Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, expatriate American journalist
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Summer 1960
Film: The Rum Diary
Release Date: October 28, 2011
Director: Bruce Robinson
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
“In summary, this airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy,” heralded Hunter S. Thompson’s honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force in November 1957, a considerable understatement given the iconic writer’s eventual symbolic anti-authoritarian status.
Following his discharge, Thompson tried a few journalistic stints in New York but was fired by Time (for insubordination) and the Middletown Daily Record (for damaging a candy machine) and moved to Puerto Rico in 1960.
Having failed to procure a position with the San Juan Star, Thompson wrote for the El Sportivo sporting magazine… though it folded quickly after his arrival. His experiences in San Juan formed the basis of The Rum Diary, a novel that he penned shortly after his return to the U.S. the following year, although it wasn’t published for more than three decades.
While it would be inaccurate to describe The Rum Diary as a strict roman à clef, its morose, restless narrator Paul Kemp is clearly modeled on Thompson himself, and Thompson’s friend Johnny Depp was naturally tapped to play the role in the film adaptation. Continue reading
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, casino heister and hotel manager
L.A. to Vegas, June 2007
Film: Ocean’s Thirteen
Release Date: June 8, 2007
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
With Memorial Day in our wake, it’s now sartorially safe to whip out the white suitings from the back of your closet when dressing to impress this summer.
One movie that most influenced my own summer style during my formative years was Ocean’s Thirteen, a celebration of sprezzatura from Al Pacino’s bold business wear to the vivid outfits sported by Bernie Mac. For me, it was Rusty Ryan’s flashy suits and sport jackets that lingered in my mind when eyeing new summer threads. Continue reading
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, bootlegger and former Atlantic City political boss
Havana, April 1931
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Episode: “Golden Days for Boys and Girls” (Episode 5.01)
Air Date: September 7, 2014
Director: Tim Van Patten
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
To commemorate this unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day tomorrow, BAMF Style is checking in with fashion plate Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire as he enjoys a warm spring evening in Havana at the start of the fifth season.
Having exiled himself to Cuba in the seven years since we last saw him, Nucky is still wheeling and dealing in the illegal liquor trade, currently working on an export deal with the good folks of Bacardi rum in the possible wake of Prohibition’s imminent end. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent
Morocco, November 2015
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
For Ian Fleming’s upcoming birthday on May 28, BAMF Style is taking a look at a navy suit worn by Daniel Craig in Spectre… the closest approach to Fleming’s outlined sartorial vision for James Bond’s business dress since Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice (link).
Through the course of his Bond books, Fleming had often stipulated a dark blue suit of tropical weight worsted or serge, worn with a white short-sleeved shirt, black knit tie, and black moccasin slip-ons. The filmmakers discarded the exact details (like Fleming’s preferred short-sleeve shirts) but adapted the outfit’s simplicity into the agent’s on-screen style.
More than 60 years after Fleming drafted his first manuscript for Casino Royale on a typewriter in Jamaica, Daniel Craig’s James Bond allows himself to be lured into a trap set by his oldest enemy, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), who reveals himself to be “the author of all your pain.” Continue reading
Robert Redford as Jack Weil, smooth, cynical gambler and U.S. Navy veteran
Havana, December 1958
Release Date: December 14, 1990
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Bernie Pollack
Gambling is Jack Weil’s raison d’être. Having arrived in Havana on Christmas Day 1958 to make the most of the city’s poker scene, Weil never anticipated getting caught up in the throes of the Cuban Revolution… unless it would get him laid or make him an extra buck.
Of course, his chance meeting with Roberta Duran (Lena Olin) made both possibilities an enticing reason to help the cause. Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Spring 1973
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
Ever have one of those days where you just feel like you’re surrounded by idiots?
Welcome to the life of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, the meticulous gambler tasked by the Chicago mob with running the Tangiers casino in Las Vegas. Of course, Rothstein is a fictional interpretation of the real-life Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, but the issues faced by Casino‘s Ace were all too real.
Despite the complications of running a Vegas casino, Ace still found the time to be a hell of a dresser, borrowing a sartorial approach from the real-life Lefty Rosenthal to create ensembles like this creative mix of somber charcoal and bold pastel pink. Continue reading
Jean Dujardin as Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, suave French agent OSS 117
Cairo, Spring 1955
Film: OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
(French title: OSS 117: Le Caire, nid d’espions)
Release Date: April 19, 2006
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Costume Designer: Charlotte David
Tailor: Joseph Kergoat
After exploring the handsome blue suit worn by Sean Connery in that most parodied of 007 flicks, You Only Live Twice, BAMF Style is continuing its theme of debonair international spies in blue suits with a look at Jean Dujardin’s tailored suit in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. Continue reading