Stylish films by the decade
By Sam Higgins, 10 July 2016
Aside from the latest fashion shows, or the style of favourite celebrities, much of men’s style inspiration can be gathered from the big screen. With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the most stylish and best-dressed films from decades gone by.
50s: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Today, workwear is easily one of the strongest influences of modern fashion. We’re not talking the smart suiting of a businessman, but more the rough and ready, casual threads of hands-on work. And where that influence derived from, is evident in abundance throughout Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. The late-50s film, set in Nottingham, showcases the tough conditions of post-war life as we follow Arthur, a free-living factory worker who seemingly has a wardrobe brimming with varying plaid and check worker shirts. When he's not rolling his sleeves up high to get stuck in at work, Arthur's in his formal finery and out drinking and partying on the weekends.
60s: La Dolce Vita
Set against an epic Roman background, La Dolce Vita follows a journalist with a laid-back approach to living and an impressive ability to pull off a white suit with absolute ease. But then again, a certain level of nonchalance and swagger is required to even attempt all-white tailoring. Against the idyllic surroundings, the sharp suits stand out brilliantly and in turn, showcase the move away from the overly boxy frames of the 50s and towards a more slick, fitted shape of modern day.
70s: Boogie Nights
The legacy of 70s fashion and music needs little reiteration, but Paul Thomas Anderson’s ’97 film Boogie Nights provides the perfect platform to display the varying trends that featured throughout the decade of disco. As it was a time of experimentation and adventure, it’s no surprise that Mark Wahlberg aka Dirk Diggler's blue-wash double denim and flares raised less eyebrows than his character's name. While that set the bar for boldness, we also see colours aplenty and it's a chance to see those knitted tees and revere-collared shirts you’re wearing today in their original boogie nights settings.
80s: Do The Right Thing
If you’re looking for the foundations of the streetwear trends that rule the style roost today, look no further than late-80s flick, Do The Right Thing. Spike Lee’s take on 80s Brooklyn follows a tense underlying narrative, while perfectly nailing a wacky array of bold colours clashes, graphic-print tees and some interesting neon leggings. It's these pieces, on oversized cuts and baggy shorts, that made up the blueprint of the streetwear which hip hop connoisseurs revolutionised in the decades to follow.
90s: La Haine
There’s a certain amount of presupposed sophistication that is tied to Parisian cinema, but La Haine is far from the your typical French flick. Set on the outskirts of the capital, the gritty, black-and-white film is a story of drama, violence and uprising in which, those rising up are clad in full tracksuits, camo-print cargo trousers and shear-lined jackets. You’d be mistaken for thinking the cast were street-stylers outside of the latest fashion show, or part of a Gosha Rubchinskiy lookbook.
If the impeccable soundtrack isn’t the first thing you remember about Nicolas Winding Refn’s cult film Drive, then it’ll undoubtedly be Ryan Gosling’s game-changing bomber. There’s little opposition to the claim the film is arguably one of the biggest driving forces for the silky sukajan’s rise to popularity. But then it does make sense – who wouldn’t want to be a painfully-cool R-Gos, shiny gold bomber on, toothpick in his mouth, foot on the pedal?