Category: Two-Piece Suit

Mad Men, 1970 Style – Don Draper’s Last Suit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.12: "Lost Horizon")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.12: “Lost Horizon”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, ad man at the pinnacle of professional success… and personal disillusionment

New York City, Summer 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “The Forecast” (Episode 7.10), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 4/19/2015
– “Time & Life” (Episode 7.11), dir. Jared Harris, aired 4/26/2015
– “Lost Horizon” (Episode 7.12), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 5/3/2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Considering its significance, the final business suit that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) wears on-screen in Mad Men makes a rather ignominious debut, though it does get a shining moment of glory as Don – the erstwhile Dick Whitman – gets a glimpse of what he really wants his life to be.

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Mitchum as Marlowe: Striped Summer Suit in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978)

Vitals

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, American private investigator

London, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Raymond Chandler’s birthday was 130 years ago today (July 23, 1888), so I’m celebrating the hard-boiled author’s big day with a look at a cinematic portrayal of one of his most enduring creations, cynical private eye Philip Marlowe, as played by Robert Mitchum in this 1978 update of The Big Sleep.

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The Sun Also Rises: Gray Summer Sport Suit in Europe

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises (1957)

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises (1957)

Vitals

Tyrone Power as Jake Barnes, expatriate journalist and wounded World War I ambulance driver

Pamplona, Spain, July 1922

Film: The Sun Also Rises
Release Date: August 23, 1957
Director: Henry King
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup

Background

Today is my shared birthday with Ernest Hemingway, so I’m celebrating with a look at a cinematic adaptation of my favorite of Papa’s novels, The Sun Also Rises, which he had started writing on his 26th birthday, July 21, 1925.

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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Warren Oates as Bennie in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Warren Oates as Bennie in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Vitals

Warren Oates as Bennie Benjamin, piano-playing bounty hunter

Mexico, May 1973

Film: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Release Date: August 14, 1974
Director: Sam Peckinpah
Wardrobe Credit: Adolfo Ramírez

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today would have been the 90th birthday of Warren Oates, the grizzled Kentucky-born actor celebrated on BAMF Style for his depiction of John Dillinger in 1973’s Dillinger and also his collaborations with director Sam Peckinpah including The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). It was this latter film that the iconoclastic director deemed the only one from his three-decade career that matched his original vision.

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Viva Las Vegas: Elvis’ Beige Collarless Suit

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Vitals

Elvis Presley as “Lucky” Jackson, mechanic and aspiring race car driver

Las Vegas, Summer 1964

Film: Viva Las Vegas
Release Date: May 20, 1964
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Donfeld (Donald Lee Feld)

Background

Regarded as one of the better movies of Elvis Presley’s acting career, Viva Las Vegas stars the singer opposite Ann-Margret, and it’s reported that the very real chemistry between the two was indicative of their off-screen friendship that briefly grew into romance.

On screen, however, Elvis played “Lucky” Jackson, a mechanic who wins – then literally loses – the money he had hoped to use to finance his own race car. To raise the money back, he takes a part-time gig in the Fabulous Flamingo casino in Las Vegas, where he meets sultry swimming instructor Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret, of course).

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Brad Pitt’s Beige Summer Suit in Allied

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan in Allied (2016)

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Max Vatan, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer

Casablanca, Morocco, Fall 1942

Film: Allied
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Background

On the eve of D-Day, when Allied forces landed on the beaches of France 74 years ago to turn the tide of World War II, I’m taking a look at a stylish wartime thriller that received plenty of attention for its sartorial sapience.

Allied begins as Wing Commander Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), an intelligence officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force, parachutes into Morocco. The first step in his mission to assassinate a German ambassador is to make contact with a French Resistance agent, Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard), who will be posing as his wife. After changing out of his khaki field jacket and into a snazzy suit befitting his cover and his warm surroundings, Max strolls into a nightclub to the tune of a boozy, contemporary take on “The Sheik of Araby” and meets his pseudo-wife. Continue reading

Sweet Smell of Success – Tony Curtis’ Striped Flannel Suit

Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Vitals

Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, unscrupulous publicity agent

New York City, Fall 1956

Film: Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date: June 27, 1957
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Costume Designer: Mary Grant

Background

Happy birthday to Tony Curtis, born 93 years ago today on June 3, 1925. The actor will always hold a special place for me as one of my earliest brushes with a known celebrity.

It occurred in the summer of 1998, during a vacation with my family to Las Vegas. We were approaching the exit to the MGM Grand as we came face-to-face with another entourage striding through the entrance. Flanked by two tall, voluptuous blondes at the front of the formation was a tuxedoed man with messy gray hair, considerably energetic for his age.

“That was Tony Curtis!” my family began murmuring to each other. Being only 9 years old at the time, I was concerned about feeling left out of the gossip until my grandma leaned in and explained to me that this was “Josephine” from Some Like It Hot, one of our favorite movies to watch together at the time.

Some Like It Hot will always have a place on my personal cinematic Mount Rushmore, but my favorite Tony Curtis performance is likely in Alexander Mackendrick’s atmospheric 1957 noir Sweet Smell of Success. Curtis stars as a Manhattan publicity agent oozing with opportunistic sleaze.

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