Best Fictional Films for Style Inspiration – Kinks & Winks

Today I will continue to introduce some very stylish films. Some of them will be slightly kinkier than the ones in my Personal Favorites (okay, maybe not The Dreamers) but equally amazing.



And God Created Woman (1956)

The 60s was not complete without Brigitte Bardot. She was so uninhibited, free, innocent yet insouciantly provocative all at the same time. She shook up the post-war conformist France with body-conscious garments — button-front shirtdresses, boatneck wiggle dresses and simple white polo necks paired with hip-hugging pencil skirts, exemplifying the sexy looks that left just enough to the imagination.


Belle de Jour (1967)

Yves Saint Laurent’s designs were the epitome of ‘classic modernity’. He successfully captured the haute bourgeois chic by designing some amazing pieces — tailored sheaths, a safari dress, a vinyl trench, and sumptuous rounded coats for the stunning Catherine Deneuve. Although Deneuve was never my favorite French actress, she was the embodiment of quintessential femininity and exquisite sophistication. Instead of showing the free spirit and romance of the archetypal French woman, she always played stern and controlled roles with an aura of mystery. Nonetheless, the film is a must-see for fashion addicts.


9 and 1/2 Weeks (1986)

This film is the 80s version of Fifty Shades of Grey but 10 times better. Basinger was the ultimate embodiment of 80s’ cosmopolitan fashion and minimalist simplicity. The tousled waves, red-stained lips, darkly lined and smudged eyes — or what I like to call, the morning-after look — is all the rage now. And she rocked the modern working girl ensembles as well as the slouch combo of a banker’s button-down with EG Smith Boot socks — alongside a devilishly attractive Mickey Rourke.


In the Mood for Love (2000)

Wong Kar-wai has made an abundance of highly stylized films (2046, My Blueberry Nights, etc.) and is one of the very few reasons why I still hold hope for Chinese filmmakers (artistically speaking, not commercially for obvious reasons). Regarded as a milestone in Chinese film history, this movie was a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema. In this melancholy tale of love and loneliness, Maggie Cheung impeccably showcased the grace and sensuality of qipao (also known as cheongsam) with her slender figure and fragile beauty, creating a nostalgic ambiance and an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience. The opalescent silks and floral prints subtly juxtapose the quiet passion embedded between the characters.


Mulholland Dr. (2001)

David Lynch is a bonafide genius because this was the film that changed the course of film history and the way I watch movies. Hell, the first thing I did after getting my Nissan was going to Mulholland Dr. I practically risked my life by driving on the meandering road and that was how much I loved this movie. The cinematography, the score, the underlying message, the evocative acting, and of course the costumes complemented one another immaculately, making it one of the cinematic masterpieces of the 21st century. Dark locks, crimson lips, white button-down, halter dresses, and Laura Harring’s cheekbones represented the true essence of Hollywood glamour.


A Single Man (2009)

Two words to sum up the film – Tom Ford. He translated his immaculate taste beautifully to cinema with fastidious attention to detail and filled the poignant moments with an exquisite style and elegance. We see throughout the film the white oxford shirts – the very image of quality and refinement, classic thick-framed glasses – hallmark of American hipsters, corduroy jackets – a nice boho touch of the 60s, and of course, Italian style custom-tailored suits. In short, the film is an aesthetic perfection.


Some of the films have been proven a bit too much for some. So brace yourselves. 😉



Best Fictional Films for Style Inspiration – Personal Favorites


As I have mentioned in Bio, I am, without a doubt, one of the biggest movie geeks I know. It doesn’t really come as a surprise since I studied cinema at USC (which has one of the best film schools in the world). I tend to view films from a more analytical perspective (I know, sounds pretentious…). But today I am just going to pile up a list of my favorite films that have amazing fashion pieces and left me in awe. Hopefully, they will inspire you in some way too 🙂 .

