18 January 2011

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To III

The final installment of They Don't Make Them Like They Used To is here...

Walk The Line 2005

Johnny trying out a different colour
"You look like you're going to a funeral!"
"Maybe I am..."

Reese Witherspoon as June Carter and co star Amazing Hair

Matching nightwear to the telephone is always a must in the world of June Carter.
The real Johnny and June...
Frankly it's embarrasing how much I love this film. It doesn't have any amazing interiors or a massive ensemble, and yet it just looks so good. I'm certain life for June and Johnny wasn't as easy as the Hollywood version but from what I've read they did know how to dress.
What I love about Arianne Phillip's work on the film as costume designer is that she made two very different characters through their outfits. In the photos above of June and Johnny together they are puposefully never co ordinating. June in an eye catching checked coat and Johnny inadvertantly even more eye catching with Raybans on for church. Before coming to Walk The Line Phillips had worked as a stylist for other musicians and this is seen in how strong June's wardrobe is. June Carter had been on the stage from such a young age and this is seen with the confidence her outfits are arranged; definetly no room for drab plaid. Altogether a wonderful reflection of the best parts of 1950s and 1960s, way before Don and Betty Draper got their hands on it.

The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999

Tom Ripley looking delightfully out of place.

Amazing cardi and beret combo Marge!

There's something about Gwyneth Paltrow that I just prefer when she is in a cardigan and 1950s dresses. Maybe it makes her look more human.. anyway Sylvia nearly made it onto the list but the chaps don't quite cut the mustard. The Talented Mr. Ripley on the other hand, is chock a block full of brilliant suits, swim outfits and horn rimmed glasses. Why don't men dress like this anymore? Surely it's a no brainer, just look at what Tom Ripley gets away with fixed up so sharp. The entire film centres around Ripley's ability to deceive through appearance and I love watching the transformation process in the setting of a gorgeous Italian town and later in Rome.

Bright Young Things 2003

Say what you like about Stephen Fry but he does throw a good party...

Adam Fenwick-Symes and Nina Blount
Agatha Runcible and Miles Malpractice played impeccably by Michael Sheen.

It would have been a dream to work in the costume dept for this film, so much brilliant detail such as Nina's leather wrist gloves and broach here.

Too too shy making. Agatha Runcible is my favourite character in the film due to her impeccable dress sense and uncanny ability at one liners.

Stunning country not so casuals.
As a novel Vile Bodies is difficult to follow and Fry seems to have reflected this in the brilliant casting of so many well known talents. They all seem to vie for the audiences' attention, just as anyone reading Vile Bodies will find it impossible to follow one character through a journey in the novel. Stockard Channing is the perfect example of this- you feel her character Mrs Melrose Ape could fill up an entire film with her moral lectures.
Colonel Blount, my second favourite character. Tie? Check. Tissue? Check Fez? Check. Oversized horn?
Doubting Hall- another great name by Waugh
Adam goes to visit Nina's father, my favourite scene in the film. I love how the set is designed to appear at once wealthy and haphazard with a strong sense of faded grandeur.
Nina's flat is my favourite interior in this film... I love the set down stairs, so perfect for making a grand entrance.
When it's lit up like this it reminds me of Kettners, a restaurant in Soho, before its renovation a few years ago. Stunning.
Nina's beautiful dressing gown.

No it is not my aim to include a reference to Bright Young Things or Vile Bodies in every post I do, and I'm sure I'll stop soon, but this time I just couldn't help myself. Infact you probably shouldn't know that after a seminar I attended on Vile Bodies where I had spent sixty minutes listening to people slate Evelyn Waugh and basically completly missing the point of the novel, I decided to go down to the pet shop and purchase Aubrey so I could spend every rainy day watching BYT with perfect company.

The costume and attention to detail in this film help set the difficult tone to a story set in Interwar London. Partying bordered on an obession for the Bright Young People, and BYT shows perfectly how their outlook clashed with the rest of England who were able to follow their every move in the papers and largely found them repugnant. Scenes of lavish decadence stand in stark contrast to the asylum Adam finds Agatha staying in, and the flat Nina is found in at the end of the war. Coming out of the Victorian age and having survived a First World War, the Interwar period was an era of contradictions and this can be seen throughout BYT. The styling of Agatha and Miles are my favourites. Agatha in provocatively masculine suits and trousers whilst to a contempory audience of Vile Bodies Miles's outfits would probably have been downright shocking. Now they all just look stunning.

All BYT photos from Sweet Sunday Mornings blog.

La Vie En Rose
Pans Labyrinth
Gosford Park
Rosemary's Baby
American Psycho


  1. such good choices! and that has to be one of the best cardigans ever x

  2. I like the Walk the line and Mr. Ripley :))
    what about follow each other :) ?