Clark Gable as Victor Marswell, big game hunter
Kenya, Summer 1952
Release Date: October 9, 1953
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Helen Rose
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Red Dust was a steamy 1932 pre-Code drama that starred Clark Gable as a rugged yet caddish outdoorsman embroiled in a love triangle with the brassy Jean Harlow and the classy Mary Astor. The film was remade two decades later with Gable reprising his similar role though, in true Hollywood fashion, the two female leads were recast with the younger Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly, respectively.
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, New York mob associate and club owner
New York City, Spring 1964
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
It’s gonna be a good summer.
…as Jimmy Conway tells Henry Hill after watching him split up the take from a recent robbery at the JFK’s Air France terminal. Cargo thefts had always been a mob tradition, but the April 1967 heist of $420,000 in cash set a new high mark for the mob as the proceeds were all in “totally, totally untraceable”. No need for shady fences or risky transactions of stolen goods.
Henry dresses fashionably for the robbery, wearing a herringbone sportcoat that shows up a few times throughout the course of Goodfellas. It’s a fine primer on how one can dress for a date, a heist, or even burying a mob murder victim. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, recently reactivated British secret agent
Bahamas, July 2006
Film: Casino Royale
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
After a brief lesson in How Not To Vacation 101 (getting a beautiful bedmate killed, stabbing an international arms dealer in the middle of a museum, being mistakenly arrested as a potential plane bomber, and checking his work e-mail), James Bond is taken back to the Bahamas via helicopter to meet with “M” and discuss his future.
What’d He Wear?
Following his adventure in Miami, Bond returns to the Bahamas via helicopter, dressed far more casually than he was for his initial arrival. Although casual, it is still a classically simple look and provides Bond with his first on-screen polo shirt since the Connery era. The outfit is very fitting for the warm climate and can be easily adapted for any man. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, rogue British secret agent
Bolivia, Summer 2008
Film: Quantum of Solace
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Recently, I covered Butch Cassidy’s attire while in Bolivia. Exactly 100 years later, James Bond was wreaking havoc on the country in Quantum of Solace. Of course, real Bond fans know that the film’s version of “Bolivia” was actually filmed in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Some have complained about Bond wearing jeans for these scenes, but it’s actually very utilitarian and – come on already, people – this was 2008, not 1958. With some jeans costing thousands of dollars, albeit impractically, denim has come a long way from being the domain of the laborer. Continue reading
Jon Hamm as Don Draper aka Dick Whitman, overwhelmed Madison Avenue ad man
Los Angeles, September 1962
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “The Jet Set” (Episode 2.11); “The Mountain King” (Episode 2.12)
Air Date: October 12, 2008; October 19, 2008
Director: Phil Abraham; Alan Taylor
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
By the end of Season 2 – or 1962 in the show’s timeframe – Don Draper has endured a year of struggling. Although excelling at work, still wowing clients right and left, his home life is in turmoil after his wife finally kicked him out when his extramarital dalliances became one affair too many. When he’s sent to California on a business trip, he gradually begins to realize the opportunity open to him and he embraces the chance to take an impromptu vacation. Continue reading