Funny Face (1957)

Watching Funny Face was like flipping through a 50s high-end fashion magazine. Playing a NYC bookstore frump turned Parisian fashion model, Audrey Hepburn spellbinded us with her sweet nature and glamorous exterior. Her personal couturier Givenchy designed a series of couture gowns and outfits for her to wear in a variety of Parisian scenes which gave us one of the very first looks at Haute Couture on the silver screen.

“Take the picture! Take the picture!”
Givenchy bridal gown – beginning of tea-length wedding dresses

The crazy dance scene featured the turtleneck, sleek black pixie pants, and foot-friendly loafers which successfully captured the emerging beatnik-style zeitgeist. Even in the simplest outfits, Hepburn never failed to dazzle us with her elegance and signature elfin beauty. I guess that she just possessed the “bozazz”.

It’s okay to kick my legs high cuz I’m wearing really chic pants.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Casting Audrey Hepburn as a “socialite” (code for high-class prostitute) seemed like a bizarre idea but I’d have to say that she nailed it. She played an incredibly chic and playful character with a quirky sense of humor and alluring idiosyncrasy , yet extremely sorrowful vulnerability. And the movie debuted with the most iconic fashion image in history – Givenchy’s long black gown with the demi-lune cut-out at the back, accessorized by the over-the-top costume pearls.

The iconic look

Hepburn wore sunglasses most of the time in the film because they had prescribed lenses and Miss Golightly apparently did not like wearing glasses. But a pair of Ray-Bans that flatter your face shape would add chicness to anything else you wear, wouldn’t they? And the film showcased the trench, turtleneck, oversize button-downs, and ballet flats which are definitely all wardrobe essentials.

Hangovers are best hidden behind a huge pair of sunglasses
Miss Holly Golightly teaches us the more important things in life – Sleep and Alcohol

Almost Famous (2000)

While celebrating the age of rock and roll and ’70s counterculture with this awesome picture, Cameron Crowe provided us a feast for our eyes with a lookbook of the raddest pieces of the 70s. Penny Lane’s burly shearling coat is the iconic 70s look. People still dress like her for Halloween as well as in daily life. Some of our other favorite items – aviators, crop tops, frilly dresses, flared jeans, faded band t-shirts – were seen throughout the film. And all the characters presented undoubtedly the perfect examples of the most wearable vintage looks.

Interrelation of pop culture and fashion
Fairuza Balk in her rainbow vest inspired by Janis Joplin
Oh, the 70s…

Malena (2000)

When I watched the film for the first time at 14, I was shocked by Monica Bellucci’s beauty! To this day, I still am. At the age of 52, she looks absolutely stunning! In Malena, playing a war widow during WWII, Bellucci showed her effortlessly chic style with the rotating billowy floral print dresses and tailored 40s silhouettes. The outfits perfectly complemented her ethereal elegance and ultra-feminine temperament.


First look of Malena
Cigarettes – a girl’s best accessories

The Dreamers (2003)

This is oddly one of my favorite films by Bernardo Bertolucci despite the fact that some say it is just two hours of really attractive people talking about pretentious films while smoking, and having really weird sex. (Wait, that actually sounds pretty awesome.) Anyways, Eva Green impressed us by encapsulating the style of a broody Parisienne in the 60s with a wardrobe of crushed velvet dresses, romantic florals, and of course—berets.

Humans are either fascinated or repulsed by others’ nonconformity.
It’s a dangerous game you play there, darling.
Like I care…

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

I became obsessed with the movie after I watched it for the first time at the age of 13. I did not get the main point of the film at all which is: Go after your dream regardless what others say and do not afraid to take chances. I was so mesmerized by the Cinderella storyline and glamorous outfits that I took an oath that one day I will be just as skinny and chic as everyone in the movie. As I’m munching on a piece of baguette with raisin walnut cream cheese, I can’t help but think: “Am I there yet…?” LOL.

