Black Rain: Michael Douglas’ Leather Jacket in Japan

Michael Douglas as Nick Conklin in Black Rain (1988)

Michael Douglas as Nick Conklin in Black Rain (1988)

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Michael Douglas as Nick Conklin, loose cannon NYPD detective

Osaka, Japan, Winter 1988

Film: Black Rain
Release Date: September 22, 1989
Director: Ridley Scott
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy birthday, Michael Douglas! To commemorate the 76th birthday of this acclaimed actor and producer, I’m addressing a request I received from BAMF Style reader Ryan to take a look at Douglas’ wardrobe in Black Rain as loose cannon cop Nick Conklin.

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Black Tie in The Great Gatsby

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (2013)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, eagerly romantic millionaire and bootlegger

Long Island, New York, Summer 1922

Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin

Background

On the eve of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday, let’s look at the most recent major adaptation of his most famous work, The Great Gatsby. Fitz’s 1925 novel had been adapted for the big screen at least four times before Baz Luhrmann directed his colorful spectacle during the past decade.

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Tony Soprano’s Gut-shot George Foreman Shirt in “Members Only”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.01: "Members Only")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.01: “Members Only”)

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James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Newark, New Jersey, Spring 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Members Only” (Episode 6.01)
Air Date: March 12, 2006
Director: Tim Van Patten
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Fans of The Sopranos are eagerly awaiting the release of David Chase’s prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, directed by Alan Taylor and set during the late 1960s. The movie was originally scheduled for release at the end of this week, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the release until March 2021. While it’s too soon for me to take a full look at the style of The Many Saints of Newark, @tonysopranostyle on Instagram has been comprehensively covering many of the outfits seen on set, including those worn by Jon Bernthal as Tony Soprano’s father “Johnny Boy” Soprano and by Michael Gandolfini as a teenage version of his father’s iconic TV character.

In recognition of what would have been James Gandolfini’s 59th birthday last Friday, today’s #MafiaMonday post explores a pivotal scene from the acclaimed series’ sixth season premiere. Continue reading

Goodfellas: 30 Significant Style Moments

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Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today marks the 30th anniversary since my favorite movie, Goodfellas, was released, ten days after it premiered to rave reviews at the 47th International Venice Film Festival. Based on the true story told in Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy, this Martin Scorsese-directed mob epic details a life in organized crime as recalled by Lucchese Mafia family associate-turned-informant Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teenage years in the 1950s through adulthood until his arrest on May 11, 1980.

The ensemble cast includes Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Frank Sivero as Henry’s criminal colleagues and Lorraine Bracco as his wife and eventual accomplice.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

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Justified: Raylan’s “Harlan Roulette” Grid-Check Shirt and Glock

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified (Episode 3.03: "Harlan Roulette")

Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified (Episode 3.03: “Harlan Roulette”)

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Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal

Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2011

Series: Justified
Episode: “Harlan Roulette” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: January 31, 2012
Director: Jon Avnet
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer:  Patia Prouty

Background

More than two years have passed since I last waxed poetic about Justified, Graham Yost’s continuation of Elmore Leonard’s stories and novels centered around Raylan Givens, a modern-day Deputy U.S. Marshal who brings old west sensibilities and style to his duties. After being criticized by his superiors for his all-too-quick—if justified—trigger finger, Raylan is reassigned to the Eastern District of Kentucky, which includes the coal-mining Harlan County where was raised and acquainted with arch-criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) as well as many other colorful characters who shoot in and out of the series over its six seasons.

As we get closer to the weekend, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite moments from the series as well as Raylan’s characteristically dressed-down off-duty duds.

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Battle of Britain: Robert Shaw as Squadron Leader Skipper

Robert Shaw as RAF Squadron Leader "Skipper" in Battle of Britain (1969)

Robert Shaw as RAF Squadron Leader “Skipper” in Battle of Britain (1969)

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Robert Shaw as “Skipper”, RAF Squadron Leader

England, Summer to Fall 1940

Film: Battle of Britain
Release Date: September 15, 1969
Director: Guy Hamilton
Wardrobe Credit: Bert Henrikson

Background

Although the battle was waged for more than three months in 1940 over British airspace, September 15 has been established as Battle of Britain Day in recognition of the No. 11 Group RAF repelling two waves of German attacks on London. The Germans had instigated their air and sea blockade earlier that summer, followed by Luftwaffe air raids that started with ports and shipping centers, eventually moving further inland to airfields, factories, and ultimately civilian areas. Hitler had intended to gain air superiority over England prior to an invasion dubbed Operation Sea Lion, but a strong national defense from the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy successfully routed the Luftwaffe and prevented this full-scale invasion of the United Kingdom.

