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Lights, Camera, Fashion: The Method Behind the Fashion

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

Picture this: a star-studded red carpet, flashing cameras, and a dazzling array of fashion that not only turns heads but tells a story; this is the enchanting world of method dressing. It’s not a mere spectacle; the stars embody a character, channeling their essence, and bringing a touch of Hollywood magic to the real world. Join us as we delve into this glamorous domain of method dressing, exploring its profound impact on our perception of fashion and film.

From Zendaya’s futuristic Mugler “robot” bodysuit for Dune to Margot Robbie’s year-long parade of Barbie-inspired pink ensembles, these carefully curated looks are sparking viral trends, driving social media engagement, and blurring the lines between entertainment and fashion. And the trend doesn’t stop there. Jenna Ortega channeled the dark and moody aesthetic of Wednesday Addams, donning a series of gothic-inspired ensembles that paid homage to the iconic character. Meanwhile, Anya Taylor-Joy brought a touch of Dune’s desert chic to the red carpet, her outfits evoking the film’s otherworldly sci-fi elegance and a playful burst of color for the premiere of the Super Mario Bros. movie in her role of the beloved character, Princess Peach.  It’s a marketing strategy as ingenious as it is stylish, one that is redefining how we experience the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

MethodDressing by PaperazziMagazine

What is Method Dressing?

While method acting may stir debate, method dressing has captivated global audiences, serving iconic looks for iconic cinema. This strategic approach, which pays homage to the long-standing Japanese tradition of cosplay, involves aligning a celebrity’s red-carpet attire with the film they are promoting, and curating outfits to reflect the movie’s aesthetic, themes, and characters.  The trend’s inception can be pinpointed to 2018 when Blake Lively epitomized sophistication with a series of commanding ensembles for the debut of A Simple Favor. Early proponents of this trend also include Taron Egerton, who exuded Elton John’s flamboyance in eccentric attire for Rocketman, and Scarlett Johansson and Brie Larson, who adorned themselves with Infinity Gauntlet-themed jewelry for Avengers: Endgame. 

MethodDressing by Graziaindia

The trend skyrocketed in 2021 as Zendaya and her stylist Law Roach elevated method dressing to an online sensation during the promotional campaigns for Spider-Man: No Way Home and Dune: Part One. Zendaya’s bespoke Balmain, Rick Owens, and Alexander McQueen ensembles, which paid homage to the films, went viral on social media, captivating fans, and the fashion industry with equal fervor.

Dune 2 Press Tour by Variety

In the realm of fashion, method dressing has metamorphosed red-carpet affairs into elaborate spectacles, serving as a canvas to exhibit the ingenuity of stylists and solidify their clients’ stature as style icons. Within the film industry, method dressing has evolved into a shrewd marketing ploy, captivating audiences and cultivating intrigue in the movies, enticing viewers to partake in the trend.

Trailblazers and Trendsetters

Leading the charge in this fashionable revolution are the masterminds behind the looks – the stylists. Names like Law Roach, who has transformed Zendaya into a true style icon, and Andrew Mukamal, the genius behind Margot Robbie’s Barbie-inspired extravaganza, are revolutionizing red-carpet etiquette. These maestros are crafting narratives, weaving together the worlds of fashion and film in a way that captivates audiences and sparks global trends. Barbiecore, anyone?

Margot Robbie’s Barbie-inspired ensembles transcended the conventional “year of pink,” embarking on a chromatic odyssey through the doll’s iconic wardrobe. From fuchsia frocks to magenta minis, each outfit was a vibrant testament to color theory, a unique and vibrant variation on the Barbie theme.

For those enthralled by this burgeoning trend, the fashion titans have bestowed upon us a tantalizing revelation. In a captivating tell-all, “Barbie: The World Tour”, stylist Andrew Mukamal, the architect of Margot Robbie’s iconic pink-themed year, unveils the secrets of his artistry. Prepare to be enthralled by the inner workings of method dressing virtuoso as he guides us through the creation of these unforgettable Barbie-inspired looks.

Barbie Press Tour by Glamfendi

In the realm of method dressing, Halle Bailey made a splash with her portrayal of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, enchanting audiences with her mermaid-inspired gowns and shimmering accessories that evoked dreams of an undersea paradise. Bailey’s meticulous attention to detail perfectly encapsulated the essence of the iconic Disney princess, captivating fans and critics alike.

Halle Bailey Mermaid by curlcap

Whether she’s channeling the “court couture” of vintage Vivienne Westwood or paying homage to trailblazing tennis icon Althea Gibson, Zendaya’s Challengers press tour wardrobe is a masterful display of method dressing that has us eagerly anticipating her next “match point” on the red carpet.

Press Tour by farfetch

The Future of fashion and film

In the ever-evolving world of fashion, method dressing stands as a testament to the transformative power of clothing. It’s not just about what we wear, but how we wear it and the stories we tell through our attire. As we navigate the intersection of fashion and film, let us remember the words of Coco Chanel: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

So, let us embrace method dressing not just as a trend, but as a philosophy—a way to infuse our lives with a touch of Hollywood magic, a dash of creativity, and a whole lot of style. After all, in a world where we are all the protagonists of our own stories, why not dress the part?

Katy Masden, a summa cum laude graduate of NC State with a degree in Business Marketing. Her academic journey is a fusion of creative extracurricular activities and an insatiable wanderlust spirit, both of which have ignited her aspirations within the field of marketing. Her goal is to collaborate with innovative magazines and fashion companies that share her unwavering enthusiasm for pioneering ideas. As an active member of the American Marketing Association, Katy is eager to connect with industry leaders, recognizing the immense value of networking and shared insights to drive innovation within the marketing and global business landscape. Post-graduation, her ambition is global, with a desire to travel and cultivate diverse ideas into innovative campaigns. She is eager to immerse herself in the dynamic world of creative direction, forging cross-cultural collaborations and pushing the limits of marketing.