Tagged: 1950s

Magic City: Ben the Butcher’s White Linen Guayabera

Danny Huston as Ben "the Butcher" Diamond in "Feeding Frenzy", episode 1.02 of Magic CIty (2012-2013)

Danny Huston as Ben “the Butcher” Diamond in “Feeding Frenzy”, episode 1.02 of Magic City (2012-2013)

Vitals

Danny Huston as Ben “the Butcher” Diamond, sadistic and volatile Miami gangster

Miami Beach, spring 1959

Series: Magic City
Episodes:
– “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired April 13, 2012)
– “The Harder They Fall” (Episode 1.06, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired May 11, 2012)
– “Crime and Punishment” (Episode 2.01, dir: Clark Johnson, aired June 14, 2013)
Creator: Mitch Glazer
Costume Designer: Carol Ramsey

Background

Considering classic gangland style evokes images of pinstripe suits, flashy jewelry, and wide-brimmed fedoras… but what do gangsters wear when the sun’s at its brightest? On #MafiaMonday, let’s travel down to sunny Miami Beach where—even in the middle of January—mobster Ben “the Butcher” Diamond is dressed in lightweight linen for days by the swimming pool and nights at the cocktail lounge in Starz’s canceled-too-soon period drama Magic City. Continue reading

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Havana – Robert Redford’s Blue Camp Shirt and Cadillac

Robert Redford as Jack Weil driving a 1955 Cadillac in Havana (1990)

Robert Redford as Jack Weil driving a 1955 Cadillac in Havana (1990)

Vitals

Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth gambler and U.S. Navy veteran

Santa Clara, Cuba, December 1958

Film: Havana
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack

Background

Extending #CarWeek to get to casual Friday gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to Robert Redford’s classic casual warm-weather attire behind the wheel of a grand Cadillac convertible from the fabulous ’50s. The film in question is, of course, Havana, Sydney Pollack’s 1990 paean to Casablanca that starred Redford as Jack Weil, a cynical American gambler who finds love in the form of Cuban revolutionary Roberta “Bobby” Duran (Lena Olin) on the eve of that country’s revolution.

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The Talented Mr. Ripley: Dickie’s Navy Silk Blazer

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Vitals

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, narcissistic profligate playboy

Italy, October 1958

Film: The Talented Mr. Ripley
Release Date: December 25, 1999
Director: Anthony Minghella
Costume Design: Ann Roth & Gary Jones

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Whether you’re dressing for a snazzy summer brunch this sunny Sunday morning or taking sprezzatura inspiration for the office, Jude Law’s wardrobe from The Talented Mr. Ripley radiates mid-century Mediterranean luxury essential for your spring-to-summer sartorial transformation.

This 1999 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s classic psychological thriller novel spends more time with the doomed Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) than its stylish French predecessor, Plein soleil (1960), including this brief foray from Naples to Rome where the obsessive Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) joins Dickie for some drinks al fresco.

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Purple Noon: Alain Delon’s White Suit

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley in Purple Noon (1960)

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley in Purple Noon (1960)

Vitals

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, American con artist and sophisticated sociopath

Rome, Italy, August 1959

Film: Purple Noon
(French title: Plein soleil)
Release Date: March 10, 1960
Director: René Clément
Costume Designer: Bella Clément

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Whether or not you subscribe to the mindset that it’s only appropriate in the Northern Hemisphere after Memorial Day, there’s a strong chance you’ll be seeing a lot more white over the summer months to follow. For gents interested in standing out with a white suit this summer, Alain Delon sets a characteristic gold standard in Plein soleil, itself a paean to elegant summer style. Continue reading

Fred Astaire’s Stone “Girl Hunt” Suit in The Band Wagon

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon (1953)

Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon (1953)

Vitals

Fred Astaire as Tony Hunter, musical comedy star

New York, Spring 1953

Film: The Band Wagon
Release Date: August 7, 1953
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Costume Designer: Mary Ann Nyberg

Background

Today marks what would have been the 120th birthday of Fred Astaire, the renowned Nebraska-born dancer and singer whose prolific career on stage and screen extended more than three quarters of a century.

