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The 5 most unusual collaborations between fashion and cinema

From science fiction by Versace to the Milanese bourgeoisie according to Raf Simons

The 5 most unusual collaborations between fashion and cinema From science fiction by Versace to the Milanese bourgeoisie according to Raf Simons

The best thing about cinema as art is that every detail, from the shots to the set design, communicates a message and all the details gathered contribute to creating a character's identity and telling a story. This is also valid for the costume design of a film: the clothes of a character are a seemingly silent element but that says a lot about a character and contributes to creating, almost more than any other, their aesthetics. Throughout the history of cinema, many designers have tried their hand at costume design, bringing their sensitivity to couture from the catwalks to the screen. Great designers such as Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani have created costumes for famous and commercial films, but there have been other less conventional collaborations for small cult films, often aimed at a single character or actor in the film, but which have defined its identity for decades to come.

Gianni Versace –  Dredd (Danny Cannon, 1995)

Judge Dredd is one of the most forgotten and misunderstood sci-fi/action films of the 90s. Inspired by the British magazine's 2000 AD comic book series, and brought to life with singular woodiness by a Sylvester Stallone at the height of his fame as an action hero, the film left critics and audiences puzzled by its uncertain tone between dystopian violence and self-parody. Concerned today, however, the film is tasty for its over-the-top aesthetic that is a real triumph of the camp, especially thanks to the costumes designed by Gianni Versace. The great designer may not have been entirely comfortable designing futuristic clothes, but Dredd's uniform, complete with chains, suspenders and monumental gold straps, remains an icon to this day.

Yves Saint Laurent – The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983)

Everyone knows the classic Yves Saint Laurent, that of fine Parisian fashion – but what if that same designer decided to design the costumes for a vampire film? The Hunger is one of the most cult horrors of the 80s, with an outstanding cast consisting of Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, the film has largely inspired vampire fiction as we know it today. Its mingled atmosphere, as a magazine, the goth-metal soundtrack opened by a real Bauhaus concert as well as the famous lesbian scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon on the notes of Leo Dèlibes' Duet of Flowers. Saint Laurent designed all of Catherine Deneuve's outfits for the film, including the iconic black suit with a plunging neckline from the club's now famous scene.

Raf Simons – I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Before reaching international stardom with Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino had already created real cinematic gems set in the world of the Italian upper bourgeoisie. The most beautiful of these films is I am Love, the story of a wealthy Milanese family led by matriarch Tilda Swinton whose outfits for the film were designed by Raf Simons at the time when he was the creative director of Jil Sander. 

Rick Owens – Tank Girl (Rachel Talay, 1995)

Another dystopian film, this time based on the underground comic book of the same name by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin and with a predominantly female cast. The costume designer of the film is Oscar-nominated Arianne Philipps, the same costume designer in charge of the outfits of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and A Single Man, but she herself revealed recently in an interview with Dazed that a young Rick Owens, who at the time had founded her brand for about a year, collaborated with her on the definition of the punk aesthetic of the film and had created a jacket , an avant-garde skirt and coat mixing fabrics from military stock, denim and leather. 

Jean-Paul Gaultier – The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997)

Perhaps one of the most cult science fiction films of the 90s, though not one of the most successful on the script level, The Fifth Element is in perfect balance between exaggeration and comedy. Jean-Paul Gaultier designed all the costumes for the film, from the tech outfits worn by Bruce Willis to The Striped Costume by Milla Jovovich. But the most iconic pieces of the film's wardrobe are intended for the character of Chris Tucker – perhaps the most iconic ever played by the American actor and also the best dressed.