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Seven fashion in film moments

(La La Land Official Facebook Page)

(La La Land Official Facebook Page)

In life I have two great loves: romance movies and fashion. So being able to appreciate the two within the context of one another is a skill I’m proud to have developed.

In light of the new year and all types of retrospection around 2016, I figured it would only be fitting to acknowledge seven of 2016’s most interesting mainstream romance movies through the lens of their leading actor’s threads. What were they wearing? What did this say about the time period the film was striving to portray? What did it make the audience feel?

“Rules Don’t Apply”

In the movie “Rules Don’t Apply,” Lily Collins plays a young aspiring actress named Marla Mabrey who falls in love with her young driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) despite the rules and regulations put forth by their boss, the infamous Warren Beatty (Howard Hughes), for clients to refrain from personal relationships with drivers. Throughout the film the pair struggle with this constraint and always find their way back to each other.

Staying in tune with the old Hollywood setting and quest for fame, Collins and Ehrenreich dress in boat neck tops and winged tipped shoes, pin stripe trousers and tea length skirts as they waltz around California in a secret star struck haze.

Collins often has her hair fashioned in loose and voluminous old Hollywood waves, with a matching bold red lip and brow. Ehrenreich showcased a heavily oiled head of hair with purposeful fly-a-ways.

“La La Land”

In this story we are met with a grandiose Los Angeles romance where two artists struggle to make ends meet in a 1950s/60s style of sorbet colored cocktail dresses and jazz pop music.

Emma Stone (Mia) can be seen in flowing butterfly sleeved dresses, heeled oxfords, boat neck tops, printed summer scarves and complimentary colors.

Ryan Gosling (Sebastian) can be seen in classic black and white attire paired with wing tipped shoes, cropped black trousers, white button downs, fitted suit jackets and fedoras. Overall both of the main character’s styles epitomize a cabaret look, finished off with a very suitable tap shoe.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”

In this sequel Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian (John Corbett) return after the production that was their big elaborate Greek wedding. Only now, they have a daughter who’s beginning to realize the dating scene will be made only the more complicated by her big overbearing family.

Gone are Vardalos’s unflattering paint suits of the first film. She has returned as a more fashionable and professional version of herself after the initial makeover. However, blazers of all kind and material—even chambray—remain a constant.

As far as the rest of the family’s wardrobe goes, the look of loud patterns on the Vardalos female relatives still reigns strong. And the long gold chain, purposefully placed on the outside of a fitted black or neutral t-shirt, has remained a favorite among male characters.

“Mother’s Day”

In this movie we arrive at the classic tale of interlocking friendships, relationships and personal growth that creates a shared feeling of familiarity and closeness through the strife of love and everyday life.

From Jennifer Aniston, who plays Sandy, we get some classic “Friends” vibes with all the denim and graphic t-shirts of the 90s.

Kate Hudson’s (Jesse) look is comparably more preppy. It’s frequented by stripes, flowing whites, seersucker and colorful chinos you’d expect to stumble on in Vineyard Vines or the country club.

The male cast of the movie all dress quite similar. Equipped with their short-sleeved plaid shirts and dad hats, you can find them micromanaging the neighborhood barbecues and sitting courtside and their daughter’s basketball games.

“How to be Single”

This film was a personal favorite of mine. It was filled with the ridiculous and perhaps distasteful humor of “Bridesmaids,” while hitting home with some comical advice on being single in the city and living life for you.

As usual, Rebel Wilson (Robin) brought the loud patterned, brightly colored, highly accessorized power clashing looks. More specifically, she can be seen wearing cat eye shades, sparkly miniskirts and varying colors of pleather.

Dakota Johnson (Alice) assumed more a of a trendy girl-next-door vibe filled with herringbone skirts from 9-5 with denim overalls and Calvin Klein’s on the weekend.

“Me Before You”

This film features the tragic love story of Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke) and Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) after Traynor’s debilitating accident that left him paralyzed.

Clarke’s outfits in the film scream “quirky.” She was often scene with some elaborate braided hairstyle, scrunchie or hair bow.

Matching her funky hairstyles were the somewhat unusually colorful scarves, bumblebee tights, lipsticks, capped sleeves, printed cardigans, large florals or butterfly patterns, Mary Jane’s shoes and other eccentric accessories.

“The Choice”

Last but not least, is Nicholas Sparks’ newest romantic drama. In the film there exists a classic neighborhood romance nuanced with family drama and personal struggle leading to the climax of a relationship revelation.

The film’s main characters Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) and Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker) can be seen in outfits plentiful with chambray, seersucker, khaki, pastel colors, straw beach hats, florals and all around suburban wholesomeness.

Gina Lopez can be reached at gmlopez@umass.edu.

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