The Band Wagon (1953) is considered a highlight of the entertainer’s career, starring Astaire as a once-famous musical star who hopes to revive his career with a major Broadway production. Even if you’re not into musicals, it’s hard not to appreciate Astaire’s elegant footwork as he masterfully dances through the film’s culminating number, “Girl Hunt”, based on the novels of Mickey Spillane. Continue reading

Belmondo in Breathless: Tweed in Marseille

Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel Poiccard in À bout de souffle (Breathless) (1960).

Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel Poiccard in À bout de souffle (Breathless) (1960).

Vitals

Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel Poiccard, small-time car thief

Marseille, France, August 1959

Film: Breathless
(French title: À bout de souffle)
Release Date: March 16, 1960
Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Background

Happy birthday, Bébel! Jean-Paul Belmondo was born 86 years ago today in Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of Paris. Following a brief career as an amateur boxer and his compulsory military service, Belmondo began acting in the mid-1950s and found international stardom after his performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle (Breathless to English-speaking audiences), a seminal example of the burgeoning French New Wave cinematic movement.

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Jimmy Stewart’s Blue-Gray Flannel Suit in Vertigo

James Stewart as John "Scottie" Ferguson in Vertigo (1958)

James Stewart as John “Scottie” Ferguson in Vertigo (1958)

Vitals

James Stewart as John “Scottie” Ferguson, former San Francisco detective

San Francisco, Fall 1957

Film: Vertigo
Release Date: May 9, 1958
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Designer: Edith Head

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In the spirit of yesterday, March 12, being deemed Alfred Hitchcock Day, not to mention being one week away from the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, even if the weather itself can’t make up its mind…

For those whose offices call for jackets and ties, dressing for work during these transitional weather periods can be a challenge, balancing professionalism with comfort in the context of an uncertain weather forecast. As San Francisco detective “Scottie” Ferguson in Vertigo, James Stewart provides a solution.

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Pal Joey: Sinatra’s Red Fleck Mess Jacket

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans, womanizing nightclub singer

San Francisco, Spring 1957

Film: Pal Joey
Release Date: October 25, 1957
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

Background

Joey Evans’s first night with the band finds him already complicating his romantic life, balancing his attraction to the demure singer Linda English (Kim Novak) with the vivacious ex-stripper Vera Prentice-Simpson (Rita Hayworth) when the band is hired to play a gig at Vera’s place as a fundraise for the local children’s hospital.

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Cary Grant’s Tuxedo in Indiscreet

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Indiscreet (1958)

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Indiscreet (1958)

Vitals

Cary Grant as Philip Adams, sophisticated playboy economist

London, Fall 1957 to Spring 1958

Film: Indiscreet
Release Date: June 26, 1958
Director: Stanley Donen
Tailor: Quintino

Background

Happy birthday to the great Cary Grant, born 115 years ago today on January 18, 1904, in Bristol, England. Born Archibald Leach before he assumed his catchier stage name, Grant’s signature screen presence blended his self-deprecating sense of humor with peerless suavity in both attitude and style. Grant’s popularity during the mid-20th century and the height of the dinner suit’s ubiquity meant the debonair actor would don a tuxedo almost as frequently as James Bond… and it’s not surprising to hear that Grant was an early contender for the role of 007, at least in the mind of the character’s creator Ian Fleming.

Between 1955 and 1962, Grant starred in seven contemporary-set films that didn’t require him to be in military uniform; of these, he sported a tuxedo in all but one (the lone exception, North by Northwest, featured the actor wearing arguably the most famous suit in movie history so there was little need for black tie.) In the middle of this impressive and stylish run of movies is Indiscreet, a Stanley Donen-directed romantic comedy that earned Grant his first of five Golden Globe nominations. Continue reading

King Creole: Elvis Presley’s Baracuta Jacket

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher in King Creole (1958)

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher in King Creole (1958)

Vitals

Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher, swaggering nightclub singer and high school dropout

New Orleans, Summer 1958

Film: King Creole
Release Date: July 2, 1958
Director: Michael Curtiz
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Happy birthday to Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

The King of Rock & Roll considered Danny Fisher in 1958’s King Creole to be his favorite role in the dozens of movies he made over the course of his 13-year film career. Continue reading