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“You’re wearing a 44 Long when you should be wearing a 42 Regular” – Crazy, Stupid, Love.

With Crazy, Stupid, Love released on DVD last monday (30th January) I thought I would review the costume choices shown in the romantic-comedy-drama as lets face it… Ryan Gosling looks good in anything – especially a perfectly fitted suit. Forget the women, the men in the film outshine them completely when it comes to the fashion – usually a rarity.

I can’t explain the plot of the film without giving away a massive spoiler but to give you the general gist – Cal  (Steve Carrell) is, in his mind, in a happy, loving marriage – little does he know that his wife does not feel the same, and this in-turn affects his life in a big way – confidence-wise and fashion-wise. Becoming frustrated with Cal and his drunk-feeling-sorry-for-himself routine in a bar he picks up girls regularly, Jacob – a young, handsome, smooth-talking man (Gosling – who else?!) steps in to help – no sympathy involved, just pure, brutal honesty.

Giving a helping hand, Jacob plans to transform Cal’s love life by practically turning him into a double of himself – sharp suits, charming chat-up-lines and confidence.

This is the beginning of the film – just look at those trainers – New Balance 407s to be exact. It’s clear that he needed a little wardrobe help.

…and here’s the man to do it.

Pictured above, Jacob is wearing a Albert Hammond Jr. for Confederacy (the guitarist from garage-rock-band The Strokes) navy suit with a brown lapel accent – it’s super smart and made perfect to fit Gosling’s body. The rest of Jacob’s wardrobe is everything you would expect – Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy.

It doesn’t go unnoticed when a guy makes an effort with his appearance –  everything in this photo screams expensive. The custom made Gossuin shirts fit Gosling so well, he looks so dapper and it’s obvious that the whole outfit has been made especially for his body – every inch of fabric is moulded to his physique.

Even when Jacob dresses down he remains classic and sophisticated – costume designer Dayna Pink wanted him to not own a pair of blue jeans like the rest of the world does – even when he’s just hanging out at home with on-screen girlfriend Hannah (Emma Stone) he’s wearing a buttoned down Henley and a pair of Gucci smart trousers.

Cal isn’t the only one who has a transformation costume-wise – Jacob – known for his expensive suits and smart style becomes a lot more comfortable with himself when he meets Hannah and this is shown through the choice of clothing at the beginning of the film and the end of the film – a casual buttoned-down polo shirt – something he wouldn’t have worn in public before he met her.

This is the first time we see the ‘new’ Cal – his face says it all. Although he looks stylish – he doesn’t understand the term ‘layering’ and responds to compliments from Jacob with “I feel like I’m going skiing.” Although he’s uncomfortable in the clothing, his fashion sense has improved a lot and we start to see a slightly more confident Cal due to the shop assistant agreeing that she would probably sleep with him.

Draped in Canali and Prada throughout his conversion from drab to dapper – we see Cal at the end of the film wearing a custom-made Zenga grey/silver suit with a crisp white shirt underneath – no tie, one suit button undone and his hands in his pockets – hurrah! He’s found himself. Comfortable, confident, and happy – everything he once was in his early-marriage had returned – it’s amazing what clothing can to do you as a person and how it can change you. Retail therapy all the way!

Watch Crazy, Stupid, Love on DVD now. 

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Top 5 fashion in film moments of 2011

2011 was a a year with plenty of stunning costumes and I set myself the challenge to narrow them down to just five … five!

In no particular order here are my top five fashion in film moments of 2011:

One – Black Swan

 

Despite the controversy  surrounding the film’s costume design due to the Mulleavy sisters (who are a part of the fashion company Rodarte and contributed towards the fashion choices in the film) not getting recognition at the BAFTA’s whereas the overall costume designer Amy Westcott did, Black Swan to me, is an obvious and memorable choice in fashionable films when I think back throughout the year 0f 2011. Although I am in no position to point fingers and decide who deserves what in terms of recognition for the costumes, what I do know is that it is undoubtedly award-winning worthy.  The phycological thriller takes the aspect of the white swan symbolising the pure and virginal side to the lead of Swan Lake, Nina (played by Natalie Portman) whereas the black swan is highlighting the evil and powerful side, therefore it’s not surprising that the performance costumes are colour coded black and white throughout. The jewel-encrypted bodices, feather tutu’s and the illuminating head pieces are so impressive but don’t expect to see your childhood dreams of ‘I want to be a ballerina when I grow up’ envisioned on screen, as the wardrobe choices and identity shown are much more dynamic. The film heavily influenced the catwalk and fashion world with designer Chanel taking their dark and ballerina-esque clothes into the Spring season and French footwear designer Christian Louboutin designing his very own ballerina shoes with an eight inch heel. Now, they would be far too painful to wear.

