Tagged: Mafia

Tony Soprano’s Black Bullethole Shirt in “The Weight”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.04: "The Weight")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.04: “The Weight”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New Jersey, Fall 2001

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “The Weight” (Episode 4.04)
Air Date: October 6, 2002
Director: Jack Bender
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

I know it’s only been a week since my last post about the style of The Sopranos, but I have a great reason for returning to my favorite show as today happens to be the birthday of my friend Gabe, the hardworking curator of @tonysopranostyle on Instagram. Having attained more than 30,000 followers in less than a year on the platform, @tonysopranostyle remains an authoritative and entertaining source of information for everything James Gandolfini wore during his iconic tenure portraying the boss of the New Jersey Mafia, from his boldly printed shirts and velvet tracksuits to his gold jewelry and cigars.

Not just an expert, Gabe also puts his money where his mouth is, tracking down and purchasing many shirts in the original designs from the manufacturers who were sourced by costume designer Juliet Polcsa for the series. Gabe started his collection in late 2016 when, having read Christopher Hooton’s interview with Polcsa for The Independent, he used the brands cited by Polcsa to find a black Alan Stuart shirt with the same scattered abstract pattern that Gandolfini wore for a few scenes in the fourth season episode “The Weight”. Continue reading

The Sopranos: Paulie’s Black Velvet Tracksuit

Tony Sirico as "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in "The Strong, Silent Type", the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in “The Strong, Silent Type”, the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Vitals

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, mob captain and Army veteran

New Jersey, Spring 2002 and Fall 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “The Strong, Silent Type” (Episode 4.10, dir. Alan Taylor, aired 11/17/2002)
– “Moe n’ Joe” (Episode 6.10, dir. Steve Shill, aired 5/14/2006)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

November 21 was proclaimed World Television Day by the United Nations in 1996, so this Saturday evening feels like a fine opportunity to pop down in your favorite plastic-covered chair to read about one of the greatest TV shows of all time. And, as I discovered far too late in life, there are few outfits more comfortable for such indulgence than a velvet tracksuit.

I feel that I’ve demonstrated several times my appreciation for the once-in-a-lifetime character of Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, a perfect character for the world of the acclaimed series as well as a role that could have only been played by Tony Sirico, the Brooklyn-born actor and one-time “half a wiseguy” who lent his quirks, mannerisms, style, and even biographical details to the character.

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Goodfellas: Henry’s Adidas Tracksuit in Prison

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Vitals

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, imprisoned New York mob associate

United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Fall 1975

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

Background

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.

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The Sopranos: Paulie’s Black Leather-and-Suede Jacket

Tony Sirico as "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in "Where's Johnny?", the third episode of the fifth season of The Sopranos.

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in “Where’s Johnny?”, the third episode of the fifth season of The Sopranos.

Vitals

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, mob captain and Army veteran

New Jersey, early 2000s

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “From Where to Eternity” (Episode 2.09, dir. Henry J. Bronchtein, aired 3/12/2000)
– “Second Opinion” (Episode 3.07, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 4/8/2001)
– “…To Save Us All from Satan’s Power” (Episode 3.10, dir. Jack Bender, aired 4/29/2001)
– “Army of One” (Episode 3.13, dir. John Patterson, aired 5/20/2001)
– “Mergers and Acquisitions” (Episode 4.08, dir. Dan Attias, aired 11/3/2002)
– “Whoever Did This” (Episode 4.09, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired 11/10/2002)
– “Where’s Johnny?” (Episode 5.03, dir. John Patterson, aired 3/21/2004)
– “The Ride” (Episode 6.09, dir. Alan Taylor, aired 5/7/2006)
– “Made in America” (Episode 6.21, dir. David Chase, aired 6/10/2007)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

Heh, heh… happy #MafiaMonday, folks. In response to a request I received from a BAMF Style reader, today’s subject would be particularly recognizable for fans of The Sopranos as a sartorial signature from the wardrobe of the singular Paulie Walnuts.

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Tony Soprano’s Gut-shot George Foreman Shirt in “Members Only”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.01: "Members Only")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.01: “Members Only”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Newark, New Jersey, Spring 2006

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Members Only” (Episode 6.01)
Air Date: March 12, 2006
Director: Tim Van Patten
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Fans of The Sopranos are eagerly awaiting the release of David Chase’s prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, directed by Alan Taylor and set during the late 1960s. The movie was originally scheduled for release at the end of this week, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the release until March 2021. While it’s too soon for me to take a full look at the style of The Many Saints of Newark, @tonysopranostyle on Instagram has been comprehensively covering many of the outfits seen on set, including those worn by Jon Bernthal as Tony Soprano’s father “Johnny Boy” Soprano and by Michael Gandolfini as a teenage version of his father’s iconic TV character.

