Billy Crystal as Harry Burns, sarcastic political consultant and recent divorcée
New York City, Fall 1987
Film: When Harry Met Sally…
Release Date: July 14, 1989
Director: Rob Reiner
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham
As October advances deeper into colder weather, today’s post celebrates the enduring knitwear selected by costume designer Gloria Gresham for fall style icon Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally.
Though he only wears it for two brief scenes in Rob Reiner’s 1989 romantic comedy, Harry Burns’ cream-colored cable-knit sweater remains a cultural touchpoint even nearly 35 years later. Continue reading
George Segal as Bill Denny, magazine writer and casual gambler
Los Angeles, Winter 1973
Film: California Split
Release Date: August 7, 1974
Director: Robert Altman
Costumer: Hugh McFarland
In honor of George Segal, who died a year ago today, today’s post introduces us to his character in California Split, directed by Robert Altman and described by Tim Grierson and Will Leitch for Vulture as the greatest movie about gambling ever made, “one of the high watermarks of ’70s hangout cinema.” Continue reading
Chris Evans as Hugh “Ransom” Drysdale, arrogant “trust fund prick”
Massachusetts, November 2018
Film: Knives Out
Release Date: November 27, 2019
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan
Released a year ago this week, Knives Out offered a fresh spin on the classic “whodunit” genre, complete with an idiosyncratic detective—in this case, Daniel Craig as the observant Benoit Blanc—and a dysfunctional family plunged into a murder mystery at their palatial country estate. It’s that dysfunctional family element that inspired me to write about Knives Out today, on the eve of a Thanksgiving that’s sure to look different than usual for most households.
The last member of the Thrombey household to be introduced on screen is Ransom Drysdale—or Hugh to “the help”—the spoiled grandson of the late mystery writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Even before Knives Out reached theaters, the internet was ablaze with preview images of Chris Evans lounging in Ransom’s moth-eaten fisherman’s sweater, reintroducing the classic Aran knitting technique to a new generation.
Robert Redford as Nathan Muir, experienced CIA case officer
Berlin, Christmas 1976
Film: Spy Game
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Director: Tony Scott
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Redford’s Costumer: David Page
After recruiting the talented Tom Bishop for an assassination in the closing days of the Vietnam War, CIA case officer Nathan Muir determines that Bishop would make a fine operative for the agency. Nathan pulls the strings to isolate Bishop for more than a year, secretly assigning the young Marine to a lonely post in Berlin.
Muir then shrewdly chooses Christmas – a vulnerable holiday for lonely folks – as his opportunity to swoop in with a “chance encounter” at a train station. Bishop joins Muir and one of his wives for a Christmas party that evening, and their decade-long career is born.
What’d He Wear?
Nathan Muir provides a comfortable and fashionable way to layer for a winter party. Continue reading
Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire playboy and heist mastermind
Crane Beach, Massachusetts, Summer 1968
Film: The Thomas Crown Affair
Release Date: June 19, 1968
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
Amidst all of the robberies and intrigue in The Thomas Crown Affair, Steve McQueen’s titular character decides to head off to the local beach with new girlfriend (sort of) in tow.
From his romp in the sand, Crown offers viewers advice on just what to bring for a quick beach getaway. Continue reading