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There are three people in this world. Those going to see Challengers in the name of seeing a sports drama starring Zendaya, those going to see Challengers in order to soak up all of the good fashion moments (and fashion-minded Easter eggs), and everyone else.

The movie, about a young tennis pro's relationship complications, garnered a ton of attention way before it was postponed to early 2024 release but now that Challengers is upon us, it's all about the clothes. And the movie, duh, but mostly the clothes.

JW Anderson, LOEWE's creative director, is Challengers' costume designer and he bestowed upon the film the indulgent vibe of a tennis-themed editorial from '90s-era fashion glossy. You just want to feel the polo shirts' pique knit and slip into a well-worn graphic tee.

We're talking about cinema, in that it's all about what everyone's saying and how they're saying it, but nowadays it’s also all about what everyone's wearing. 

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Challengers joins recent tentpole movie moments like 2023’s Barbie and Poor Things, the winner of the 2024 Costume Design Academy Award, as yet another recent piece of cinema that also represents a landmark moment in today's filmic fashion.

Suddenly, film is fashion again. Not since the days of, what, The Devil Wears Prada are we as invested in the clothes as we are in the characters.

You aren't seeing people talk about the clothes in Godzilla x Kong, y'know.

Poor Things’ marketing team even sent out several screen-worn costumes to movie theaters across America to inform the vibe for viewers, because the clothes were so core to the big picture that they're basically supporting actors

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Barbie’s costumes were meticulously researched, designed, and styled by Jaqueline Durran. She in turn loaded up the cast's wardrobe with summery, surfer looks and, in a few memorable scenes, vintage Chanel.

The resulting blend was potent, so much so that even the Birkenstock sandals that make a brief cameo inspired a spike in demand.

Also like Challengers, Barbie's staggeringly potent promotional tour is providing nearly as much stylistic discourse as the actual film.

Cinema is so stylish right now that even Dune Part Two made up for its far-out on-screen looks with real-world showstoppers worthy of the Met Gala. I mean, Zendaya in Mugler? Come on.

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The fashion in these movies is real, yes, leaning on superb costume designers and wardrobe departments who flesh out their worlds with actual clothing.

But the magic of today's films is in how their canny fashion is so good that it becomes a must-discuss moment unto itself. Finally, people are talking about the clothes being worn on-screen and in front of it.

The movies are fashionable again. And it's only working to their betterment.

Even though Challengers is stuffed with JW Anderson's contemporary UNIQLO sportswear and recent LOEWE designs, the combined aura of it all feels like a legit period piece, so much so that Google auto-fills “true story” when you search for "Challengers." 

Not all movies are fashion moments and plenty of movies are at least appreciably stylish but film fashion has steadily and deservingly doubled down as a social media talking point because recent movies are suddenly, increasingly style-conscious.

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Or maybe it's just Zendaya. It may very well just be Zendaya.

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