James Coburn as Clinton Greene, eccentric Hollywood producer
French Riviera, Late summer 1972
Film: The Last of Sheila
Release Date: June 14, 1973
Director: Herbert Ross
Costume Designer: Joel Schumacher
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
If you’re the sort of person who follows such sartorial conventions, Labor Day on Monday makes this the last weekend where it’s “acceptable” to wear white. Of course, there are many who take umbrage to being told what’s acceptable to wear and when—such as Clinton Greene, the flamboyant film producer at the center of The Last of Sheila‘s sun-bleached mystery. Clinton was played by James Coburn, the versatile Nebraska-born actor born 95 years ago today on August 31, 1928.
Recently widowed after his wife Sheila was killed during a mysterious hit-and-run accident near their Hollywood home, Clinton commemorates the one-year anniversary of Sheila’s death by inviting his six closest frenemies—most of whom had been present during the party at their home the night Sheila was killed—to spend a week playing high-stakes puzzles on his luxury yacht off the coast of southern France. Continue reading
Leo Woodall as Jack, a brash young man from Essex who is close to his uncle
Sicily, Summer 2022
Series: The White Lotus
Episode: “That’s Amore” (Episode 2.05)
Air Date: November 27, 2022
Director: Mike White
Creator: Mike White
Costume Designer: Alex Bovaird
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
The warmer weather may be inspiring you to plan for a late spring break or start prepping for summer vacations. With the recent announcement that the third season of The White Lotus, Mike White’s anthology of doomed vacationers, will be set in Thailand, I returned to the style from the series’ second season set in sunny Sicily… specifically a style that I was pleasantly surprised to see had long been in my own closet!
Rather than being a guest at the resort, the cocksure Jack (Leo Woodall) is connected to the coterie of Quentin (Tom Hollander) and his “high-end gays” who entertain the oblivious Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) and her Gen-Z assistant Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) on their yacht Ethna en route Palermo. Quentin describes the outgoing yet shady young man from Essex as his “cheeky nephew”, who initially seems to be the answer to Portia’s wish for a simple, adventurous fling before she and her employer begin seeing the far more sinister reality underscoring their association. Continue reading
Jamie Foxx as Bud Jablonski, maverick vampire hunter
San Fernando Valley, California, Summer 2022
Film: Day Shift
Release Date: August 12, 2022
Director: J.J. Perry
Costume Designer: Kelli Jones
When I saw that Day Shift, the latest Netflix action comedy, centered around Jamie Foxx killing vampires while wearing a rotation of Hawaiian shirts, I knew I had to check it out.
Foxx stars as Bud Jablonski, whose job cleaning pools in the San Fernando Valley provides cover for his more serious occupation of hunting the undead. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, “resurrected” British secret agent
London, Spring 2012
Release Date: November 9, 2012
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
Having been assumed dead after taking friendly fire in the field, James Bond returns from self-imposed exile. However, before he can go from “resurrection” to active duty, the British Secret Service needs to make sure their most famous secret agent can still shoot straight.
Following the attack on their Vauxhall Cross headquarters, SIS has set up temporary shop in the concrete bowels of the Old Vic tunnels under London, and it’s here that Bond runs through a variety of exercises from treadmills to crash drills. The service’s ever-affable chief of staff, Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear), attempts to save time by bringing 007 up to speed on his new assignment, but months on a Greek beach fueled by Heineken and vintage Macallan haven’t made it easy for Mr. Bond to catch his breath.
Tanner: We can always do this later.
Bond: You know what? Let’s.
Although Daniel Craig’s 007 was often referred to by his Royal Navy rank, Commander Bond never actually appeared in uniform on film during Craig’s era. In fact, the closest we saw to Craig’s James Bond in any sort of uniform—aside from when the actor himself received his honorary commission in 2021—was when he was put to these tests in Skyfall, resurrected and ready to be retrained by his superiors… and dressed the part in an SIS-marked track jacket and training shirt.
SIS Training Gear recognized the opportunity for Bond fans to borrow from our favorite secret agent’s style, not with a tailored suit or trim navy polo but through an increasingly growing selection of activewear that started with just a pair of T-shirts and joggers, designed to resemble Craig’s screen-worn apparel. Since then, the collection has grown to a wide and exciting lineup of a range of casual styles that reference Bond films across the franchise’s 60 years. Continue reading
Bill Murray as Steve Zissou, vengeful oceanographer and documentarian
Mediterranean Sea, Fall 2003
Film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Release Date: December 25, 2004
Director: Wes Anderson
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Much as action movies through the ’90s were often pitched as “Die Hard on a…”, the plot for Wes Anderson’s cult classic The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou could be overly simplified as “what if Moby-Dick was about Jacques Cousteau?” though fans know there’s so much more to it than that!
With Bill Murray’s characterization weaving between homage and affectionate parody, Zissou was clearly Anderson’s ode to the iconic oceanographer and diving pioneer, right down to the red ribbed beanies worn by the crew of Zissou’s research ship Belafonte. Continue reading
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, imprisoned New York mob associate
United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Fall 1975
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
As an Italian-American with no known organized crime affiliations, I was always drawn to Goodfellas for how much I could resonate with the prominence of food—particularly Italian food—throughout my life, such as large family dinners with heaping portions of delicious pasta, sauce, and meats, usually with Dean Martin or Tony Bennett crooning from the hi-fi in the corner. In the spirit of that most relatable element from my favorite movie, I wish you all a Happy National Pasta Day! (And for those outside the United States, let’s all come together to celebrate World Pasta Day a week from now on October 25.)
Last month, as I was rounding up my 30 favorite style moments for Goodfellas‘ 30th anniversary, I realized it had been almost four years since I last explored any of Ray Liotta’s mobbed-up threads as famous turncoat Henry Hill. When I saw back-to-back celebrations of the Italian culinary tradition in October, I knew it was time to explore one of the most famous scenes from Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus.
Andy Samberg as Nyles, aka “Misty’s boyfriend”, time-looped slacker focused only on “the next bite”
Palm Springs, California, November 2019
Film: Palm Springs
Release Date: July 10, 2020
Director: Max Barbakow
Costume Designer: Colin Wilkes
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This is today, today is yesterday, and tomorrow is also today… it’s one of those infinite time loop situations you might’ve heard about.
Shorthand descriptions of Palm Springs have summed up the movie as “Groundhog Day for millennials,” though I was pleasantly surprised by the poignancy and philosophical complexity of this incredibly entertaining movie… particularly in the context of the much-publicized fact that the Lonely Island tacked on a nice 69 cents to the record-setting $17.5 million sale price to Neon and Hulu after its premiere at Sundance in January 2020.
Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, cheeky and streetwise Detroit detective
Beverly Hills, Spring 1984
Film: Beverly Hills Cop
Release Date: December 5, 1984
Director: Martin Brest
Costume Designer: Tom Bronson Continue reading