Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, former United Nations investigator
Philadelphia, Fall 2012
Film: World War Z
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Mayes C. Rubeo
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
As Halloween approaches and witches, vampires, and zombies prepare their annual big screen takeover, there’s still talk in the air of a sequel to World War Z, the 2013 thriller starring Brad Pitt as a former U.N. investigator tasked with saving his family – oh, and the world – during a viral outbreak that spawns a zombie apocalypse.
The film is loosely adapted from Max Brooks’ innovative novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, that employed a docudrama-style narrative as “collected” by a U.N. commissioner, measuring the geopolitical impact of the plague and its subsequent conflicts. In fact, it was the geopolitical themes that drew Brad Pitt to the idea of a film adaptation, though they were dropped during the transition to the big screen in favor of more traditional “zombie film” elements.
Though World War Z borrows little more than its title and its realism-driven approach from Brooks’ innovative novel, it remains an entertaining, suspenseful, and unique film in its own right.
Gerry Lane (Pitt) is a former U.N. investigator who now spends his days as the perfect pancake-flipping family man, living with his wife (Mireille Enos) and two daughters in a suburb of Philadelphia, almost oblivious to the viral outbreak that pervades the daily news. From his Trader Joe’s-stocked pantry to the safe Volvo station wagon, Gerry’s life is a 21st century version of the suburban Eisenhower-era ideal… until the spreading disease hits the City of Brotherly Life.
Both a good dad and a resourceful investigator, Gerry picks up the Subway Sam doll that his daughter dropped during a panicked escape… and uses the doll’s second-counting mechanism to time how fast a victim regenerates once bitten by a zombie. Once he gets his family secured with the U.S. Navy (it helps to have friends in high places), Gerry is called back into action to help track, contain, and eliminate the plague.
What’d He Wear?
Gerry Lane begins World War Z in a very accessible everyday casual ensemble of a zip-up jacket, layered v-neck sweater and T-shirt, and comfortable jeans, all in blue.
Costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo told the Costume Designers Guild that her goal was to dress Gerry’s family in “non-gloomy colors to represent a sense of hope and their try for survival — without distracting from the action.”
While the rest of his family is outfitted in more colorful clothing than the monochromatic Gerry, his outfit represents Rubeo’s goal as his layers get increasingly bolder and brighter as they get closer to the skin.
Gerry’s outer layer is a Harrington-inspired jacket in a navy lightweight waxed cotton, or possibly a cotton/nylon blend. It has the standing collar of a traditional Harrington jacket but it fastens around the neck with only one button rather than the usual two.
The jacket has slanted hand pockets with no flaps, raglan sleeves, and pointed tabs on the cuffs designed to button through one of two buttons to adjust the fit over the wrists.
Several brands offer their own replicas of this specific jacket, though of questionable quality. The quintessential Harrington jacket remains the Baracuta G9, though budget-minded shoppers may be interested in the similar jacket from ASOS with a price tag of less than $60. If you want something closer to Pitt’s jacket with the single-button throat latch and buttoning cuffs, you could check out ROYALE Filmwear’s take on the Tom Ford jacket made for Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace.
Gerry’s marine blue V-neck sweater from Banana Republic is more representative of his life as an affable suburban dad than as a badass zombie-fighter. When the sweater was auctioned and sold for £732 by Prop Store last year, the material was described as “a silk, cotton, and cashmere blend,” a signature fabric blend that is still part of Banana Republic’s knitwear lineup five years later, though not in the bold blue tone worn by Gerry. The neck line, cuffs, and waist hem are narrowly ribbed for a trimmer fit.
Under the sweater, Gerry wears a French blue cotton T-shirt with a crew neck that fills in the gap under the dropped neckline of his sweater. The shirt is short-sleeved, as evident by the outline of the short sleeves under the upper arms of the sweater. Pitt’s signature silver ring pendant is worn on a thin silver chain under his T-shirt.