In recognition of what would have been James Gandolfini’s 59th birthday last Friday, today’s #MafiaMonday post explores a pivotal scene from the acclaimed series’ sixth season premiere. Continue reading

Goodfellas: 30 Significant Style Moments

Vitals

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today marks the 30th anniversary since my favorite movie, Goodfellas, was released, ten days after it premiered to rave reviews at the 47th International Venice Film Festival. Based on the true story told in Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy, this Martin Scorsese-directed mob epic details a life in organized crime as recalled by Lucchese Mafia family associate-turned-informant Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teenage years in the 1950s through adulthood until his arrest on May 11, 1980.

The ensemble cast includes Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Frank Sivero as Henry’s criminal colleagues and Lorraine Bracco as his wife and eventual accomplice.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

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Tony Soprano’s Chevron-Patterned Polo in “College”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 1.05: "College")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 1.05: “College”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

New England, Fall 1999

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “College” (Episode 1.05, dir. Allen Coulter, aired 2/7/1999)
– “Nobody Knows Anything” (Episode 1.11, dir. Henry J. Bronchtein, aired 3/21/1999)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.

So preaches Hawthorne, seemingly speaking directly to Tony Soprano, in the denouement of the classic episode “College” (Episode 1.05) from the first season. Positioned as Bowdoin College’s most famous alum as Tony brings his daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) to visit the campus, Nathaniel Hawthorne also acts as a moral anchor to our protagonist after an unprecedented act of violence.

The fall 2020 semester will be a surreal experience for many returning to school across the United States as colleges adapt to remote learning or limited exposure in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, making the expected “back-to-school” keggers and social functions a relic of a not-so-distant past.

More than twenty years ago, audiences joined Meadow for her own surreal college experiences with a university tour with her father reveals more about him to her—and to the audience—than one would expect of the canned campus orientation. On August 22, the date established in-universe as Tony Soprano’s birthday (and creator David Chase’s actual birthday), let’s take a closer look at these pivotal scenes from the series’ first season. Continue reading

Tony Soprano’s Tan Herringbone Sport Jacket

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.20: "The Blue Comet")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 6.20: “The Blue Comet”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Montclair, New Jersey, Fall 2007

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “The Ride” (Episode 6.09, dir. Alan Taylor, aired May 7, 2006)
– “Chasing It” (Episode 6.16, dir. Tim Van Patten, aired April 29, 2007)
– “The Blue Comet” (Episode 6.20, dir. Alan Taylor, aired June 3, 2007)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On the seventh anniversary of James Gandolfini’s death, I chose to celebrate the actor’s legacy with another look from the landmark HBO series The Sopranos. (Fans of the Skip’s outfits should already be following my friend @TonySopranoStyle on Instagram!)

In the series’ penultimate episode, “The Blue Comet”, Tony Soprano had no idea that this therapy session would be his last, blissfully idling his time in Dr. Jennifer Melfi’s waiting room by purloining a pepper-marinated steak recipe from Departures magazine. Unbeknownst to him, it’s one ravaged periodical too many as Dr. Melfi is already having serious concerns about having potentially spent the last seven years enabling a dangerous sociopath rather than helping him.

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The Godfather, Part II: Tom Hagen’s Seersucker Suit

Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen in The Godfather, Part II (1974)

Vitals

Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, levelheaded Mafia lawyer

Lake Tahoe, Fall 1958

Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The second Thursday in June is recognized as National Seersucker Day in the United States, an observance that began in Congress during the late 1990s to celebrate the traditional congressional summer dress in the days of the early 20th century before air conditioning reached the Capitol.

Apropos his quiet persona, Tom Hagen makes his inconspicuous return in The Godfather, Part II, seen almost in silhouette against the window as he greets the smarmy, crooked, and proudly blunt Senator Pat Geary (G.D. Spradlin) in the Don’s Lake Tahoe estate on the day of his son’s first communion. Continue reading

Tony Soprano’s Aloha Panel-Print Shirt in “Irregular Around the Margins”

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 5.05: "Irregular Around the Margins")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 5.05: “Irregular Around the Margins”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Newark, New Jersey, Spring 2004

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Irregular Around the Margins” (Episode 5.05)
Air Date: April 4, 2004
Director: Allen Coulter
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been the unofficial start of the summer season with cookouts and amusement park openings, despite the solstice itself still being a month away. (Today also concludes Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, highlighting a topic that anchors to The Sopranos‘ central narrative.)

Many spent time during self-isolation this spring to catch up on classic TV shows, with The Sopranos frequently cited as a show that people were re-watching or discovering for the first time. As we’re hopefully moving away from the weeks and months of social distancing, I want to take a look at one of many summer-friendly looks from the show’s central character, conflicted Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano played by James Gandolfini, who deservedly racked up three Emmy Awards among other accolades for his portrayal. Tony brings a summery sartorial spirit to a moment of isolated indoor frivolity in “Irregular Around the Margins”, the memorable fifth episode of The Sopranos‘ fifth season.

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