartorial advice to one of his associates who has decided to go wild with his suit and shirt collar choice: “That's a clown suit. That's a costume, with a big sign on it that says ‘Arrest me’. You understand? You're too loud, you're making too much noise. Listen to me, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.”

La La Land (2017)

La La Land ()


Bringing things right up to date on our list is La La Land, in which Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone prove it is OK to break out into song and dance whenever you damn well please. Especially if it’s sunset, you’re on an empty road and you just so happen to be wearing spats.

Photos: Alamy.

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