The 9 Best Fashion Moments From 2020’s Most Stylish Films

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Few on-screen looks in recent memory felt as instantly iconic as Margot Robbie’s turn in 2016’s Suicide Squad as supervillainess Harley Quinn, topping lists of the most popular Halloween costumes every year since. But while the signature get-up of Robbie’s deranged antihero is now well-defined—dip-dye pigtails, a ripped tee, fishnet tights, and a baseball bat slung over the shoulder—this year’s Quinn-centric follow up, Birds of Prey, allowed her to show a little more variety. With costume designer Erin Benach finding inspiration in everything from comic books and Japanese street style, the fashion of Robbie and her gang served as a wilfully gaudy outward manifestation of the anarchic chaos they wreak across the course of the film.

The Witches

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Max

While Robert Zemeckis’s syrupy take on the Roald Dahl classic, The Witches—starring Anne Hathaway as an imperious and deliciously campy Grand High Witch—may not have won over fans of the notably darker 1990 Nicolas Roeg adaptation, it certainly didn’t disappoint in the costuming stakes. Designed by Joanna Johnston, the nods to style icons like Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, exaggerated proportions, and hypersaturated colors made for a gloriously eye-popping joyride through mid-century fashion history. (A special shoutout to the powder pink, 1950s-inspired opera coat worn by Hathaway as she begins a speech to her witchy coven, which she slides off to reveal a slinky, snake-detailed purple dress—a note-perfect shift from sweet to sinister that Dahl himself would surely be proud of.)


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© Neon / Courtesy of Everett Collection

While the bonnets and crinolines of a British period drama are always catnip for awards voters, Francis Lee’s moving lesbian romance Ammonite offers something a little more nuanced. Starring Kate Winslet as the 19th-century paleontologist Mary Anning, who finds herself foisted with Saoirse Ronan as a new assistant, the pair stalk the gloomy beaches of England’s south coast on the hunt for fossils, when an unexpected romance strikes. Though their wardrobe may initially seem austere, it’s a reflection of the balance between conventional feminine dress and the practicality Anning would have required to do her job—an approach to costuming which neatly reflects the film’s broader resonances, as they find their love suffocated by the moral strictures of Victorian society. Designer Michael O’Connor’s name will be another to keep your eye on as awards season rolls around.

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