This British victory was considered an early turning point in favor of the Allies during World War II that inspired Winston Churchill to famously declare: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

On the 29th anniversary of this famous British defense against Germany in the skies over London, the United Artists war epic Battle of Britain with a star-studded cast including Sir Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Christopher Plummer, and Robert Shaw. The latter portrays a talented and brash Squadron Leader, said to be inspired by South African fighter ace Sailor Malan, commander of No. 74 Squadron RAF during the actual Battle of Britain.

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The Aviator: Dressed to Test the H-1 Racer

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004)

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, eccentric and ambitious aviation and movie mogul

Los Angeles, September 1935

Film: The Aviator
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Sandy Powell

Background

85 years ago today on September 13, 1935, a sleek silver aircraft rocketed through the air over Santa Ana, California, at a record-breaking speed over 350 miles per hour, making four passes over Martin Field before a crash-landing that deposited its owner—one of the wealthiest and most ambitious men in America at the time—into a beet field, alive and hardly discouraged. As Howard Hughes’ colleagues ran over to extract the 29-year-old entrepreneur and aviator from the wreckage of the H-1 Racer, he hardly had his own safety in mind, issuing the command: “We can fix her, she’ll go faster!”

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Pierce Brosnan’s Suede Jacket in The Matador

Pierce Brosnan as Julian Noble in The Matador (2005)

Pierce Brosnan as Julian Noble in The Matador (2005)

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Pierce Brosnan as Julian Noble, tired hedonistic hitman and “magnificent cold moron”

Mexico City, Spring 2004

Film: The Matador
Release Date: December 30, 2005
Director: Richard Shepard
Costume Designer: Catherine Marie Thomas

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After this week’s 00-7th of the month post featured the reigning James Bond wearing a light brown suede zip-up jacket, I wanted to address a different way of approaching that look from Daniel Craig’s predecessor. The Matador starred Pierce Brosnan in one of his first post-Bond roles, inverting his own suave screen image by portraying a chain-smoking, nail-painting assassin “soiling” his way through life. (And thank you to BAMF Style readers Ryan and R.M. for long ago suggesting this film for a post!)

Indeed, the porn-stached and ill-mannered killer Julian Noble shares little in common with 007 aside from his dangerous profession and a penchant for drinking. There seemed to be an ongoing campaign after Brosnan found success as Bond where filmmakers asked themselves “how debauched and despicable can we make Pierce Brosnan’s character while still making it impossible to root against him?” leading to his welcome turns in movies like The Tailor of Panama (2001), After the Sunset (2004), and The Matador (2005), playing crude, cheeky criminals drinking, smoking, and womanizing their way through the tropics.

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Steve McQueen’s Chalkstripe Suit as Thomas Crown

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Note that he dresses his wrist with his Cartier Tank Cintrée rather than the Patek Philippe pocket watch he wears for the actual scene.

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Note that he dresses his wrist with his Cartier Tank Cintrée rather than the Patek Philippe pocket watch he wears for the actual scene.

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Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire criminal mastermind

Switzerland, June 1968

Film: The Thomas Crown Affair
Release Date: June 19, 1968
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

I recently had the pleasure to join Pete Brooker and Matt Spaiser (of Bond Suits) on their excellent podcast From Tailors with Love for an entertaining and informative discussion of Steve McQueen’s suits and style in The Thomas Crown Affair. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can follow the fun via iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, and check out highlights from yours truly’s appearance on the latest episode here. Continue reading

Spectre – Bond’s Tan Suede Matchless Jacket in Morocco

Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux in the 24th James Bond film Spectre (2015)

Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux in the 24th official James Bond film Spectre (2015)

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Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent

Tangier, Morocco, November 2015

Film: Spectre
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Bond fever is heating up for the 00-7th of September in anticipation for No Time to Die, an excitement heightened by the official release last week of a new trailer and new poster that gave us another look at Daniel Craig in Bond’s black tie and assured audiences that we’ll still be seeing a release in November as scheduled.

Especially considering that Craig’s swan song (Swann song?) will be a continuation of his previous adventure as James Bond, I recently revisited Spectre. While fan reception to the 24th official film in the Bond series may have been as chilly as Bond’s trek through the Alps, I for one appreciated the assortment of versatile outfits consistent with Daniel Craig’s accessible approach to casual clothing from the start of his tenure.

One such outfit that emerged as one of the most popular (and regarding which I owe BAMF Style reader and friend Ryan an apology for this long-overdue response to his request!) was Bond’s dressed down layers upon arriving in Tangier with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). The sequence includes many of those elements that drew me into Craig’s portrayal back when Casino Royale premiered: the smaller “life of Bond” moments with a beautiful companion, an exotic location, a bit of humor, accessible style, and the booze and weaponry that underscore what keeps 007’s life dangerous.

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