Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman
Los Angeles, September 1937
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Now that summer is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s high time to make sure that you’ve got some duds in your closet that are as appropriate for a day at the office as they are for the sunniest season.
A self-employed gumshoe like J.J. Gittes calls his own shots. As Chinatown is set in 1937, suits were de rigeur for men, but Gittes is hardly the type to rely on the gray flannel suit trope, especially in the sunny southern California locales. 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
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko, smug and successful Wall Street businessman
New York City, Spring 1985
Film: Wall Street
Release Date: December 11, 1987
Director: Oliver Stone
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick
Tailor: Alan Flusser
Returning to the office on Monday is no excuse to slack off on your wardrobe, especially on Wall Street. Continue reading
Sean Connery as James Bond, sophisticated British MI6 agent
Miyazaki, Japan, Summer 1966
Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Sean Connery’s wardrobe as James Bond is remembered for its timeless elegance, developed for his first appearance as the character in Dr. No. The elements of Connery’s Bond style generally differed from Ian Fleming’s literary vision, with Connery often sporting gray suits rather than blue, long-sleeve shirts rather than short-sleeved, and derby shoes rather than non-laced casuals.
However, there are a few occasions where Connery’s 007 sartorially overlapped with Fleming’s vision. His dark blue suit when visiting Osato’s Tokyo office in You Only Live Twice thus serves as an appropriate post for the 00-7th of May, Ian Fleming’s birth month. Continue reading
Burt Lancaster as J.J. Hunsecker, powerful and domineering newspaper columnist
New York City, Fall 1956
Film: Sweet Smell of Success
Release Date: June 27, 1957
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Costume Designer: Mary Grant
One of my favorite movies is Sweet Smell of Success, the atmospheric film noir starring Burt Lancaster as a Walter Winchell-like columnist and Tony Curtis as the opportunistic young PR flack desperate to get in good with him.
Ernest Lehman, who contributed to the screenplay based on his own novelette, declined to direct the film due to his fear of Lancaster, but the actor’s aggressive and volatile temperament paid off to create the needed aura of his intimidating character, the sort of man who could and would destroy an enemy’s career on a whim. Continue reading
Robert Shaw as Donald “Red” Grant, lethal SPECTRE assassin
Istanbul, Spring 1963
Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards
Robert Shaw set the Bond franchise standard as the dangerous Donald “Red” Grant in From Russia With Love, one of the most memorable antagonists in the series.
Grant is arguably the archetype for subsequent villains that followed his laconic, icy blond example like Vargas in Thunderball, Necros in The Living Daylights, and Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies, though none could ever match Robert Shaw’s truly menacing presence on screen. Continue reading
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, sophisticated British secret agent
St. Petersburg, Russia, April 1995
Release Date: November 13, 1995
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
I’ve been featuring a number of looks from the James Bond series lately, but I would hate to let that get in the way of the 00-7th of March! Since we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this month, it seems obvious to me that we should also be celebrating the Irish actor who delivered his own brand of debonair charm to the role of 007.
In his inaugural outing, GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond is relaxing in the pool of his St. Petersburg hotel when he is cornered by the alluring assassin Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen). Bond gets the upper hand – among other parts – and convinces Xenia to introduce him to the mysterious syndicate behind the disappearance of a missing satellite. Continue reading