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If you’re looking to get out of a creative slump, there are some major fashion moments currently on Netflix.
At CR, we love gathering major inspiration from films and shows. If your camera roll is full of screenshots of your favorite costumes and outfits from the shows you’re currently watching, we don’t blame you — if fashion is about visual storytelling, then it’s safe to say that movies are high art. If you’re looking to inject a dose of historical, documentary-style, or makeover-ready fashion into your nightly Netflix binge, here are our current favorites on the streaming platform.
The five-episode limited series that just came out a few days ago on Netflix follows the rise of iconic American designer Roy Halston Frowick and his artistic, coke-filled journey of creation and destruction. Halston lives a glamorous, high-flying lifestyle with a higher-than-average budget for orchids and frequent visits to Studio 54 as he battles with addiction and childhood trauma and pours his soul into drape dresses and UltraSuede fabrics. If you’re looking for complete immersion into the Halston craze that swept through the women of 70s and 80s high society, this is the show for you. Oh, and Ewan McGregor’s Halston rubs elbows with the likes of Liza Minelli, Elsa Peretti, and Eleanor Lambert (the mastermind behind the creation of New York Fashion Week, need we say any more?)
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If we had to pinpoint a TV moment that single-handedly brought back the 60’s in all of their fabulously wool-coated, clean-silhouetted glory, it would be Anya Taylor Joy in The Queen’s Gambit. Fashion and chess are an unlikely duo, and at one point in the series Beth Harmon is asked by a reporter, “what do you say to those in the Chess Federation who accuse you of being too glamorous to be a serious chess player?” Based on her astounding track record of wins, Harmon’s abilities clearly weren’t impaired by her affinity for gingham prints and cat-eye sunglasses. Beth Harmon marches into a male-dominated field in a wardrobe filled with vintage shift dresses, Peter Pan collars, and black high-neck sweaters a la Audrey Hepburn, chicer (and more skilled) than any other player in the room.
This is a feel-good show if we’ve ever seen one. The “Fab Five” (Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, and Karamo Brown) deliver full makeovers to overworked mothers, underappreciated school teachers, veterans, and communities in need in this reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. These makeovers aren’t just style-related but Tan France’s fashion segment is always chock-full of tips for making your everyday wardrobe more polished. His signature French tuck skyrocketed in popularity (you can watch every single French tuck in Queer Eye here, thanks to this Netflix compilation) and it’s been helping men who used to wear their button-downs loose and untucked ever since.
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Though many criticized the pairing of cultural insensitivity and brightly-colored, loud outfits that leaned more American than French, if you’re looking for campy, unapologetic fashion, look no further than Emily in Paris. The costuming was led by Patricia Field, whose work in fashion films is surpassed by none. The native New Yorker has lent her vision to some of the most iconic on-screen wardrobes, including The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City, and Ugly Betty. Field took to Paris to clothe Emily in classically structured wool coats, an alarming amount of Parisian motifs, and plenty of hot pinks. One of Emily’s more subtle sartorial moments was a particularly striking Little Black Dress that was worn at the Palais Garnier, a nod to Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. However, if you’re looking for more of a polished French-girl style, you’ll love Sylvie Grateau’s wardrobe — her ultra-sleek, subtly sexy choices remind us of our very own Carine.
A post shared by Carine Roitfeld (@carineroitfeld)
This docuseries covers the buzz, excitement, and last-minute planning that happens leading up to some of the world’s biggest events including the Kentucky Derby and the Westminster Dog Show. Fashion lovers will want to skip right ahead to episode five, a 46-minute-long peek into the planning of the Chanel Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture fashion show led by Karl Lagerfeld himself. Watch, with unprecedented access, as the Chanel team and other helping hands hustle to ensure that a complicated, large-scale production looks as absolutely effortless as the garments themselves (the closing look is a wedding gown that is half-dress, half-trousers, and you will appreciate it all the more after catching a glimpse of the detailed work that goes on in the Chanel atelier).
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Michelle Williams is a dead ringer for bombshell actress and American icon Marilyn Monroe (the Golden Globe award that she won for Best Actress in a Motion Picture seems to think so, too). Follow aspiring filmmaker Colin Clark as he finds himself working with and eventually in the closest circles of big-time movie star Marilyn Monroe. It’s a story of old Hollywood glamour and deep-seated loneliness, and Jill Taylor created a striking, retro wardrobe for Williams complete with hair scarves, curve-hugging 50’s midi dresses, and chic daywear that is both sensual and sophisticated. There’s plenty of beauty inspiration to be found in My Week With Marilyn as well, thanks to the spot-on blonde curls and signature red lip that Marilyn Monroe was known for.
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Y2K, anyone? Elle Woods is a shamelessly pink-loving, litigation-taking lawyer by the end of this classic 2001 chick-flick and there’s plenty of fabulous outfit inspiration along the way. From printed halter dresses worn with a real sunflower tucked behind one ear to a pink leather set that Elle paired with her chihuahua Bruiser’s matching pink outfit (monogrammed with an H for Harvard, obviously) there is no shortage of guilt-free girliness. Even when Reese Witherspoon isn’t wearing head-to-toe pink, she’s rocking some form of sparkle or bling to make up for the lack of her favorite hue. Count us in!
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Fashion historians will swoon over the incredible attention to detail in the outfits of The Crown, a dramatic retelling of the events that impacted the royal family throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (and Nicki Minaj’s favorite show). Complicated, forbidden love and sticky politics are a background to beaded ball gowns, proper wool coats, and outfits with which costume designer Amy Roberts took more creative liberty due to certain events not being photographed. Roberts told Dezeen that “You can go from forensic accuracy, like with the queen’s military uniform, to flights of fancy and glamour – it’s an extraordinary programme for doing that. […] It’s a mixture of the need to be correct about things, but also the need to look knockout.” The stunning recreation of Princess Diana’s wedding gown involved direct input from David Emmanuel, best known for designing Princess Diana’s original wedding dress.
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This stirring documentary dives into the lives of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and her younger sister, Lee Radziwill. Jackie O is iconic for her Chanel suits and strands of pearls, always wearing effortlessly sophisticated pieces that were closely followed and replicated by much of America. Her pillbox hats, designed by Halston, started a trend that trickled down from the White House to the houses of suburban America. Her sister, Lee Radziwill, was an American socialite and was lesser-known, though arguably equally fabulous. This pairing of sisters had a complicated relationship wrought with love and loss that this investigative documentary delves into.
A post shared by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (@mrsjohnfkennedy)
We can’t talk about Netflix’s impact on fashion without mentioning Bridgerton, the sweepingly-romantic series with one of the most colorful, opulent, and over-the-top Regency-era wardrobes that this decade has seen. Though the series has faced criticism for not being fully accurate to the styles of the 1810s, the costume designers took creative license to depict the lavish, steamy lives of high society while also creating color motifs that distinguish pastel-drenched ingenues from the loud oranges and yellows that garb the comic relief. The high empire waist dresses and jeweled headpieces are sure to make an appearance in wedding wardrobes this year (as well as Halloween looks as we all race to put together the best Daphne Bridgerton costume).
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All of these shows and movies can be streamed on Netflix.com.