Entertainment | November 28th, 2023

From Fabric to Film – Media’s Impact on Fashion

By: Cordell Jones
From Fabric to Film – Media’s Impact on Fashion

In most modern-day TV shows and Movies, a character’s identity can be seen and identified by a few things. Their notable moral compass, how they view the world around them, how they and other characters react to situations, and their character flaws help make them more human.

One aspect seen as one of the most important is their fashion choices.

From Molly on the hit HBO show “Insecure” to Devon Aoki in the Fast and the Furious franchises, fashion can be seen as a driving force behind what makes a character uniquely themselves. While primarily seen as character choices, these choices also influence fashion trends and the fashion world. However, these fashion world influences can make movies and TV shows also impact the industry. 

Media Trends

As referenced by Fashion & Law Journal writer Rabiya Singh, movies and TV can help generate press and marketing for brands, set trends, and enhance the visual appeal of a show or movie. This idea is proven with another hit HBO show “Euphoria.” The Zendaya-led drama has led to countless trends on the internet, primarily seen within the makeup and fashion worlds.

Within fashion, it has led to an influx of mesh tops, iridescent clothing, and other various things that the show was featuring. WWD writer Booth Moore’s article on the influence references high fashion brand Coperini using the show as inspiration for one of their runway shows in 2022. This influence helps bring new perspectives to how a brand wants to showcase its clothes and how it can market its attire to a new audience. 

With these media forms being more accessible than ever, this exposure has led to people wanting to take styles from these shows and movies and brands co-opting them to their collections. With these new trends coming from TV shows and Movies, they often find fashion brands implementing their visions into films and TV shows to have their fashion iconography.  

Fashion Never Dies

An example would be Jean Paul Gaultier, the costume designer for the 1997 sci-fi film “The Fifth Element.” The movie had costumes all designed and created by a world-renowned designer who helped stamp the film with various iconic fashion moments.

These moments would then see themselves come back into society as Moschino’s 2014 collection took heavy inspiration from fashion moments in that movie. Several other designers have been tacked onto TV and film projects and then publicized their work and used as an influence in a similar vein. 

This can also be seen within the world of black movies, with current trends taking influence from 90s films such as Love Jones, BAPS, and Poetic Justice to current TV shows like Insecure, Bel Air, and Dear White People. These productions, amongst countless others, have heavy fashion influences that not only showcase stylistic choices but further push the name and identity of a brand out to the masses.

As Harper’s Bazaar writer Amy De Klerk puts it, “if you’re drawn to a character on one of these impactful programs, it’s no surprise that you’d head straight to Google to try and find out what they’re wearing.”

The flow of programming to its influence on fashion and influence back on programming helps to create a cycle of fashion trends that continue into each other. It may not be something grand or even a highly followed trend.

Still, these 2 entertainment mediums help shape modern fashion, and fashion helps to further express ideas and character concepts within the mediums.