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Fashion Inspiration from 21st Century Cinema



You know the names and you can instantly summon images of the pearls and sunglasses, the long black dresses and elbow-length gloves, the flowing golden curls and full skirts.  Our favourite fashion icons of the last century are timeless: Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, and so on… But as envious and enduring their classic styles are, it is time we acknowledge the fashion icons of our time. 

Modern cinema has introduced a number of women who we see steal the show time and time again, who the spotlight seems to follow on every red carpet and who can sell any magazine they grace the cover of.  These are the women who will define our generation.  They are the first to wear the trends after they hit the runway and they are the ones that prompt us to hit the internet in search of that bag, or that dress.  Now let’s look at a few of these women individually and see what it is about their style that sets them apart from the rest.

First up is my personal fashion idol, Emma Stone, whose popularity has been escalating continuously since she appeared alongside Michael Cera and Jonah Hill in Superbad.  She consistently makes a statement, both on-screen (Gangster Squad and The Amazing Spiderman for example) and off-screen when she hits the red carpet wearing the latest designs, or the street in her every day wear.  One style Stone seems to favour is the fit-and-flare, where the bodice is fitted and flares at the waist in an A-line.  This trend looks great on all body types, and can be a dress, or a skirt and top paired together.  Not only is it more comfortable than a body-hugging dress, but it accentuates the waist, and allows you to hide some parts that you might not be so comfortable with.  In everything she wears, Stone seems to channel fashion icons of the past, but adds a personal touch, modernizing the look with just the right neckline, accessories, or make-up to ensure she always stands out from the pack.

Naturally, Blake Lively has to be mentioned here.  Often seen on the arm of one of the greatest creative forces in the industry today – Karl Lagerfeld, she is a muse for modern fashion, and I have never seen her not looking perfect.  I can’t be the only one who watched Gossip Girl just for the cute clothing.  I don’t even know what the plot of that show was, but they always, always looked a hundred times better than me on their worst day. How does someone make a school uniform look so cute?  I have no idea, but I know I wanted to be them; and Blake Lively was the queen of those young, rich, and fabulous looking people.  Admittedly, the fact that she is tall, blonde, tanned, and has legs for miles might have helped, but she could be short, pudgy and bald and still look fabulous.  This is because, while my closet still holds sweaters from the 6th grade (one of the downsides to not having grown since I was 12), hers seems to be filled with Valentino, Marchesa, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.  She has worn it all, and has no ‘staple’ style, because she owns every trend that hits the runway, not how wild it might seem.  One of my favourite fashion moments for her however, is the 2009 Emmy’s, where she wore a red, low-cut and backless Versace gown. Some complained that it was too revealing, but I’d say that it balanced out nicely with the length – besides, if you had Blake’s body, wouldn’t you want to flaunt it?  I imagine it’s hard for her to cover up at all, so I would like to thank her for the level of public decency she has managed. Thank you Blake.

If you are a more fashion-forward collegiette, but don’t have the photoshopped body of a supermodel, you might be a more likely fan of the second Emma on this list: Emma Watson.  Although she may not be an obvious pick, she has proven to no longer be associated strictly to Hermione Granger by partnering with Burberry and appearing numerous times in Vogue. She continues to push the envelope with more daring and mature choices every year, not to mention her dramatic decision to chop off her long locks for a more rocking pixie cut.  Her style is more multi-directional and fun, and therefore sets a perfect example for those still finding their fashion-voice.  I am particularly a fan of her casual personal style, though she looks comfortable, she always makes a statement without going over-the-top.

These three are just a small sample of the women hitting the big screen this century, defining fashion as they do it.  While we are young and in a time of discovering new things about ourselves and the world, it is important not to forget that what you wear has a voice too that speaks to every person you pass on the street, every professor you ask for a recommendation and every future employer you interview with.  But most importantly, fashion is fun! And the best way to keep up with the fashion trends you might fancy is to watch the fashionistas that you most identify with and follow their lead.

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