Christmas films and fashion

Christmas films are full of good wishes, and some of them stop at that, going no further than the memory of a winter’s evening. But then there are others that come to form a part of the collective imagination, classics that go beyond the screen, to pervade winter looks.


It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946, Frank Capra)
The Christmas classic par excellence, with James Stewart showing a dark side that had, until then, been unthinkable in him. His onscreen image took a turn with this film and he stopped being the “good boy” of film. It’s an optimistic fable that deals with the everyday problems of average citizens during a time of crisis. James Stewart spends most of the film wearing a herringbone three-quarter-length coat with a scarf draped over the lapels, a white shirt, and a medium-width tie. A typical look for post-war middle-class Americans. His co-star in the film, Donna Reed, dresses in the typical style of the perfect American wife and mother: a knee-length shirtwaist dress.


The Apartment” (1960, Billy Wilder)
Christmas is the background for Wilder’s great comedy. Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in this film as an office worker and an elevator operator, respectively. Lemmon’s character is wearing a dark suit with a short jacket, a white shirt, and the narrow tie that was typical of the time. MacLaine wears a wonderful suit with a fitted jacket and a wide shirt collar overlapping the lapels. To toast at Christmas time, she gets her fur coat out of the closet (which is sure not to be false, since she is having an affair with the head of the company, unfortunately for Lemmon).


Home Alone “(1990, Chris Columbus)
Written and produced by John Hughes, an expert in making teen films, this film made Macaulay Culkin a child star. Children and teenagers all over the world dreamed of being him and staying home alone— preferably in New York, of course. Culkin’s look in the film is the classic skiing style, which is very fashionable this year: knitted caps, jackets with Christmas designs on them, and plenty of sheepskin. In this film, we saw that you don’t have to be in Aspen to wear a sweater with a deer knitted on it. The mountain comes to the city!