Tagged: 1890s

Sherlock Holmes’ Peacoat

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Vitals

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, eccentric consulting detective

London, November 1890

Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan

Background

Looking for a historical Halloween costume in a pinch? In the spirit of #SherlockSunday, grab a peacoat, a peaked cap, and a pair of suspenders, and you’re good to go!

But isn’t Sherlock Holmes most associated with the classic Basil Hathbone ensemble of a deerstalker cap and Ulster cape? Not so in the 2009 film starring Robert Downey Jr. as the iconic detective, as director Guy Ritchie insisted that his incarnation would neither wear the deerstalker nor say “Elementary, my dear Watson,” choosing instead to present what Roger Ebert would call a “cheerfully revisionist” take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s character. Continue reading

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The Sundance Kid’s Brown Corded Jacket

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Robert Redford as The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Robert Redford as Harry Longbaugh, aka “The Sundance Kid”, laconic and sharp-shooting American outlaw

Colorado, Fall 1898

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Last year, we celebrated Robert Redford’s 78th birthday (and Throwback Tuesday, which I’ve decided can be a thing) by breaking down the Sundance Kid’s traveling suit when he and Butch Cassidy pack up and head to Bolivia. This year, for Bob’s 79th, we’ll look at his main outfit leading up to that – a badass assortment of Western wear that epitomize American outlaw style at the turn of the century.

What’d He Wear?

Although the film’s audience would be hard-pressed to call either Butch or Sundance a true villain despite their criminal vocations, Sundance is certainly the darker-demeanored of the two, reflected by his attire. In Bolivia, he wears a black suit and black hat. While still conducting his banditry in the U.S., he wears all black save for a brown corduroy jacket. By default, he becomes the film’s personification of the “black-hatted outlaw” trope although his easy charm differentiates him from more villianous contemporaries like Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The one major non-black part of his American banditry outfit is the brown wide-waled corduroy jacket. The jacket looks as well-traveled as Sundance himself, providing him comfortable and surprisingly fashionable outerwear that allows a wide range of motion for a man whose job includes jumping on and off of moving trains. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes’ Purple Frock Coat

Vitals

Robert Downey, Jr. on set as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Robert Downey, Jr. on set as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, eccentric consulting detective

London, August 1890

Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan

Background

Few have heard of Dr. Joseph Bell, a physician at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and eventual lecturer at the University of Edinburgh’s medical school who was born today in 1837. Those who do know Dr. Bell, however, likely know him due to his fame as a likely inspiration for the character of Sherlock Holmes. A very observant and proud doctor, Bell was often called in to assist with police investigations, teaming up with forensic expert Professor Henry Littlejohn. Arthur Conan Doyle had met Bell in 1877 and worked as his clerk at the infirmary. Bell later took pride in knowing that Doyle’s most famed and beloved creation – the character of Sherlock Holmes – was at least partly based on him. Though this inspiration has been exaggerated by series like Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, the Bell-Doyle connection is undeniable.

To honor Dr. Bell’s birthday, I’ll be exploring the first appearance of Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in the 2009 reboot, Sherlock Holmes. In this sequence, Holmes and Watson pair up to arrest the evil Lord Blackwood and stop his black magic practices. The scene involves many elements that would become trademarks of the new films, including Holmes’ predictive and fluid fighting technique that proves most effective against Britain’s most thickheaded thugs. Continue reading

Dr. Watson’s Brown Houndstooth Suit

Jude Law as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Jude Law as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

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Jude Law as Dr. John Watson, adventurous physician and amateur detective

London, August 1890

Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan

Background

While the current British series Sherlock offers more universally adaptable wardrobe options due to its contemporary setting, I unfortunately have yet to see the show (which I know I will love) or own it on a screencappable medium. Thus, to celebrate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 155th birthday this week – May 22 – I’ll be offering a suit worn by Jude Law in the 2009 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.

Dr. John Watson is the second-greatest invention of Conan Doyle, forever influencing the “active narrator” present in mysteries and thrillers. Throughout the years, Dr. Watson evolved from Conan Doyle’s stoic if somewhat stodgy man of action into a total dolt whose friendship with Holmes was the only thing keeping him alive. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes’ Black Frock Coat

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Vitals

Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, eccentric consulting detective

London, November 1890

Film: Sherlock Holmes
Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Jenny Beavan

Background

Announcement of the 2009 update of Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, met with some initial criticism. Many believed that the action-oriented director Guy Ritchie would dumb down the flawed but efficient genius of Doyle’s stories and instead focus on action and box office draws. However, the smartly-paced story, the excellent performances (notable Downey, Jr. as Holmes), and the era-evoking visuals surprised many and the film received mostly positive reviews and critical attention, with a sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, released two years later. Continue reading