Page-to-Screen Fashion Icons

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In November we are talking all things adaptation and this week we turn our attention to page-to-screen fashion. Just last week, Harper’s Bazaar hosted its ‘Women of the Year Awards’ honouring Diane Von Furstenberg with the coveted Fashion Icon Award. This got us thinking about the many fictional fashion icons we’ve encountered on the page… and then onscreen. Here are our Top 5 fashionistas from adaptations we love…




Ok so the 1974 film is considered the best adaptation of Fitzgerald’s classic (Mia Farrow portrays Daisy in this version) but we think Carey Mulligan is a brilliant Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 extravaganza. On an performative level, she captures Daisy’s vulnerability and ethereality perfectly, however, it is her costumes that make us wish we could jump in a time machine and head back to one of Gatsby’s soirées. It is reported that Tiffany & Co. designed a collection of platinum-set diamonds and lustrous pearls specifically for the film, much of which ended up on this here debutante!



Nothing screams haute couture like Effie Trinket’s wardrobe in The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins’ District 12 escort came bursting to life in the 2012 film, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, 30 Rock). Effie’s colourful attire matches her bright and bubbly, if not slightly insincere, personality.  Embellished with excessive ruffles, flowers, butterflies, you name it, and finished off with perfectly styled Antoinette-come-Geisha hair and make-up, the fashion odds are always in Effie’s favour.  We can’t wait to see what she’ll be sporting in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (released in the UK on 20 November 2014). Deeevine, darlings.




When your face is a brand, featured worldwide on bags, clocks, cups, cufflinks – you name it, you are undeniably a fashion icon. Indeed, Holly is one of Truman Capote’s most famous and timeless creations and so when it came to adapting the novella to film in the 1960s, a real life beauty was needed to bring Holly to life. Enter Audrey Hepburn. Draped in diamonds and Givenchy dresses, Hepburn was the envy of viewers worldwide. Her famous black dress, which was worn in front of Tiffany’s, was sold for a whopping £467,000 to an anonymous buyer at a London auction back in 2006.




Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel had its cinematic debut in 2007. Directed by Joe Wright, the film’s key socialite is Cecilia Tallis (played by Keira Knightley). Each of Cecilia’s costumes encapsulate the elegance of 1930-40s socialite England. However, it is the floating green evening gown that she wears on the fateful night that her love, Robbie, is sent to prison, which sparks envy in the eyes of its viewers. Designed by Jacqueline Duran, the slinky bias-cut gown – made with green organza and green chiffon – was inspired by McEwan’s description of Cecilia viewing herself in the mirror: “As she pulled it on she approved of the firm caress of the bias cut through the silk of her petticoat, and she felt sleekly impregnable, slippery and secure; it was a mermaid who rose to meet her in her own full-length mirror.”



4220xtctsoother45) SAYURI, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

Arthur Golden’s 1997 historical novel was adapted to screen in 2005 by Rob Marshall. The adaptation gained critical acclaim for its retelling of Sayuri’s journey to becoming a geisha. However, it was the film’s costumery that mesmerized audiences worldwide, earning Colleen Atwood her second Oscar statuette at the 78th Academy Awards for Best Costume Design – she previously won for her design in Chicago in 2002 and would later go on to win for Alice in Wonderland in 2010. While each geisha’s style is iconic in its own right, Hatsumomo in particular, it is Sayuri’s transition from basics kimonos to spectacular works of art that is the stuff of fashionistas’ dreams.


Who are your favourite literary/film fashion icons?