The Handmaiden 2016 Park Chan-wook 

Fashion in Film:
The Ulitmate Influencer


DESPERATE FOR FASHION INSPIRATION OUTSIDE OF INSTAGRAM KATE KIM DIVES HEADFIRST INTO HER FAVORITE FILM FASHION SPECIFICALLY NOTING HOW “Sang-gyeong Jo really put her whole pussy into the costume design/styling for The Handmaiden” 

By KATE KIM


8.11.2021


There are periods of time (more recently than ever) where I feel frantic in search of a “personal” style. Rather than take responsibility for being an utterly uninteresting and bland person, I blame Instagram for my weirdly obsessive and anxious existential fashion crisis. In times like these, I look to film for inspiration. Being both a film and fashion lover, I would rather be inspired by the style in films than inundated by influencers and ads selling me stuff that I end up hating on arrival. Oftentimes, my favorite styles are from films from the 50’s-70’s (or set during those time periods) where online shopping didn’t exist and pieces had to be chosen carefully and with thought. Fashion in film is also very intentional, which is why I also love it so much. Why does this character wear xyz? Why did the filmmaker/costume designer choose these pieces or this ensemble? What does it tell us about the characters? And, of course, how does it look on camera and in the time and place? It was difficult picking just a few of many, many films that could make this list (and probably has made it on the thousands of lists out there on the internet), but below are films that inspire me in particular. (Some spoilers ahead!!!)

1. The Mountain - Rick Alverson



As someone that simultaneously has a preference for dressing more masc and is of a smaller size, it’s been difficult to pinpoint exactly how I wanted to dress and where to buy things that fit me. If it could be perpetually autumn and I wasn’t a fickle person, I would like to dress as Andy from The Mountain all the time.The Mountain is not only a profoundly absurd meditative experience of a film, but the fashion also rocks. The film takes place during the 50’s at the decline of lobotomies as a popular medical procedure. Andy, the main character, dresses in clean, simple, but fucking crazy silhouettes: beautiful work-wear button downs paired with the perfect fitted slacks, the most insane plaid jacket that is the perfect crop. Maybe it just looks good on Tye Sheridan’s confused and reserved portrayal of Andy because I would never be able to find clothes that fit me like that. It feels weird to go off on the fashion of this film because the film is just like a beautiful piece of writing, acting, and etc, but the fashion really helps seal The Mountain as a film that takes care and attention to detail on everything.



2. The Handmaiden - Park Chan-wook



Sang-gyeong Jo really put her whole pussy into the costume design/styling for The Handmaiden. I do have a very personal connection to this film, and the outfits are all breathtaking and inspirational. The film is set during Japan’s colonial rule over Korea (1910’s-1940’s) and is a time rarely shown on film or media in a way that The Handmaiden does. There’s a blend of “western” influences as well as the more traditional Korean hanboks and Japanese kimonos, which come together in the character’s outfits in rich jewel hues, intricate body hugging lace, and Victorian collars and silk skirts.


*Shoutout to Sookhee and Tamako, gotta be two of my favorite genders ever.

3. Paris, Texas - Wim Wenders



Nastassja Kinski is THE hot bitch of the 80’s. She served cunt before cunt was even a thing to be served. She killed this hot pink, fuzzy backless number in Paris, Texas as Jane and she makes me want to go blonde again. Forever style icon.



I can’t forget to include Harry Dean Stanton as Travis in Paris, Texas with HIS iconic number as a lonesome heartbroken cowboy of sorts. He rocked the baseball cap and matching set way before and better than anyone. If I had to describe myself, it would be Jane every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Travis every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Sundays don’t ask me. 

4. The Green Knight - David Lowery

Everything about The Green Knight’s costume design went off, but what I really loved about it was how inspirational the ensembles were, and could be used in outfits today. (SPOILER) Like when Sir Gawain “marries” the new young queen towards the last act, she’s wearing a beautiful pleated white dress, very reminiscent of Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection. She continues wearing pleats as her “look” I guess which was also really cool. Meanwhile, Gawain is pulling up in hot knee length boots and chainmail, which I think is going to be super trendy this year. And if it isn’t, I will be wearing it which makes it trendy. Ha ha.




Let us know what films you look to for inspiration below!