As Adrienne Munich writes in the introduction to her book Fashion in Film, which you can preview here: (http://alturl.com/hdg26) “fashion is an essential tool in the craft of conveying meaning through film.” Fashion and film play interchangeably among each other to present new styles to the masses while also reminding them of previous styles to further adapt and rehash.
The history of the influence between film and fashion goes back to the days of Louise Brooks and Al Jolson. In the 1930’s, the Hollywood costume designer became an influence on fashion for the masses. Before this time, Hollywood didn’t have a stable high-fashion industry, so instead, movie producers looked to European designers to create the proper prestige and elegance these movies warranted. Eventually, the Parisians went home, and an industry was born (http://alturl.com/pc3a6).
The influence film exhibits over how we look doesn’t end with merely clothes. Other categories include hairstyles, like Louise Brooks’ iconic bob or James Dean’s perfect pompadour, and body types, such as Marilyn Monroe’s curves or Rita Hayworth’s legs (http://alturl.com/57oer).
Academic disciplines that study the relationship between fashion and film include fashion studies, film and theatre studies, and the University of Arts London has a Masters of Arts program specifically for Fashion and Film (http://alturl.com/f7dqm).
People, or generations as a whole, are affected by film’s influence on fashion because, as Adrienne Munich writes, “film provides a democratic medium of access to Looks.” People in the early 20th century were suddenly inundated for the first time with hundreds of new trends, hairstyles, and ideas every time they went to a movie. Ideas of changing fashions, changing times, and a rapidly progressive society into which they had to try to assimilate. Film is an avenue to democratization (http://alturl.com/ucnqf ).