Three menswear movies that came out in close proximity to each other? What a treat for me!
I used to say that modern movies don’t really inspire my style. A part of it is that most period costuming isn’t done well, coming across mostly like a 2010s Gatsby Party rather than what Fitzgerald would have actually worn. And when it comes to modern or contemporary looks, it also misses the mark. Outside of Safin, I’m not even all that into what James Bond is wearing. I’d rather watch old movies and be delightfully surprised (as was the case with The Player).
That being said, there are still a few contemporary films that tickle my menswear fancy, like the obvious vintage inclined ones like The French Dispatch and Death on The Nile. Even one of these is not great (I’ll let you decide which one was meh), its still a fun watch for fashion compared to say the countless Marvel films that come out (though maybe there is fashion merit to superhero attire). It was a slow season for fashion movies…until very recently. God must have been answering my prayers, because we got not just one, but three films that feature some pretty great costuming.
Amsterdam was the first one I heard of (and watched), and despite how medicore the film was, I did come out of it being reinvigorated in the American 1930s style. Just check out the photos: Christian Bale makes a strong case for slouchy tweed 3PC suits and foulard bowties, Bobby De Niro has the regular joe suited look, and Rami Malek looks sharp as hell in what seems to be a perfect 1930s cut suit (presumably fashion forward or for youth). There’s even a few menswear surprises when you look at the side characters, which is fun to distract you from a boring and long mess of a film. It’s also a good film for black tie inspo.
See How They Run was a delight. I hadn’t seen any marketing for the film and came into it blind; I only watched it when Jay suggested we all see it after a co-working session down in Orange County. You can really tell that the film is heavily Wes Anderson inspired through stacked cast, quirky cinematography, and jaunty euro-jazz score (Daniel Pemberton does a good Alexandre Desplat impression). The characters themselves are not dressed as eccentrically like a WA film, but this makes sense in post-war London where everyone still looks as trad as you’d expect. That doesn’t mean its boring; almost all the characters are dressed impeccably in excellent period clothing, many of which are well-to-do which results in formal attire. Adrian Brody’s character might be the most-SaD in the film, as his American ass wears broad shouldered tuxedos and dark suits with dark sport shirts (with a jaunty scarf). He definitely makes me wish I was tall and lanky so I could get the most out of the drape cut.
Tár was the real masterpiece for movie menswear and it doesn’t even involve period clothing or even a man at all. Cate Blanchett’s
Linda Lydia Tár is definitely one to take inspo from Tár’s blousy shirts worn with knitwear (either as a sweater vest or tied on her shoulders) look fantastic when she sits gracefully or when she’s conducting Mahler’s Fifth. There’s even a few shots of her getting a bespoke shirt and jacket made. The manipulative and paranoid composer/conductor has a slouchy and confident attitude; it definitely goes hand in hand with that artist look though this is a different kind of artist, there is refinement, precision, and perhaps an obsession with neatness. There’s definitely a little affectation (perhaps like The Frasier Effect) that feels desirable, but Tár’s awful personality and abuses she inflicts on others make her a character to avoid looking up to.
I will say that the film has some great conversations about music (specifically about classical music and conducting), which makes it especially important to me. It’s definitely given me an aspiration to learn more, as I lack any formal training or appreciation for concert work; it’s probably why I’ve started to go to the symphony more often. After all, music is linked inextricably to my approach and philosophy on menswear.
We discuss all of these film on the latest bonus episode of the podcast! Tar is the main focus of it (since it’s the best one) but we do give some space for the others.
It’s been a while since we’ve talked about a movie (we did mention a bit of Don’t Worry Darling during my NYC pod), so I’m glad we made a return. I’m just sad that we didn’t wait a little longer to include Bablyon, whose depiction of 1920s debauchery may inspire a new wave of Gatsby attire. Maybe we’ll check it out next month!
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