Movies and fashion are forever linked, and now Turner Classic Movies is strengthening that bond with a new “Follow the Wire” limited series.
The run begins on June 4 with weekly Saturday night films through July that will focus on the connection between fashion and film. Inspired by “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the new series delves deep into the history and influence of film and fashion. Viewers will also get a glimpse of the famous Fifth Avenue Museum.
Moviegoers will delight in 1942’s ‘Woman of the Year’, 1949’s ‘The Fountainhead’ and the 1954 version of ‘Sabrina’. But the series will not only look back on favorites from years past, it will also trace the influence of fashion in cinema as it relates to the present and future of our culture.
To give the series a contemporary spin, designers Jeremy Scott, Zac Posen, Bob Mackie, B Michael and Zaldy will offer their ideas, as will Tim Gunn, costume designers Sandy Powell, Isis Mussenden and Mark Bridges. Authorities such as Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Wendy Yu of the Costume Institute, Curator-in-Charge Andrew Bolton, Lawrence A. Fleischman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Wing museum curator Sylvia Yount will also speak.
Series host Alicia Malone praised TCM’s programming department for curating the slate of films and pairing them with designers, fashion historians and commentators. “For example, B Michael, who had a great collaboration with Cicely Tyson throughout his career, spoke of the collaboration between Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, and Catherine Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent. It was fun for me as a host to see how their work paralleled the movies they were talking about.
“Follow the Thread” is meant to be a really great insight for people who may not be so well versed in fashion and film history, Malone said. Another motivation for the programming was to show not only how fashion and film inspire each other, but also to demonstrate the fundamental professional differences between being a costume designer and a costume designer. “Hard fashionistas” will love to hear about costume designers from old Hollywood, but also people working today like Bolton and Yount. The TCM team loved how The Met teamed up with nine top filmmakers for “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.”
Following TCM’s debut on June 4, “Follow the Thread” will also be available on HBO Max, starting June 17. Some of the other movies on the list are 50s favorites like “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Funny Face.” , 60s classics like “Belle de Jour” and “Blow-Up”, as well as 70s classics like “A Star Is Born” and “Saturday Night Fever”. From the 80s, “American Gigolo” and “Risky Business” are part of the game. More recent titles include the 2013 version of “The Great Gatsby” and the 2018 movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” Cultivating a greater appreciation for the craft of fashion, fashion design, costume design, and filmmaking is one of the series’ goals.
“Fashion can communicate to the world whether you’re a character on screen or walking down the street. Sometimes people may think, ‘I’m not into fashion.’ I just wear what’s comfortable. But you always tell the world something about yourself by putting on an outfit,” Malone said.
Her hope is that by watching the series, viewers will not only think that the fashion is frivolous and fun, “which it certainly can be”, but that “there is also real art involved”. A similar dish can be found in the Costume Institute’s current exhibit, which features some of the designers who haven’t been written into fashion history, the host added. TCM is not working on any projects or movies with The Met, or any of the high profile directors featured in Anthology. There have been some crossovers though, as TCM has worked with Martin Scorsese, Tom Ford and others in the past.
As to whether cinematic or designer fashion shows are more influential now, Malone said it’s hard to pinpoint which medium is influencing the other. One of her favorite parts of the Met Gala each year is seeing which stars show up on the red carpet in looks inspired by the Hollywood classic. Another favorite of hers is Ralph Lauren’s Old Hollywood-inspired runway shows.
Noting how the new film series shines a light on the fashion trend-setting film ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ Malone said, “It’s interesting because costume designers often don’t want costumes to be noticed in movies. movies. They’re not trying to make things a fashion trend. Movies probably have a wider reach in terms of global audiences than some fashion designers. That’s why we keep seeing collaborations between houses couture and movies like Kristen Stewart wearing Chanel in “Spencer.” It’s a way to bring that house’s story to a wider audience.
Despite the ever-increasing speed of fashion’s next step, the film continues to provide lasting inspiration. “There is something so timeless about fashion from the past. They can be updated – Billie Eilish’s cover shoot in British Vogue was inspired by 50s blonde icons and Maude Apatow dressed like she was in the 20s and 30s at the Met Gala. Malone said, adding that classic Audrey Hepburn styles remain so timeless you could imagine her walking down the street today. Ditto for James Dean’s cool signature. “It’s the simple, classic American chic elegance that has endured through all these different trends – top to bottom. I love seeing how people reinterpret fashions from the past. They nod at them but take them away in the future.
To that end, “Follow the Thread” discusses the men’s clothing worn by actress Diane Keaton in Woody Allen’s 1977 film “Annie Hall” and “now we see men in women’s clothing. Those lines are increasingly blurred between menswear and womenswear,” Malone said.
As a “movie and film lover,” Posen said, “it’s a big part of my life and my inspiration. Cinema and films have always been a great source of pleasure and inspiration.
Having made a few on-air appearances for TCM in the past, the designer said he was approached about “Follow the Thread” and jumped into it. “It’s a pretty easy subject to talk about with pleasure,” Posen said. . Having yet to see the final cut of his contribution, the creator said he discussed character development, as well as the role and archetype of female identity through the costumes. “What’s really interesting is how women were perceived [in films] had such a global impact in the way we dressed. A lot of times when we think of the glamazon or Hollywood look – which was also very prevalent in the work I’ve done in the past, it was also a very strong look at our femininity and femininity. There’s been this interesting dialogue between Europe and European fashion,” Posen said.
TCM has been a resource for the designer ever since he got the cable. Its app and library are also amazing, he said. “For newcomers, who want to be entertained and discover the history and timeline of the last 100 years of clothing, film is a great gateway. Fashion looks great in the movies. Sometimes more than on a runway.
Distinguishing how movies can resonate with people from a fashion standpoint in ways that clothes can’t, Posen said, “Not everyone always gets the opportunity to dress up. Obviously, wearing a garment is different from seeing it. he said. Dressing up is about supporting the character of a performance and adding to the overall story, whereas dressing up in your own life is about creating your own narrative for your life in reality, according to the designer.
As with all favorites, Posen said he was inherently raised on “Singing in the Rain” — so much so that he feels it’s in his blood and definitely in his work. His ideas range from Hollywood classics to European cinema (as in the work of directors Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini) and “you name it,” Posen said. In terms of fashion, Gilbert Adrian and Edith Head top her fandom.
He also praised the films of ’70s filmmaker Robert Evans and other filmmakers of the day like Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. He noted how Anderson was able “to build an incredible language and a very rich, diverse and very iconic world”.
Having worked in costume design, Posen said he could potentially do more in film, theater and dance. Right now, he’s focusing on custom one-offs and special projects, and “looking for the next big opportunity.”
Malone, meanwhile, said she’s really stepped up her on-air fashions, thanks to two stylists and expects people are “gonna really like what I got to wear.” We had fun. Wearing them makes you appreciate how you feel, when you wear something well made and well designed,” Malone said.
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