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Mode’s 100 Years of Fashion: Women in Film Video Shows Us More Than Killer Looks


Mode’s 100 Years of Fashion videos are fun glimpses into the history of culture. From swimwear styles to the toys we’ve loved playing with, it’s cool to go through a century’s worth of options, seeing the progression in one handy video. Check out their latest video, which spotlights 100 years of women’s fashion on the Silver Screen.

While it’s cool to see tribute paid to some of my favorite female characters from classic films (whassup, Dorothy Gale!), this video also had the (probably) unintentional added bonus of sparking other thoughts about the history of women in film over the past 100 years:

  • The fetishization and cultural appropriation of all things Egyptian or “Arabian” in the early 20th Century was weird (the generic “Arabian” music in this video doesn’t help).
  • The fact that this video is showing us specific character looks, rather than general fashion from the era, really highlights the contributions of these women. Not “anyone” could’ve been Clueless‘ Cher, or Holly Golightly, or The Girl (despite the generic character name, could you really imagine any star other than Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch?). Far from being “interchangeable” starlets, these women really did bring as much to the table as their male counterparts, even if they weren’t as respected.
  • I wonder what a video would look like where, instead of paying homage to to the “leading ladies, heroines, and bombshells of the movies,” we instead paid homage to “the female writers, directors, and technicians of the movies.” Would they be able to fill a three and a half minute video? Would all of the examples be from the latter half of the century?

Actually, that’s not a bad idea! After all, women like Edith Head (legendary Academy Award-winning costume designer) had some pretty inspiring fashion looks, too:



Whom would you like to see in a fashion round-up of Women in Film – the non-actress edition? Tell us in the comments below!

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