Two – My Week With Marilyn

 

Marilyn Monroe was the definition of glamour and a 1950s sex symbol so it’s probably not much of a shock to see this film in the top five. Michelle Williams portrays Monroe in the British Drama My Week With Marilyn which focuses on the particular time in her life when her husband Arthur Miller leaves the country. Monroe is so iconic that it would be a tragedy to portray her wrongly – in terms of fashion everything is spot on but we see her behind the scenes – the private side of her, not the glamourous gowns but the signature dark black shades, white stiletto heels and wool overcoat. She’s so stylish it’s probably not long until the high-street shops are stocked full of Monroe inspired items with shoppers wanting to recapture the 1950s subtle and classy look. Costume designer Jill Taylor created the vintage-style wardrobe for the film in just six weeks, purchasing items from vintage fairs and shops, auction houses and markets to give an honest and true to the character depiction of Monroe. The film is focused at a weak and vulnerable part of Monroe’s life, therefore this is played on a lot showing her wrapped up in a dressing gown, highlighting the need for comfort, not the Hollywood glamour. A must see film for everyone, especially those who adore 1950s styling which is easy enough to recreate today – grab a shirt, pencil skirt, stiletto heels, dark sunglasses and throw in some hair curlers and you are good to go.

Three – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

 

It’s always nice to see Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law on the same screen so I was very much looking forward to seeing the second installment of Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows and I wasn’t disappointed – plot wise and fashion wise. Before I start I thought it best to mention first that in the film we see Downey Jr. in a dress and I thought I would also assure you that there are plenty of clever and humorous scenes in which we see Holmes camouflaged in some outrageous disguises … something that fictional character Sherlock Holmes is well known for doing so. Watson played by Jude Law and Sherlock’s sidekick is radiating style, obviously well groomed and with fashion a clear interest in his life, with his perfectly non-creased shirt,  a Harris tweed jacket, top hat and leather gloves. Holmes is looking dapper too but in his own way – he has that look that he’s just thrown something on yet looks high-class with a slightly scruffy look – whereas it’s very obvious Watson takes pride in his clothing. In one scene in the film we see Holmes wearing a wideawake hat (similar to a trilby), a heavy coat jacket, embellished waistcoat, smart trousers, a silky scarf and round teashades (glasses) – all of which is spot on or extremely similar to the Victorian era in which it is set in. Many of the clothes from the first Sherlock Holmes (2009) were kept and used for this film, as well as sourcing clothes from Cosprop – a Hampshire based costume hire company, specifically original period costumes. A brilliant wardrobe for a brilliant cast – a must see film, even if it’s just to see Downey Jr. in drag.

Four – Drive

 

What a year Ryan Gosling has had and to be involved in my opinion the best film (on all counts) of 2011 he has quickly became a favourite to many in the film industry. Drive, based on a Hollywood stunt performer (played by Gosling) who also has second job as a getaway driver is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and has an outstanding cast in the form of English beauty Carey Mulligan , Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston (see this post) and Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks. A man of very few words (the film has little dialogue – not that this is a bad thing), Gosling wears a silver-white satin jacket which is inspired by Korean souviner jackets from the Fifties and has a scorpion motif on the back which becomes his trademark look throughout most of the film – a memorable wardrobe choice. Gosling looks effortlessly cool throughout the duration of the film (and offscreen I may add) with a slight colour coding in his costumes – the caramel brown gloves match the inner collar of his jacket which in turn matches his shoes. Gosling or the ‘unnamed driver’ wears a variety of well known brands during the film including a vintage Levi’s denim jacket which had to be multiplied by twelve due to the amount of blood in the scenes and a Henley t-shirt which originated from soldiers who wanted to wear an extra layer underneath their wool and fighting jackets which gave off a scruffy mechanic look. Only Gosling could pull of the costumes in the film, I couldn’t quite imagine the likes of say, Seth Rogen pulling off the satin jacket, aviator sunglasses and toothpick in mouth combo. Sorry Seth.

Five – The Help

Mad Men eat your heart out. Costume Designer Sharen Davis created some beautiful pieces for book adaptation The Help which is based during the 1960s and focuses on the time when African-American maids worked in white households in Jackson, Mississippi. The styling has 1960s written all over it – women’s retro tweed suits, cat-eye sunglasses, simple tea dresses and bold floral print tailored dresses – basically my idea of heaven, being a big fan of Mad Men as well. The accuracy of the costumes is perfect and presents the era properly – head to toe the characters are dressed appropriately – everything down to headwear – bows and silk scarves are included. A lot of the characters including Skeeter (played by Emma Stone) wear the classic a-line skirt with a patterned blouse or a sleeveless shirt with high-waisted trousers… very Joan Holloway or Peggy Olson. The pastel colours with full skirts nipped in at the waist are very flattering and capture a very feminine look for the cast. Oh how I wish I was born in the 60s.

There you have it, my top five fashion in film moments of 2011. What are yours?

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