Tagged: Weekend Casual

Don Draper’s Plaid Party Jacket in “The Runaways”

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.05: "The Runaways")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.05: “The Runaways”)

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Jon Hamm as Don Draper, conflicted ad man

Los Angeles, Spring 1969

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “The Runaways” (Episode 7.05)
Air Date: May 11, 2014
Director: Christopher Manley
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Despite being one of the most popular shows in the streaming service’s stable of non-original content, today marks the last day that Mad Men is available to Netflix subscribers in the U.S. The first part of Mad Men‘s seventh and final season spends time with displaced ad man Don Draper as he travels from coast to coast by plane, juggling his professional aspirations in New York with his slowly stagnating marriage in L.A.

The geographic reversal is interesting, not only in the context of Mad Men but also in the east vs. west trope espoused by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Henry David Thoreau, as we’re used to seeing Don romanticizing California even when professionally soaring through the ranks of Madison Avenue’s advertising world. Now, his position has shifted with decided roots in L.A. via second wife Megan (Jessica Paré) taking up residence in Laurel Canyon to further her acting career while, back in New York, he’s been reduced to a glorified intern at the agency he helped to start… and that’s just in the eyes of those who are comfortable working with him.

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The Yakuza: Ken Takakura’s Navy Baracuta G9

Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka in The Yakuza (1974)

Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka in The Yakuza (1974)

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Ken Takakura as Ken Tanaka, disciplined ex-Yakuza

Tokyo, Spring 1974

Film: The Yakuza
Release Date: December 28, 1974
Director: Sydney Pollack
Costume Designer: Dorothy Jeakins

Background

Fans of ’70s action would no doubt appreciate The Yakuza, Paul Schrader’s debut screenplay, co-written with his brother Leonard Schrader based on Leonard’s own experiences in Japan. A driving factor that compelled the brothers to finish their initial script was the stoic screen presence of Ken Takakura, who appeared in the film as the ex-akuza gangster who now teaches kendo.

Ken takes up his sword as part of his giri with Harry Kilmer (Robert Mitchum), formerly a U.S. Marine MP who had dated Ken’s sister while serving in Tokyo during the post-WWII occupation of Japan. Loosely defined as a lifelong debt that can never truly be repaid, the giri concept is central to The Yakuza, in which Ken describes it to Harry as “the burden hardest to bear” and refuses to rid himself of his obligation even when Dusty (Richard Jordan) suggests that the nature of his debt is relatively arbitrary.

Having arrived in Japan in search of his associate’s kidnapped daughter, Harry seeks out Ken’s assistance, but the blood they spill rescuing the young woman results in Yakuza contracts placed on both Harry and Ken, a threat that can only be eliminated by Ken killing the powerful gangster Tono (Eiji Okada) with a sword. While Harry arms himself with a .45 and a double-barreled shotgun, Ken takes a katana to appropriately exact his vengeance on the dangerous crime boss.

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Grand Prix: James Garner’s Derby-Style Jacket

James Garner as Pete Aron in Grand Prix (1966)

James Garner as Pete Aron in Grand Prix (1966)

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James Garner as Pete Aron, determined Formula One driver

Monaco, Spring 1966

Film: Grand Prix
Release Date: December 21, 1966
Director: John Frankenheimer
Costume Supervisor: Sydney Guilaroff

Background

The 2020 Monaco Grand Prix was to begin today, which also commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Monaco Grand Prix’s first inclusion in the inaugural FIA World Championship. Unfortunately, the spread of the dangerous coronavirus pandemic resulted in the race being cancelled for the first time since the 1954 Formula One season.

“In my opinion, still the best picture ever made about auto racing,” wrote James Garner in his memoir, The Garner Files, an opinion into which I put a lot of stock given the actor’s real-life passion for racing and his characteristic modest regarding his own cinematic career. Continue reading

Mad Men, 1970 Style – Don’s Finale Flannel

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.14: "Person to Person")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.14: “Person to Person”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, former ad man in search of himself

“Somewhere in California”, Fall 1970

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “Person to Person” (Episode 7.14)
Air Date: May 17, 2015
Director: Matthew Weiner
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Five years ago today, Mad Men‘s final episode “Person to Person” aired on AMC, concluding a decade’s worth of storytelling as we followed advertising director Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his family and colleagues as they navigated the tumultuous 1960s.

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Gary Cooper’s Picnic Blazer and Day Cravat in Love in the Afternoon

Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon (1957)

Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon (1957)

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Gary Cooper as Frank Flannagan, wealthy playboy industrialist

Yvelines, France, Summer 1957

Film: Love in the Afternoon
Release Date: May 29, 1957
Director: Billy Wilder
Costume Designer: Jay A. Morley, Jr. (uncredited)

Background

April 23 is celebrated as National Picnic Day, an observance that can still be observed in relative isolation for those willing and able to safely venture outdoors. The word “picnic” derives from the late 17th century French word pique-nique that had originally described restaurant diners who brought their own wine, essentially an early form of BYOB. In the years following the French revolution, the word took on its more familiar connotation as the country’s royal parks were opened to the greater public, who would spend hours and even days preparing lavish luncheons for outdoor dining. Given this French association, let’s check in on two classic film stars enjoying a picnic near Château de Vitry in the 1957 romantic comedy Love in the Afternoon.