Three of my favorite looks in the film

Nevertheless, there were so many beautiful outfits in the movie and Andy’s style was a perfect example for someone with a slightly bigger frame. As a 5’7 Asian girl with a closet overflowed with classic black and white pieces, I can only say: “I bow to you, Patricia Field (costume designer for The Devil Wears Prada)”.

Miranda Priestly – what every girl in fashion aspires to be and every girl’s worst nightmare, but being admired and feared at the same time is what’s important, isn’t it?
Revelation of Andy Sachs after sleeping with her longtime idol

Stay tuned, lovelies! I’ll be back (in my Terminator voice).

A “Pastel-Hued Nightmare” – Black Mirror “Nosedive”

Black mirror

I still remember watching the ‘Christmas special’ episode of Black Mirror and how it sent chills straight down my spine. And once again last night, I was blown away by the brilliance of the compelling episode of season 3 after almost two years.


“A Pastel-Hued Nightmare”

A short synopsis of the episode: “Nosedive” is a social media nightmare trapped in a pastel dream. In the status-obsessed world where everyone’s given a rating based on others’ immediate feedback about them, Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) — who is inhibited and “eager to please” — finds a way to move up to a higher “social class” when her childhood friend Naomi (Alice Eve), a beautiful but mean society elite with a 4.8/5 rating, asks her to be the maid of honor. After a series of unfortunate events on her way to Naomi’s wedding, her rating dropped from 4.2 to 2.8, and she finally has a nervous breakdown and gets extracted from society.

In this one-hour social satire, the inviting pastel palette and baby blue and pink outfits have a certain soothing quality which subtly clashes with the inner frustration of Lacie and the growing anxious tone of the episode. Joe Wright wanted to create “a dystopia that is pristine, picture perfect” that reflects the characters’ aspirations to appear perpetually cheerful. They always wear a smile on their faces, compliment others in an effort to “out-nice” one another just to get a higher rating. It sounds frighteningly familiar, doesn’t it?

Social Media

Yes, I wouldn’t even call the episode science fiction because it depicts a dystopian “reality” that is not that far from where we are now. The ubiquity and immediacy of social media enable us to share (voluntarily or unknowingly) any aspect of our lives with those we choose and beyond. Initially, social media was originated for us to be better linked with one another. However, nowadays we overly reply upon them to the point that sometimes our virtual identities have taken on more importance than our real-life identities. We try to recreate a “perfect” persona of our “second selves” with shiny profiles and flamboyant images. We feel the constant pressure to compete with those who show off their amazing new outfits and ostentatious lifestyle. This abuse of social media changes the perception of our sense of reality, ourselves, and the world surrounding us.

I am sure that there are people who eschew social media. A student at my school doesn’t have Instagram or ever update his Facebook profile. My landlord’s son doesn’t even own a phone which makes it a lot more difficult when I try to contact his non-English speaking mother. Nonetheless, it can be so liberating when staying away from social media.

While traveling on the east coast of Australia for seven weeks, I didn’t have a sim card or post anything on social media. It was like I vanished off the face of the earth. I was having such a tremendously immersive experience just being fully present with the people around me. I never had to check my phone for updates or panic about what others felt about the new picture I posted. Later on, I shared a lot of images and engaged in conversations about my travels, not to get attention on social media but simply for the sake of “sharing”. I shared with people not only photos of the most beautiful sunrises or gorgeous surfer boys, but also the potential dangers of traveling alone as a girl, the awkward situations when encountering cultural barriers, and the struggles when trying to maximize every moment of a backpacking experience on a limited budget.

Unfortunately, social media, most of the time, is not really about sharing something that is deep, emotional, or meaningful. It has become increasingly superficial since it takes us only a few seconds to scroll down someone’s Instagram page and like a bunch of pictures without reading the captions while thinking, “I am only liking their photos so they will like mine back”. I understand that wanting to be socially accepted is part of our nature since the dawn of time, however this obsession with social media may eventually stop giving us pleasure, stray us away from our priorities, and ultimately backfire on our social lives.