Tagged: 1960s

The Birds: Mitch’s Donegal Tweed Suit

Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren filming The Birds (1963)

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Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner, defense lawyer

Bodega Bay, California, Summer 1962

Film: The Birds
Release Date: March 28, 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rita Riggs

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 60th anniversary of the release of The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s avian horror yarn adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 novella and a real-life incident in August 1961 as scores of birds crashed into the streets and rooftops of the central California town of Capitola.

The Birds centers around Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), an attractive travelers’ aid secretary from San Francisco whose flirtatious pranks with the charming attorney Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) lead about an hour north to the idyllic seaside village of Bodega Bay. Melanie’s surprise visit isn’t ultimately unwelcome, and Mitch invites her to join his little sister Cathy’s 11th birthday parry the following day. Continue reading

Walk the Line: Johnny Cash in Black for an On-Stage Engagement

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line (2005). Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner.

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Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, country rock star

London, Ontario, February 1968

Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby

Background

Fifty-five years ago on February 22, 1968, Johnny Cash surprised both the audience and perhaps also his frequent performing partner, June Carter, by proposing to her in the middle of a performance in London, Ontario. The pair had been friends—and eventually lovers—for nearly a decade, as depicted in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line, which culminated with Cash’s on-stage proposal following their performance of “Ring of Fire”, the song June had composed with Merle Kilgore four years earlier to meditate on her own emotions about their relationship. Continue reading

The Ivy Newlywed — Robert Redford’s Gray Suit in Barefoot in the Park

Robert Redford as Paul Bratter in Barefoot in the Park (1967)

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Robert Redford as Paul Bratter, newlywed lawyer

New York City, February 1967

Film: Barefoot in the Park
Release Date: May 25, 1967
Director: Gene Saks
Costume Designer: Edith Head

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

With Valentine’s Day a few days behind us, I want to focus on a movie that takes a lighthearted look at that awkward period in a new marriage between the “honeymoon phase” and the hard truths of reality setting in. Adapted from Neil Simon’s play of the same name, Barefoot in the Park was an early star-making role for Robert Redford, reprising the role of Paul Bratter that he had played in more than 1,500 performances over nearly four years on Broadway. Continue reading

Don’t Worry Darling: Harry Styles’ Blue Suit

Harry Styles as Jack Chambers in Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

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Harry Styles as Jack Chambers, “technical engineer”

The Victory Project, an American desert utopia modeled after late 1950s Palm Springs

Film: Don’t Worry Darling
Release Date: September 23, 2022
Director: Olivia Wilde
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Jack Kasbarian

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

I had been among those who were anticipating the release of Don’t Worry Darling since long before the gossip, mostly excited to catch my faves Florence Pugh and Nick Kroll—supporting though his role may have been—against the lush ’50s-inspired style from costumes to cars as seen in leaked photos from the production in Palm Springs.

Much of the film’s attention has since been mired in controversy between behind-the-scenes issues and frustration over its plot execution, but I’d argue that credit is still considerably due to its showcasing the most aspirational aspects of mid-century life, including natty wardrobes, naughty cocktail parties, and Detroit’s chrome-detailed finest in every driveway. Indeed, you could say a little too much attention was paid to *clears throat* Styles over substance.

Okay, that was a cheap shot. While I won’t deny that I was frustrated by what felt like unnecessary red herrings and logistical storytelling holes that didn’t even last my trip to the fridge, Don’t Worry Darling was a dazzling spectacle anchored by a solid performance from the always-excellent Florence Pugh, who celebrates her 27th birthday today.

Florence Pugh as Alice in Don't Worry Darling (2022)

Happy birthday, Flo.

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Catch Me If You Can: Frank’s Fair Isle-Style Christmas Sweater

Leonardo DiCaprio and Nathalie Baye in Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., suburban high-schooler

New Rochelle, New York, Christmas 1963

Film: Catch Me If You Can
Release Date: December 25, 2002
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

Background

Merry Christmas!

Based on the now mostly debunked claims of fraudster Frank Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can was released 20 years ago today on Christmas 2002, an appropriate opening date for a movie that benchmarks its protagonist’s status by how he spends each yuletide.

