Another equally fruitful partnership born on the set occurred between actress Catherine Deneuve and designer Yves Saint Laurent, to whom the filmmaker Luis Buñuel commissioned, in 1967, the wardrobe Deneuve would wear in the cinematic masterpiece Belle de Jour. With this role, Deneuve became the muse of the leading designers of her time.
When it comes to actors, Cary Grant is, undoubtedly, the epitome of classic elegance. His standout performances were always complemented with a great sense of style, making him the most adored leading man of his generation. Meanwhile, Humphrey Bogart popularized the trench coat in the iconic film Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz in 1942. As its name implies, trench coats were used mainly in military uniforms. After Bogart, men of all ages continue to include this piece in their elegant wardrobes.
The simple, urban style of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, directed by Nicholas Ray in 1955, is one of the most influential shifts in 20th menswear. The combination of jeans, basic T-shirts and worn boots, clothes that until then were only used for work, found a place in the closets of young men around the world.
From the beginning, the movies also lured many of the most brilliant haute couture designers of the last century. When Hollywood became the Mecca of Cinema, Madeleine Vionnet, Madame Grès and Mariano Fortuny did not hesitate to travel from Europe to work in major movie studios in Los Angeles.
The Spanish couturier Balenciaga was also attracted by the cinema and even designed the costumes for more than twenty films featuring the most renowned stars. But only the great Christian Dior won the Oscar in 1953 for Best Costume Design for his work on the film Termini Station, by the Italian director Vittorio de Sica.
At the crossroads of film and fashion, it is also very common to see famous actors and actresses posing for fashion magazines and modeling for top designers. Similarly, several top fashion models have made the leap to the big screen.
In addition, for many years, the Oscars have become a great fashion spectacle for the world, where designers seeking the widest exposure choose the actors and actresses who best represent the values of their labels. Also, the fashion world has been a compelling argument for movies. To mention just two examples: Prêt-à-Porter by Robert Altman and The Devil Wears Prada by David Frankel. ■