Pedro Almodovar is known for his visually dynamic Spanish films and equally dynamic leading ladies. Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril, and Penelope Cruz have all had a turn in his spotlight since he first made a splash in the 80’s. An integral part of his acclaimed pop-art aesthetic is the sometimes eccentric, but always eye-catching costumes these women have worn in his roles. His style is definitely dated, but at the same time lasts in a way that remains relevant to today. Here’s an Oscars-inspired look at the fashion of Almodovar’s films.


Almodovar’s favorite candy colors pop in these body-conscious dresses – practically predicting modern American Apparel ads – from his 1991 film about a mother-daughter love triangle, Tacones Lejanos (High Heels).

Almodovar must certainly be applauding the return of the 80’s shoulder. He doesn’t just love strong female characters – he loves strong shoulders in his 1988 film Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown).

This stylish dominatrix displays just one of the wild punk outfits from his from his 1980 film Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, (Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap). You don’t have to be a punk dominatrix from 80’s Madrid to rock leopard, though – it made numerous glammed-up appearances on the runways during New York Fashion Week.

Finally, Almodovar’s leading ladies aren’t always ladies, as Gael Garcia Bernal demonstrates in the 2004 film La mala educación (Bad Education). Here he shows off Almodovar’s whimsical and often kinky side in a dress reminiscent of Zoe Saldana’s recent Oscar frock.

Almodovar’s films may be in Spanish, but you don’t need subtitles to appreciate his unique and vibrant fashion sense.