Gerry wears dark blue denim bootcut-style jeans with a thick brown leather belt. The tan stitched design on the bottom of the back left pocket may help identify the brand.
Gerry wears a pair of black leather plain-toe boots with dark brown outsoles. These low boots are laced derby-style with brown round laces through at least four pairs of metal eyelets.
Gerry’s distinctive watch was made by the Italian brand Terra Cielo Mare, a family company inspired by Italian military history who takes its name from the Italian for “land, sea, and sky.” Part of the brand’s land-oriented (Terra) product line, the Orienteering watches take their name from the functionality that allows wearers to orient themselves using stellar maps on the back of the watch cases. Since their introduction in 2010, Orienteering watches are “dedicated to the great explorers who have always needed an instrument to orient themselves on land and sea, even in adverse conditions,” per Terra Cielo Mare’s site.
The company provided seven Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering PVD watches to the production for Brad Pitt to wear on screen, as costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo explains in her interview with Designed by Hollywood. Gerry’s watch has a black PVD-treated titanium 44mm case, black dial, and 22mm-wide strap in brown English leather.
Gerry wears his wedding band, which appears to be white gold, on the third finger of his left hand. It isn’t the only accessory he wears that symbolizes his connection with family.
On his right wrist, Gerry wears two colorful knotted bracelets that appear to be friendship bracelets, likely made for him by his daughters. One is embroidered with teal thread while the other appears to be brown.
Once Gerry sets out on his globe-trotting mission that takes him from South Korea to Israel and finally to Wales, he changes into a different dark zip-up jacket over a navy utility shirt, shemagh scarf, and baggy khaki Crye Precision G3 cargo pants.
What to Imbibe
It’s the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you and your family just narrowly escaped with your lives from the violent scene of a Newark supermarket looting. If a kind stranger hands you a Budweiser, I think that’s as good a time as any to enjoy your beer.
After Gerry and his family commandeer an RV to facilitate their escape from Philadelphia to Newark, Gerry’s daughter Connie digs around in the back of the RV and finds a hunting rifle, identified by IMFDB as a Remington Model 700 BDL bolt-action rifle.
The Remington Model 700 has been in continuous production since 1962 when the ADL and BDL models were introduced. In the nearly six decades since, countless variants have been developed in varying finishes, barrel lengths, calibers, and features. The venerable rifle is not only a popular hunting rifle for civilians, but it also inspired the M24 and M40 rifles for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps, respectively, in addition to being adopted by various police and military forces around the world.
Given the effectiveness of a melee weapon in a skirmish with multiple fast-moving zombies, Gerry is given a kitchen knife by Tomas’ father which he duct-tapes to the barrel of the rifle as a makeshift bayonet.
How to Get the Look
Brad Pitt’s Gerry Lane makes the most of monochromatic street wear, showing us how a well-traveled action hero like Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne might adapt his utilitarian aesthetic of casual jacket, layered sweaters, and jeans to a life of comfortable suburban retirement.
- Navy waxed cotton Harrington-inspired zip-up jacket with 1-button standing collar, raglan sleeves, adjustable-button pointed-tab cuffs, and slanted side pockets
- Marine blue silk/cotton/cashmere long-sleeve V-neck sweater with ribbed neckline, cuffs, and hem
- French blue cotton crew-neck short-sleeve T-shirt
- Dark blue denim bootcut jeans
- Brown leather belt with squared steel single-prong buckle
- Black leather plain-toe derby boots with dark brown outsoles and brown laces
- Small silver ring, worn as a pendant on a thin silver necklace chain
- Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering watch with black PVD-coated titanium case, black dial, and brown leather strap
- Two colorful friendship bracelets
- White gold wedding band
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie. It has the personal distinction for me as the last movie I ever saw at the iconic Twin Hi-Way Drive-In theater outside of Pittsburgh, a place where my family often watched the latest releases when I was a kid.
Movimiento es vida. (Movement is life.)