• Fashion

Fashionable Manhattanites Onscreen

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building

Hulu’s Golden Globe-nominated murder-mystery comedy Only Murders in the Building is led by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez playing a trio of amateur investigators/neophyte podcasters. The show is set in the Arconia, an apartment building located in one of the prestigious areas of New York. Aside from its hilarious storyline, Only Murders in the Building has been keeping us busy admiring the already-iconic style of Mabel Mora (played by Gomez) whose wardrobe features a lot of vintage-inspired pieces in vibrant colors.


The costume design for Only Murders in the Building was created by Dana Covarrubias, and she has said that she draws “inspiration from Hitchcock’s use of black and white, visually hinting that a character has many sides. Not all good… Not all bad. We incorporated this into Mabel’s costumes since she is questioning her own duality.”

Selena Gomez wearing yellow coat by Cinq a Sept and black and white harlequin sweater by & Other Stories in Only Murders in the BuildingSelena Gomez wearing a Sies Marjan faux fur coat in Only Murders in the Building

Mabel’s coats may be considered the main fashion accent of the entire show, making her one of the best-dressed onscreen New Yorkers.


Let’s look back at a few more onscreen fashionistas of Manhattan.

Nicole Kidman in The Undoing

Nicole Kidman’s wardrobe in the Golden Globe-nominated HBO drama The Undoing could be called a style guide for wearing coats in Manhattan. Created by costume designer Signe Sejlund, the array of coats in burgundy, teal, dark lime, and chocolate from designers like Max Mara and Etro are sported by Kidman in many scenes taking place in Central Park or the Upper Manhattan streets. Not to mention the metallic pleated silk-blend gown Kidman wears to her son’s school fundraiser.

Nicole Kidman in The Undoing

No fashion piece about Manhattan style would be complete without HBO’s Sex and the City and Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe created by Patricia Field. Obviously, a list of iconic looks by Golden Globe-winning Sarah Jessica Parker in the show would create quite a long read. But her pink tutu found by Field in a thrift store for $5, her Dolce & Gabbana floral maxi dress, her short bodycon dress accessorized by a Gucci handbag, a white satin dress, or the negligée-like black lace slip with a gold-flock rove and ruffled Louboutin stilettos are hard to forget. As are Carrie’s Japanese-patterned belted dress, the “newspaper dress” by John Galliano for Dior, and her asymmetric flower dress by Eugene Alexander.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the CitySarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City

Needless to say that Carrie’s looks designed by Molly Rogers for And Just Like Thatcreate a perfect mood board, if not a fashion bible, for any Manhattanite or for those who wish to look like one. The list includes a turquoise suit dress and blue crocodile bag; a L’Wren Scott white and black dress and black sequined handbag from Three Turtle Doves; a robin’s egg blue “Diana” dress by Norma Kamali matched with Aquazzura sandals; a Carolina Herrera polka dot skirt or plaid skirts by Kamali; another tutu by Chanel, and of course, a lot of Manolo Blahniks.

Sarah Jessica Parker in And Just Like That… Sarah Jessica Parker in And Just Like That… Sarah Jessica Parker in And Just Like That…

Golden Globe-nominated The Devil Wears Prada is another film with costume design created by Field that cements Manhattanite style in fashion history. One of the delights of the film is the fashion (and personal) transformation of Andy, the assistant played by Anne Hathaway. Andy’s fashion board includes a lot of simple coats with many accessories like ruffled gloves or animal prints, while her look in a brown leather jacket, a black turtleneck, dark jeans, and brown knee-length boots is a visual manifestation of her new self even when she gets back to her pre-fashion magazine life routine.

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada

And of course, her Audrey Hepburn-style look at the fashion gala is one of the best fashion moments in costume design.


Speaking of Audrey Hepburn, this list would indeed be incomplete without one of the 20th century’s most iconic fashion films, the Golden Globe-nominated Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn plays Upper East Side socialite Holly Golightly and wears outfits that were created by the legendary Edith Head.

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada

Moreover, this film made the name Hubert de Givenchy known outside the world of haute couture. The couturier designed two sleeveless black dresses for the film that became timeless classics. Hepburn also wears a few more iconic looks including the knee-length black dress worn with a lampshade hat and oversized sunglasses; a beige trench coat with a headscarf; a double-breasted orange wool coat matched with a salt-and-pepper patterned dress, fur hat, kitten heels and a classic tote; and the vibrant pink silk cocktail dress with rhinestones and a pink bow paired with a collarless, three-quarter sleeved coat.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

And of course, the black dress that Hepburn is wearing when we first see her in the film is an instant screen classic: the straight-lined, black satin gown with a low-cut back which is worn with long black satin gloves, large tortoiseshell sunglasses, a Tiffany necklace of strands of pearls and diamante hair ornament.

George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The so-called Moon River look – a simple pair of blue jeans and a gray sweatshirt – has become the standard of casual chic for Manhattan fashionistas, similar to the man’s white shirt Hepburn wears to bed, completing it by the funny sleeping mask that still looks uber-modern.

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s