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Steve McQueen in The Blob

Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews in The Blob (1958)

Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews in The Blob (1958)

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Steve McQueen as Steve Andrews, headstrong teenager

Chester County, Pennsylvania, Summer 1957

Film: The Blob
Release Date: September 12, 1958
Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.

Background

As today would have been Steve McQueen’s 90th birthday, let’s take a look at his first starring role, a sci-fi/horror drive-in favorite called The Blob. A personal favorite of producer Jack H. Harris, The Blob was filmed on location in southeastern Pennsylvania on a low budget that, depending on the source, has been quoted as anywhere between $110,000 and $240,000, a cost kept low thanks in part to the low $3,000 salary that the then-struggling actor McQueen had accepted to afford short-term expenses like food and rent.

After two uncredited movie roles and scattered TV bit parts across the mid-1950s, McQueen’s credited feature film debut was in Robert Stevens’ 1958 crime drama Never Love a Stranger, which also featured his future Bullitt co-star Felice Orlandi. Less than a week after the premiere episode of Wanted Dead or Alive aired on CBS in September 1958, The Blob was released in theaters with “Steven McQueen” first-billed.

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Stranger Things: Hopper’s “Cutting-Edge” Aloha Shirt

David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode 3.04: "The Sauna Test")

David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode 3.04: “The Sauna Test”)

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David Harbour as Jim Hopper, small-town police chief

Indiana, Summer 1985

Series: Stranger Things
Episodes:
– “Chapter Two: The Mall Rats” (Episode 3.02, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
– “Chapter Three: The Case of the Missing Lifeguard” (Episode 3.03, dir. Shawn Levy)
– “Chapter Four: The Sauna Test” (Episode 3.04, dir. Shawn Levy)
– “Chapter Five: The Flayed” (Episode 3.05, dir. Uta Briesewitz)
– “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum” (Episode 3.06, dir. Uta Briesewitz)
– “Chapter Seven: The Bite” (Episode 3.07, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
– “Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt” (Episode 3.08, dir. The Duffer Brothers)
Streaming Date:
July 4, 2019
Creator:
 The Duffer Brothers
Costume Designer: Amy Parris

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Netflix recently announced that the fourth season of its sci-fi/horror runaway hit Stranger Things has commenced production, so we can likely expect it to hit within a year. In the meantime, as I’m enjoying a “spring break” of my own with a trip south to sunny Florida this week, I’m taking a much-requested look at the “cutting edge” Aloha shirt that Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) wears in all but one episode of the series’ third season.

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Rod Taylor’s Baracuta Jacket in The Glass Bottom Boat

Rod Taylor as Bruce Templeton in The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Rod Taylor as Bruce Templeton in The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

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Rod Taylor as Bruce Templeton, charismatic aerospace lab chief

Long Beach, California, Spring 1966

Film: The Glass Bottom Boat
Release Date: June 9, 1966
Director: Frank Tashlin
Costume Designer: Ray Aghayan (credited with Doris Day’s costumes only)

Background

In the years since I’ve started this blog, I’ve discovered that there are many unsung “style heroes” that are often lost in the discussion of Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Steve McQueen, including actors like Rod Taylor who brought understated elegance to flatteringly tailored suits and timeless casual attire alike.

I was first familiar with Taylor in The Glass Bottom Boat, one of my grandma’s favorite movies and one that we used to watch until we wore the VHS tape thin. Last year, I was delighted to see that my friends Shawn Bongiorno and Ryan Hall had collaborated on a series of Instagram posts that highlighted a look from the movie, and that inspired us to put our heads together and take a deeper dive at a springtime essential that Taylor wears.

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The Irishman: Pacino’s Burgundy Polo as Hoffa

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman (2019)

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman (2019)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, pugnacious and passionate labor official

Detroit, Summer 1975

Film: The Irishman
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In addition to today famously being St. Valentine’s Day, it’s also the birthday of Jimmy Hoffa, who was born February 14, 1913, and was most recently portrayed by Al Pacino in The Irishman. The crime drama epic was released on Netflix more than three months ago with considerable fanfare, eventually garnering ten Academy Award nominations (but no wins) including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for both Pacino and Joe Pesci.

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Bond’s Leather Coat and Aston Martin in The Living Daylights

Timothy Dalton poses with an Aston Martin V8 as James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987)

Timothy Dalton poses with an Aston Martin V8 as James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987)

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Timothy Dalton as James Bond, British government agent

Bratislava to Vienna, Winter 1986

Film: The Living Daylights
Release Date: June 27, 1987
Director: John Glen
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous
Costume Supervisor: Tiny Nicholls

Background

For a wintry #CarWeek post on the 00-7th of December, let’s look back to Timothy Dalton’s first—and best, in my opinion—adventure as James Bond in The Living Daylights, adapted and greatly expanded from Ian Fleming’s short story of the same name, though the primary plot of Fleming’s story is used up during the pre-credits defection sequence.

After noticing that reportedly a KGB sniper was a beautiful blonde cellist during the opening defection, Bond returned to Bratislava to meet the woman, Kara Milovy (Maryam D’Abo), in person. He persuades her to accompany him to Vienna, evading and eventually out-driving their KGB pursuers in 007’s tricked-out Aston Martin, which had been “winterized” and loaded with gadgets by Q (Desmond Llewelyn), MI6’s esteemed and exhausted quartermaster.

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