When we first meet Frank in late 1963, he’s a relatively well-adjusted teen with plenty of charisma if perhaps a bit precociously streetwise for a 15-year-old in the suburbs of New Rochelle, no doubt a byproduct of his artful father Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken), depicted passing on several lessons in minor larceny to his son. Before Frank Jr.’s first Pan Am uniform fitting or check forgery, we spend one last idyllic holiday with the Abagnale family in their New Rochelle home during Christmas 1963, as both Frank and his father take turns dancing with his Algerian-born mother Paula (Nathalie Baye), reminiscing about Frank Sr.’s courtship of the “blonde bombshell” Paula while he was serving in France during World War II. Continue reading

Mad Men: Pete Campbell’s Burgundy Blazer at Christmas

Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell on Mad Men (Episode 4.02: “Christmas Comes But Once a Year”)

Vitals

Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell, ambitious advertising accounts manager

New York City, Christmas 1964

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Christmas Comes But Once a Year” (Episode 4.02)
Air Date: August 1, 2010
Director: Michael Uppendahl
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

Welcome to BAMF Style, Pete Campbell! Long-ignored as I had reserved Mad Men‘s sartorial spotlight on his colleagues Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Sterling Cooper’s ambitious accounts man finally gets his time to shine on this #MadMenMonday less than a week before Christmas. Rather than his bright blue suits from early seasons or the uniquely cut waistcoats from his three-piece suits in later seasons, Pete’s inaugural BAMF Style post explores how he dresses for the inaugural SCDP holiday party. Continue reading

Bond Style: Lazenby’s Christmas Eve Ski Suit and Cougar

George Lazenby as James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

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George Lazenby as James Bond, smooth British secret agent

Bern, Switzerland, Christmas Eve 1969

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

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Wrapping up this winter Car Week on the 00-7th of December, let’s flash back to 1969 and Aussie actor George Lazenby’s sole adventure as James Bond. Whether the Bond production team was reversing its formula after the larger-than-life You Only Live Twice or playing it safe after Sean Connery left the role, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service closely follows the plot of Ian Fleming’s source novel, chronicling the agent’s romance with the self-destructive Teresa “Tracy” di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) as well as setting up his snowbound investigation of arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas) at his research institute Piz Gloria, located high in the picturesque Swiss Alps.

The action culminates in a Christmas Eve confrontation that results in 007’s alpine getaway on commandeered skis, assisted by Tracy and her bright red 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 that had first captured his attention when they met in Portugal three months prior. Continue reading

Love Story: Ryan O’Neal’s Navy Blazer and Reversible Raincoat in an MG

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw in Love Story (1970)

Vitals

Ryan O’Neal as Oliver Barrett IV, preppy Harvard student

Boston, Winter 1966

Film: Love Story
Release Date: December 16, 1970
Director: Arthur Hiller
Costume Design: Alice Manougian Martin & Pearl Somner

Background

As Car Week continues, it may not seem like it makes sense to focus on such an exposed car like the vintage MG roadster that appears in Love Story, but Ryan O’Neal bundles up accordingly in his reversible raincoat while behind the wheel with Ali MacGraw by his side.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Sidney Poitier in a Navy Suit

Sidney Poitier as Dr. John Prentice in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Vitals

Sidney Poitier as Dr. John Wade Prentice, widowed physician and professor

San Francisco, Spring 1967

Film: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Release Date: December 12, 1967
Director: Stanley Kramer
Costume Designer: Joe King

Background

As we gear up for arguably the biggest family dinner of the year this week, I want to revisit one of the most famous “dinner movies” despite never actually seeing the titular meal on screen. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner broke ground upon its release 55 years ago for its positive portrayal of an interracial relationship when the white Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton) returns from a Hawaiian vacation with her new fiancé, a widowed black doctor named John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). Continue reading

The Right Stuff: Sam Shepard’s Flight Jacket as Chuck Yeager

Sam Shepard with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager during production of The Right Stuff (1983)

Sam Shepard with Brig Gen Chuck Yeager during production of The Right Stuff (1983)

Vitals

Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, record-setting U.S. Air Force test pilot

Murac Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), Kern County, California, from fall 1947 to summer 1961

Film: The Right Stuff
Release Date: October 21, 1983
Director: Philip Kaufman
Costume Supervisor: James W. Tyson

Background

Today marks the 75th anniversary of when Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, piloting a rocket-propelled Bell X-1 aircraft—named Glamorous Glennis, after his wife—over the Mojave Desert at a speed greater than Mach 1. The event is depicted at the start of The Right Stuff, Philip Kaufman’s 1983 flight epic based on Tom Wolfe’s nonfiction book of the same name, chronicling the pivotal early years of American aeronautics between Yeager’s supersonic achievement and the conclusion of the successful Project Mercury manned space missions.

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