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The On-Screen Fashions Of Sofia Coppola


Sofia Coppola’s films have a look.

Following the recently unveiled trailer for gothic southern drama The Beguiled, we felt look back over the most sublime fashion moments featured in the veritable dreamscapes that make up the director’s gorgeous back catalogue.

From the hazy iconicism of The Virgin Suicides to the unapologetic tackiness of The Bling Ring (which was partly filmed in Paris Hilton’s own shoe closet, fyi), ‘aesthetic’ is the common factor that unites them all. When it comes to Sofia, the fashion of her weird and wonderful characters dominate the on-screen agenda.

Trip Fontaine – The Virgin Suicides

With a name like Trip Fontaine, is it any wonder that this character provided such an excellent opportunity for Coppola to work her magic in creating, what remains to this day, one of the most iconic movie heartthrobs. Equal parts edgy and classic as he prowled the school corridors, jacket slung over one shoulder, Fontaine deployed some strong looks over the course of The Virgin Suicides. Highlights including the burgundy velvet blazer, 70s pattern tie and yellow lens aviators combo paired with that omnipresent conker-coloured mop of hair. If it wasn’t for his questionable abandonment of Lux post-prom, I’d advocate Trip Fontaine underwear for all.

The Lisbons – The Virgin Suicides

Okay, The Virgin Suicides gets two mentions because it’s just so darn aesthetically pleasing and also kinda (very) symbolic too as the sisters’ style of dress both compliments and juxtaposes. Both sexual and pure, whatever the overriding conclusion, the girls get it just right with plenty of knee high socks and white dresses. Even when faced with the “four identical sacks” that are to be their prom dresses (supplied by mama Lisbon), they manage to pull it off – after all, the girls’ intrigue lies in their weirdness.

Nicki Moore – The Bling Ring

Unsurprisingly, Emma Watson’s character in The Bling Ring, is wardrobe goals. Not content with just a baby pink velvet Juicy Couture tracksuit (and a shortsleeve tracksuit at that), Nicki adds a pair of Uggs and a suitably fluffy toy dog for good measure. Elsewhere in the film, Coppola goes to town on super oversized sunnies, lip gloss and flip phones. Love it, hate it or love to hate it – whatever – the Paris Hilton vibes and general noughties naughtiness are a continued theme for the young burglar.

Charlotte – Lost in Translation

It’s a difficult thing to pull off a bubblegum wig (let alone a fringed bob) without looking like you’ve wandered off from your hen do, but Scarlett Johansson’s character Charlotte works it. Ok, I’ve just read that sentence back – and granted, our subject could pull off whatever garish wig her heart desires. Ridiculous hair hats aside, Coppola orchestrates so many dreamy fashion moments in Lost in Translation, from Charlotte’s near sheer underwear that graces the film’s opening credits to the transparent plastic umbrella that she totes whilst traversing the drizzly Japanese streets.

Cleo – Somewhere

Before working on The Beguiled together, Coppola worked with a very young Elle Fanning in Somewhere. Again, monopolising on subtle colours, perhaps the most striking image of the film stems from the ice skating scene in which Fanning’s character Cleo sports a diamante-flecked pale blue number and teeny tiny skirt as she flits about to the sweet refrains of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’. (Let’s take this opportunity to pay tribute to the late American Apparel, a true pioneer of ice skating-inspired dresses as everyday, off-ice wear.)

Volume #18 is here – get your copy now.



Words by Tilda Bywater

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