Film Characters with Style: Ask the Reader!

By Film & TV Editor and Contributors

Here at TV and Film, we asked our readers to send in their opinion on who is the best dressed character in the land of Showbiz. Have a read, gain some style tips and perhaps get inspired to try out a new film! 

Cecilia Tallis (Atonement)  

The dresses designed for the 2007 adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Atonement are doubtless among the film’s most memorable aspects, none more so than those worn by Kiera Knightley’s Cecilia Tallis. 

Cecilia dresses with the elegance of many pre-World War II middle-class women: in silks and laces, in soft colours and delicate cuts. Her clothes act as vehicles through which McEwan’s story is told. Her nude blouse and silk skirt combo of the film’s opening scene (and its consequent near-sheerness upon jumping into a fountain) establishes a sexual chemistry that unfolds between her and James McAvoy’s Robbie Turner – an intimacy explored further through a green dress worn by Cecilia in what becomes the film’s most pivotal scene.

With a daringly low back, ruching at the waist, and a flowing, floor-length skirt, this green dress is considered one of the most iconic in recent cinematic history. Though arguably more modern than the fashion of 1934, its spaghetti straps and V-neck imitate contemporary Chanel and emulate the air of sophistication Cecilia carries. 

Amelie (Amelie)

I first watched Amelie when I was a teenager and quickly fell in love with the quirky Parisian rom-com and its stylish rumination on the meaning of life and what it is to be a dreamer.

The queen of the capsule wardrobe, Amelie reuses iconic pieces throughout the film. Her dedication to a midlength skirt/blazer combo is as consistent as the film’s commitment to its green, yellow and red colour palette. The best dressed ‘godmother of outcasts’ often sports the same burgundy lace midi skirt, sometimes to create a monochrome look with a red blazer and a red floral top. Even Amelie’s umbrella and her washing up gloves are the same vivid red as her father’s garden gnome’s hat. 

Often Amelie contrasts skirts and polka dot cardigans with blazers and boxy leather coats in order to create a look that balances between the masculine and the feminine. And every outfit is accessorised with her iconic black bob and staple chunky black shoes. 

Nino is told ‘you’ve always known her in your dreams’ and I’m pretty sure that I’ve known Amelie’s wardrobe in mine, both the film and her style will always be timeless in my eyes.

Sally Albright (When Harry Met Sally) –

As October settles in , and I’m preparing for a change in temperament from Hong Kong’s warm humid summer to Durham’s bitter cold and early sundown, I find myself blankly staring at an empty suitcase. I’m a summer baby through and through, so when it comes to the colder months, I routinely turn to the quintessential romcom, When Harry Met Sally, for inspiration. It’s the ideal film, with its romantic setting of autumnal New York, warm-toned snapshot of the late 80s, and notably, costume designer Gloria Gresham’s fashion concepts.

Sally Albright has always been the embodiment of autumnal couture; her untameable hair and dramatic sleeves represent everything I dream to emulate. Despite my resentment for shoulder pads, an Albright wardrobe staple, her casual looks are what personally stand out the most, such as the red sweater she wears on a museum visit with Harry, or the black turtleneck and thin rimmed glasses combo she sports at home. As a character, Sally knows exactly what she wants, and each of her outfits display a similar personality. While it’s most likely that the only Sally Albright look I’ll replicate is her iconic heartbreak-chic bathrobe ensemble, it’s nevertheless always a joy to escape into the romantic climate of this timeless film when faulty radiators fail to keep me warm in the biting cold.

Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

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