On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Bernard Horsfall as Shaun Campbell

Bernard Horsfall as Shaun Campbell in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)


Bernard Horsfall as Shaun Campbell, doomed MI6 agent

Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, December 1969

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Release Date: December 18, 1969
Director: Peter R. Hunt
Costume Designer: Marjory Cornelius

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


On the 00-7th of December, let’s return to the Alps in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the 1969 James Bond movie that distinguishes itself both as 007’s only adventure to date that’s decidedly set during the Christmas holidays and the only time Australian actor George Lazenby starred as the sophisticated secret agent.

Lazenby’s Bond arrives by train in Bern, where he’s observed from behind the latest issue of the Daily Express by a mysterious blonde man, listed in the credits as “Campbell” though I don’t believe he’s ever referred to by name on screen. Continue reading

Al Pacino’s Field Jacket as Serpico

Al Pacino in Serpico (1973)


Al Pacino as Frank Serpico, NYPD plainclothes officer

New York, Winter 1971

Film: Serpico
Release Date: December 5, 1973
Director: Sidney Lumet
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Released 50 years ago today on December 5, 1973, Serpico chronicles the decade-long law enforcement career of Frank Serpico, a real-life New York Police Department plainclothes officer who exposed widespread corruption in the department, portrayed by Al Pacino in his second Academy Award-nominated performance. (This continues a trend of celebrating Pacino’s cinematic milestones, as readers may recall that this week is also the 40th anniversary of Scarface.)

Presented as an idiosyncratic individualist more beatnik than beat cop, Serpico hardly fit the traditional police mold with his idealistic values and hippie lifestyle, often putting him at odds with his colleagues as he refuses to take their bribes. After years of trying, Serpico finally manages to get public attention onto these levels of corruption with a New York Times article published in April 1970 that he celebrates with his fellow honest cops, Bob Blair (Tony Roberts) and Inspector Lombardo (Edward Grover), respective stand-ins for the real-life David Durk and Paul Delise.

Unfortunately, the media attention further ostracizes Serpico within the department to such a degree that, less than a year later on February 3, 1971, he nearly dies after being shot in the face with a .22 during a Brooklyn narcotics bust.

“Guess who got shot? Serpico,” a duty lieutenant informs a colleague at the film’s start. “Think a cop did it?” he gets asked. “I know six cops who’d like to.” Continue reading

Elvis Presley’s White Suit in the ’68 Comeback Special: Reel vs. Real

Elvis Presley’s iconic “If I Can Dream” performance in his 1968 comeback special (left) was recreated on screen by Austin Butler in the 2022 biopic Elvis (right).


Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, rock star on the eve of a comeback

Burbank, California, June 1968

Film: Elvis
Release Date: June 23, 2022
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin
Tailor: Gloria Bava
Original Concept: Bill Belew


Fifty-five years ago tonight, the King signaled his return to glory in the music world when NBC aired Singer Presents… Elvis, now also known as the ’68 Comeback Special.

Despite his start in music, Elvis Presley’s career through much of the ’60s was anchored in movies. There were a few winners among the mix, but the singer’s famously shrewd manager Colonel Tom Parker engineered them closer to formulaic, low-budget comedies that would yield higher profits—particularly when they could be linked to a soundtrack album, an opportunity less possible or profitable with the more dramatic (and often higher-quality) roles that Elvis preferred.

By late 1967, Elvis had grown disenchanted with the programmatic films like Clambake, Double Trouble, and Stay Away, Joe that had led him far from the recording and touring that cemented his colossal popularity in the ’50s. At the same time, Colonel Tom approached NBC with a million-dollar deal to feature Elvis in what would be a holiday special, designed to conclude with the King of Rock and Roll crooning Christmas carols.

Luckily for Elvis, producer Bob Finkel convinced his cohorts and presenting sponsor Singer Corporation to green-light a different concept that focused exclusively on Elvis—intended to connect him with younger audiences and refresh the cultural mindset of Elvis as a groundbreaking rock star and not the tired star of corny comedies. Despite expected resistance from Colonel Tom, Elvis was fully on board with Finkel and director Steve Binder’s renewed vision for the special, which was rehearsed, recorded, and produced through June 1968.

