Michael Caine as Chester King, aka “Arthur”, secret agency chief
London, Spring 2014
Film: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: January 29, 2015
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Martin Nicholls
WARNING! Possible spoilers ahead!
This week’s second consecutive post featuring style from Kingsman: The Secret Service celebrates the 85th birthday of Sir Michael Caine, CBE, the iconic star who established himself in fashionable ’60s fare like Alfie, The Italian Job, and The Ipcress File. In the latter film, a grounded response to the spectacle-laden James Bond franchise, Caine’s bespectacled spy Harry Palmer would provide a template for the distinctive look to be adopted by the agents of Kingsman five decades hence. Continue reading
Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, corrupt Atlantic City politician and bootlegger
Atlantic City, January 1920
Series: Boardwalk Empire
Seasons: 1 – 2
Air Dates: September 19, 2010 – December 11, 2011
Creator: Terence Winter
Costume Designer: John A. Dunn
Tailor: Martin Greenfield
In less than two hours, liquor will be declared illegal by decree of the distinguished gentlemen of our nation’s congress… to those beautiful ignorant bastards!
In the first episode of Boardwalk Empire, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson raises a glass to toast the ratification of the Volstead Act, a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States, effective at midnight on January 16, 1920, exactly 98 years ago today. Continue reading
Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo, smooth CIA operative
Berlin and Rome, Spring 1963
Film: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Release Date: August 2, 2015
Director: Guy Ritchie
Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of the more stylish films released in recent years, transporting audiences back to the oft-romanticized height of Cold War spying in mid-’60s Europe. The movie reboot serves as a prequel for the popular TV show, which starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as American spy Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin, respectively.
Henry Cavill’s interpretation of Solo retains much of the easygoing efficiency and sophistication originated by Vaughn in the role, and I left the theater wishing I was heading directly to the shop of Timothy Everest, who tailored Cavill’s distinctive and debonair suits for the film.
For my inaugural Solo post, in response to requests from readers Noel and Andrew, I am choosing to focus on a flashy suit that gets plenty of screen time. Continue reading
Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent
Mexico City, November 2015
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime
Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican public holiday to remember and support the spiritual journey of deceased friends and family. This year, as it did last year when Bond “attended”, the multi-day celebration begins on November 1 and ends tomorrow, November 2.
I’ve received several requests to cover the outfit that James Bond wears during the Día de Muertos celebration in Mexico City, and I would like to also direct readers to the excellent analysis of this suit featured at Matt Spaiser’s site The Suits of James Bond, where Matt also developed an excellent digital reconstruction of the suiting that can’t be missed. Continue reading
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, eccentric and romantic millionaire bootlegger
New York City, Summer 1922
Film: The Great Gatsby
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin
Car Week is wrapping up with a yin to Monday’s yang. The first post this week looked at the big yellow Rolls-Royce tourer from the 1974 adaptation of The Great Gatsby and the suit Robert Redford wore while driving it. The car was practically as close as the one mentioned in the novel, but the suit was too dark and too contemporary to be accurate with the suit in the novel.
Today’s post looks at the more recent 2013 adaptation directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The film nicely brought to life the “caramel-colored suit” that Fitzgerald wrote about in the novel, but the Rolls-Royce of the novel is now an anachronistic supercharged Duesenberg. I can’t complain too much since the scenes of Gatsby driving his Duesy are some of the most exciting moments in the movie. Continue reading