Tagged: 1960s

The Rum Diary: Gabardine Windbreaker and Chinos

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011)

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary (2011)

Vitals

Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist

San Juan, Puerto Rico, Summer 1960

Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Background

“In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy,” heralded Hunter S. Thompson’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in November 1957, a considerable understatement given the iconic writer’s eventual symbolic anti-authoritarian status.

Following his discharge, Thompson tried a few journalistic stints in New York but was fired by Time (for insubordination) and the Middletown Daily Record (for damaging a candy machine) and moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.

Having failed to procure a position with the San Juan Star, Thompson wrote for the El Sportivo sporting magazine… though it folded quickly after his arrival. His experiences in San Juan formed the basis of The Rum Diary, a novel that he penned shortly after his return to the U.S. the following year, although it wasn’t published for more than three decades.

While it would be inaccurate to describe The Rum Diary as a strict roman à clef, its morose, restless narrator Paul Kemp is clearly modeled on Thompson himself, and Thompson’s friend Johnny Depp was naturally tapped to play the role in the film adaptation. Continue reading

Dean Martin Turns 100: Dino’s Iconic Tuxedo

Dean Martin on the set of The Dean Martin Show, circa 1965

Vitals

Dean Martin, smooth and multi-talented entertainer

Burbank, California, 1965 to 1974

Series: The Dean Martin Show
Air Dates: September 16, 1965 – April 5, 1974
Director: Greg Garrison
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

On June 7, 1917, Dino Paul Crocetti was born in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela and Gaetano Crocetti, the latter a barber from the Abruzzo region in Italy where much of my own family hails. One hundred years later, the world remembers him as Dean Martin, the charming crooner whose legendary career spanned half a century as a major headliner from nightclubs and casinos to movies and TV shows.

Effortlessly charismatic and unflappable, Dino brought his smooth star power to his popular comedy act with Jerry Lewis and later as a leader of the Rat Pack alongside Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Continue reading

Michael Caine’s Olive Sweater as Alfie

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Vitals

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins, charming part-time car service driver and full-time cad

Middlesex, England, Summer 1965

Film: Alfie
Release Date: March 24, 1966
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jean Fairlie

Background

During his stay in a convalescent home earlier in the movie, Alfie Elkins (Michael Caine) befriended Harry Clamacraft (Alfie Bass, hey his name actually is Alfie!). Alfie later returns to visit Harry, who requests that Alfie give a ride to his tired-looking wife Lily (Vivien Merchant) in his Rolls-Royce.

The reluctant ride turns into a summertime seduction as Alfie and Lily make a fateful stop for “a nice cup of tea.” Continue reading

You Only Live Twice: Bond’s Blue Suit in Japan

Sean Connery as James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1967)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated British MI6 agent

Miyazaki, Japan, Summer 1966

Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

Background

Sean Connery’s wardrobe as James Bond is remembered for its timeless elegance, developed for his first appearance as the character in Dr. No. The elements of Connery’s Bond style generally differed from Ian Fleming’s literary vision, with Connery often sporting gray suits rather than blue, long-sleeve shirts rather than short-sleeved, and derby shoes rather than non-laced casuals.

However, there are a few occasions where Connery’s 007 sartorially overlapped with Fleming’s vision. His dark blue suit when visiting Osato’s Tokyo office in You Only Live Twice thus serves as an appropriate post for the 00-7th of May, Ian Fleming’s birth month. Continue reading

From Russia With Love – Red Grant’s Gray Check Suit

Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love (1963)

Vitals

Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant, lethal SPECTRE assassin

Istanbul, Spring 1963

Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards

Background

Robert Shaw set the Bond franchise standard as the dangerous Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love, one of the most memorable antagonists in the series.

Grant is arguably the archetype for subsequent villains that followed his laconic, icy blond example like Vargas in Thunderball, Necros in The Living Daylights, and Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies, though none could ever match Robert Shaw’s truly menacing presence on screen. Continue reading

Don Draper’s Navy Weekend Sportcoat

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Marriage of Figaro", Episode 1.03 of Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Marriage of Figaro”, Episode 1.03 of Mad Men.

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious ad exec and suburban dad

Ossining, New York, April 1960

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Marriage of Figaro” (Episode 1.03)
Air Date: August 2, 2007
Director: Ed Bianchi
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

In addition to Mad Men‘s first mention of Dick Whitman, “Marriage of Figaro” includes a snazzy casual outfit for a slick spring weekend in the suburbs.

The first two episodes certainly hinted at the deep layers lurking beneath the man first introduced to us as Don Draper, but it is “Marriage of Figaro” that breaks Mad Men‘s ground in exploring our ostensible protagonist’s isolation and loneliness… a quality that Todd VanDerWerff of The AV Club described as “his essential unhappiness.” Continue reading

Michael Caine’s Navy RAF Blazer as Alfie

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins in Alfie (1966)

Vitals

Michael Caine as Alfie Elkins, charming part-time car service driver and full-time cad

London, Summer 1965

Film: Alfie
Release Date: March 24, 1966
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jean Fairlie
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

Make a married woman laugh and you’re halfway there with her.

Right off the bat, we learn that the titular Alfie Elkins is no gentleman.

Although he had already featured in several major British films through the ’60s, it was his Academy Award-nominated breakthrough role in Alfie that led Michael Caine to global stardom. Continue reading