It was during this tumultuous month that Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles, just two months after Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis. The King assassination particularly troubled Elvis, who “definitely wanted to say something more with his music than a song like ‘Hound Dog’ could express,” as Peter Guralnick wrote in Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. “Binder wanted a musical statement based on [Elvis’] conversations about the assassinations and the discord gripping the country,” wrote Donald Liebenson for Vanity Fair on the 50th anniversary of the special. Binder charged songwriter Walter Earl Brown Jr. to craft “the greatest song you’ve ever written,” which Brown did—overnight.

The next day, Brown played “If I Can Dream” for the core members of the production. After Elvis asked Brown to play it at least six times, he simply stated “We’re doing it,” and the special’s finale was determined. Of course, Finkel knew that “the Colonel will blow his stack. It’s got to be a Christmas song,” and even after Colonel Tom’s initial protest that it “ain’t Elvis’ kind of song,” taste prevailed and “If I Can Dream” became the closing number of Singer Presents… Elvis. Continue reading

Tony Montana’s Blue Striped Suit in Scarface

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface (1983)


Al Pacino as Tony Montana, ambitious drug dealer

Miami, Spring 1981

Film: Scarface
Release Date: December 9, 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
Tailor: Tommy Velasco

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Al Pacino introduced the world to his little friend 40 years ago today when Scarface premiered in New York City on December 1, 1983, eight days before it was widely released. Despite initial criticism for its now-famous violence, Scarface surpassed expectations by grossing $66 million globally, doubling its budget and securing its status as one of the most influential and popular gangster movies. Continue reading

In a Lonely Place: Bogie’s Twill Sports Coat and Turtleneck

Humphrey Bogart as Dix Steele in In a Lonely Place (1950)


Humphrey Bogart as Dixon “Dix” Steele, frustrated screenwriter

Los Angeles, Fall 1949

Film: In a Lonely Place
Release Date: May 17, 1950
Director: Nicholas Ray
Costume Designer: Jean Louis (credited for gowns only)

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Today’s post wraps up #Noirvember on what would have been the 100th birthday of silver screen icon Gloria Grahame. Born November 28, 1923, Grahame’s film noir credits include Crossfire (1947) and The Big Heat (1953), though my favorite is In a Lonely Place (1950), directed by her then-husband Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart.

Some of Bogie’s friends and acquaintances have described the character of cynical screenwriter Dixon Steele to be the closest that the actor ever came to projecting his true charismatic yet insecure persona onto the screen. Continue reading

BAMF Style’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season!  Ahead of Cyber Monday sales tomorrow—and with less than a month until Christmas—I’m sharing my occasionally annual tradition of a holiday gift guide that you can use to direct your shopping for others… or to get some ideas to treat yourself!

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Of course, BAMF Style is focused on screen-worn style, so there will be plenty of cinematically inspired clothing as well as pieces from my own wardrobe and wish list for this year. In addition to that, you’ll find an array of budget-friendly gifts for everyone on your list from parents, siblings, and spouses to friends and colleagues.

If you need more inspiration than the below, check out last year’s list too. Also, feel free to share your own favorite gift ideas in the comments!

Continue reading

Kevin Costner in A Perfect World

Kevin Costner and T.J. Lowther in A Perfect World (1993)


Kevin Costner as Robert “Butch” Haynes, escaped convict

Texas, Fall 1963

Film: A Perfect World
Release Date: November 24, 1993
Director: Clint Eastwood
Costume Designer: Erica Edell Phillips

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Released 30 years ago today, A Perfect World overcame its initial lukewarm box office to be acclaimed as among the career-best works for both director Clint Eastwood and star Kevin Costner.

Costner stars as Robert “Butch” Haynes, a petty criminal who escapes from a Texas prison on the night of Halloween 1963. Despite Butch’s own distaste for him, he breaks out with the reckless Terry Pugh (Keith Szarabajka), who jeopardizes their getaway—and Butch’s own code of ethics—by attempting to force himself onto a suburban mother while the two look for a car to steal. Butch stops the situation before Terry can take it too far, but the commotion wakes up the neighborhood and results in the two fugitives taking a hostage—the mother’s eight-year-old son, Philip (T.J. Lowther), with whom Butch develops a special bond:

Me and you got a lot in common, Philip. The both of us is handsome devils, we both like RC Cola, and neither one of us got an old man worth a damn.

