The Neon Demon, The Hunger, Eyes of Laura Mars

7 fashion thrillers to watch after House of Gucci

All the murderous models, blood-covered couture, y2k fashion heists and Kristen Stewart you could hope for on screen.

by Tom George
|
23 November 2021, 7:30am

The Neon Demon, The Hunger, Eyes of Laura Mars

There’s something incredibly enticing about watching movies about chaos and drama within the fashion world. The meticulously designed and aestheticised world of glamour spiralling into chaos, hellbent desires for fame and fortune, and fatal attempts for perfection. From the high-stakes Met Gala heist of Ocean’s Eight to all the murderous drama in mosaic-print swim briefs in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: The Assasination of Gianni Versace. Now, all of our sartorial vices are about to be fed with the release of House of Gucci this week!

Yes, after weeks of rewatching the trailer and annoying everyone around us by crossing our chests and saying “father, son and House of Gucci”, the Lady Gaga-starring fashion thriller epic is hitting cinemas across the world over the next few days before it makes its way over to new streaming service Paramount+. With a wardrobe supplied by Gucci’s own archives, there’s sure to be some iconic fashion moments in the movie about Patrizia Reggiani’s conspiracy to murder her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, head of his family’s namesake Italian fashion brand. 

If the excitement for the movie (that could potentially finally win Gaga that Best Actress Oscar) has unleashed your inner fashion demon, here are seven other fashion thrillers to sink your teeth into. From cannibalistic models and true crime break-ins of Paris Hilton’s mansion, to Kristen Stewart as a psychic personal shopper and a Saint Laurent-wearing vampire in a ménage à trois with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon

The Neon Demon (2016)

From Drive (2011) director Nicholas Winding Refn comes psychological horror, The Neon Demon. It tells the story of Jesse, an aspiring model in LA — played by Elle Fanning — who quickly takes the fashion world by storm with her unique beauty and effortless sex appeal. Relatable! However, that which turns her into a star quickly makes her the centre of the desires of men across the city, and the ire of her fellow models, who are prepared to steal her gifts by any gory means necessary. The trippy nightmare-fuelled film also features Christina Hendricks as a modelling agent, The Hunger Games’s Jena Malone as a queer makeup artist, models Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcote as sinister supermodels, and good guy Keanu Reeves as a creepy motel owner.

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

In a role that Barbra Streisand rejected because it was too “kinky”, Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway plays Laura Mars, a famous fashion photographer whose work is called out for stylising violence against women. Soon, she begins to have visions of the real life murders of her friends and colleagues, seen from the killer's perspective. After Laura learns that many of the city's unsolved murders are connected to her own photography, she teams up with a police lieutenant, played by Tommy Lee Jones, to figure out the identity of the mysterious killer wreaking havoc on her life. Written by Halloween filmmaker John Carpenter, many of the photos used in the film as Laura’s work were created by renowned photographer Helmut Newton.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Tom Ford’s second directorial feature stars Amy Adams as Susan, an art gallery owner who receives a book manuscript from her writer ex-husband, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, asking for her to read and share her opinion on a novel dedicated to her. As Susan begins to read the story about a family’s holiday turned deadly, she looks back on her past marriage, the tumultuous love affair that started it all and the dark secrets that ended it. Premiering at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and nominated for the coveted Golden Lion award, the all-star neo-noir psychological thriller, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan, also includes Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen.

The Hunger (1983)

Not only did the 1983 vampy erotic horror movie The Hunger star Catherine Deneuve in a full line of stunning outfits from Yves Saint Laurent, it also went on to inspire future fashions — becoming the main muse of Alexander McQueen’s bondage-filled and bloodthirsty SS96 runway, and influencing the later goth scenes of the 90s and 00s. It stars fave of the gays Catherine as the horny immortal vampire Miriam, who promises hot humans -- like John, played by David Bowie -- eternal life free of ageing. However, after nearly two centuries together, John realises Miriam’s promise was only partly true and whilst he will live forever he won’t be eternally youthful. After seeking the help of anti-ageing doctor Sarah Roberts (fave of the gays Susan Sarandon), both John and Sarah become entwined within Miriam’s enticing spell and a sexy bisexual love triangle ensues. 

Personal Shopper (2016)

Before she played a haunted Princess Diana in her new, potentially Oscar-tipped Pablo Larraín drama Spencer, or hunted for gay ghosts, Kristen Stewart played Maureen, a personal shopper to an over-demanding supermodel by day and an aspiring medium by night. Living in Paris, she hopes to strengthen her psychic abilities in order to communicate with her dead twin brother. However, on a work trip to London, she begins to receive text messages seemingly from beyond the grave that thrust her into a supernatural murder mystery. Nominated for the Palme D’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the critically acclaimed mystic thriller is sure to leave you spooked. 

The Bling Ring (2013)

Based on Vanity Fair’s notable true crime article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”, this A24 movie from the ever-stylish Sofia Coppola follows a group of LA teens so obsessed with the fashion icons of the 00s -- Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan and Miranda Kerr -- they decide to break into their Beverly Hills homes and raid their closets. The fun, thrilling satire stars Emma Watson as Nikki — who is based on the reality star Alexis Neiers (who gave us this iconic phone call) — alongside Israel Broussard (Happy Death Day), Claire Julian, Katie Chang and American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga as the rest of her celeb closet-pilfering crew. There’s also some fun cameos from Kirsten Dunst and IRL Bling Ring target Paris Hilton, who offered up her home to film the looting scenes in. 

The Cell (2000)

Cinematically situated somewhere between Silence of the Lambs and Inception, this fashionable trippy 2000 sci-fi movie stars Jennifer Lopez as Dr Catherine Deane, a psychologist hired to perform a new experimental neurological treatment in order to enter the comatose mind of a captured serial killer (played by Vince Vaughn) and find out the location of his final victim. However, as she explores the dreamscape world of the serial killer’s mind, Catherine’s own grasp on reality begins to slip. The film’s psychological fantasy worlds were inspired by real life works of art and music videos by En Vogue, Madonna and Nine Inch Nails. Then there’s J-Lo’s iconic wardrobe of futuristic jumpsuits, sheer dresses, billowing white gowns, ornate headpieces and Virgin Mary couture, all by Japanese costume designer Eiko Ishioka, famously known for making Winona Ryder’s scarlett dress in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and being Grace Jones’ go-to. The Cell’s style legacy continues to this day, with Tarsem Singh, the movie’s director bringing its aesthetic to his later works, including Lady Gaga’s 2020 music video, “911”.

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Fashion
thriller
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