Continue reading

Succession: Cousin Greg’s Pre-Thanksgiving Puffer Vest

Nicholas Braun as “Cousin Greg” Hirsch on Succession, Episode 1.05: “I Went to Market”


Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch, mild-mannered media conglomerate underling and family outsider

Canada to New York City, The day before Thanksgiving 2018

Series: Succession
Episode: “I Went to Market” (Episode 1.05)
Air Date: July 1, 2018
Director: Adam Arkin
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Michelle Matland


Ahead of Thanksgiving tomorrow, one of the things I’m grateful for is that—if Succession had to end this year—the fact that it did so perfectly when the series finale ended in May. To commemorate the final year from this landmark series, let’s flash back to the first season as we joined the Roys for their annual Turkey Day celebration.

From the start of Succession, the anxious Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), aka “Cousin Greg”, aka “Greg the Egg”, initially served as an audience surrogate as we were all collectively introduced to the world of the extremely wealthy and highly dysfunctional Roy family, led by domineering patriarch Logan (Brian Cox) as his children Connor (Alan Ruck), Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin), and Siobhan (Sarah Snook) wrested for their withholding father’s favor… and the keys to control his media conglomerate, Waystar RoyCo.

The outsider Greg had never been part of their circle, thrust into it during Logan’s 80th birthday party when his mother—Logan’s niece—dispatched him to New York for a job after he was fired from one of a Waystar amusement park for getting high inside a mascot costume. Within a month, he’s got a job with the company that pays himself just enough that he needn’t sneak food out of the Waystar break room in doggie-doo bags anymore, and he can afford enough gas to power his three-year-old Hyundai to Canada (“with the healthcare and the ennui!”) and back to transport his grandfather Ewan (James Cromwell) to New York for Logan’s Thanksgiving dinner.

Greg: Happy Thanksgiving!
Ewan: Not for the Indians.
Greg: No sir! Nope… that is still true.

Continue reading

Bad Lieutenant: Harvey Keitel’s Gray Nailhead Jacket

Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant (1992)


Harvey Keitel as “The Lieutenant”, morally corrupt NYPD lieutenant

New York City, Fall 1991

Film: Bad Lieutenant
Release Date: November 20, 1992
Director: Abel Ferrara
Costume Designer: David Sawaryn

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!


Released 31 years ago today in 1992, Abel Ferrara’s controversial drama Bad Lieutenant features a fearless, uncompromising performance of a lifetime from Harvey Keitel, who replaced Christopher Walken in the titular role as the unnamed detective who regularly neglects his law enforcement duties in favor of a nightmarish spiral of blow, baseball, and broads. Continue reading

The Big Chill: Tom Berenger’s Convertible Down Jacket

Tom Berenger in The Big Chill (1983)


Tom Berenger as Sam Weber, jaded TV star

Beaufort, South Carolina, Fall 1983

Film: The Big Chill
Release Date: September 28, 1983
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Costume Designer: April Ferry


As I prepare to gather with friends today for our annual Friendsgiving celebration, there’s a cinematic choice that perfectly captures the essence of fall, friendship, and the shared warmth of communal meals.

Despite not being centered around the holiday itself, The Big Chill has earned a place among many as a quintessential “Thanksgiving movie” with its autumnal setting, the camaraderie of old friends reuniting, and the soul-stirring soundtrack creating a nostalgic backdrop reminiscent of the season’s familial gatherings.

Beyond this thematic resonance, the film also offers a visual feast served by costume designer April Ferry’s array of early ’80s threads worn by its ensemble cast. Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, and JoBeth Williams star as college friends who reunite more than a decade after their graduation to mourn one of their group lost to suicide—portrayed by Kevin Costner, who was almost entirely cut from the film. Almost.

I recently had a request to explore Berenger’s style as Sam Weber, who was become arguably the most famous of his college pals, gracing magazine covers as the star of the Magnum, P.I.-like series, J.T. Lancer. Continue reading