When I met Kumar about a decade ago, he introduced me to the unique world of men's fashion. That initial arousal of my interest in this sub-discipline has grown and has been held ever since. Well, at the very least, I've been "sensitized" to it and can now spot (and smell!) a faux-pas from a mile away! And now, Kumar and myself are forming a dynamic duo (of sorts!) and together, we're endeavoring, to gently nudge and guide men, on to the path of sartorial "enlightenment."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week Three: Fashion Inspiration From Movies - Inception

(Above: Example of Costume Coordination, Inception.)

Movies are a great place to draw fashion inspiration from, especially when it comes to classier, timeless looks. Oftentimes, the fleeting, faddish, fashion-forward styles popular at the time of a movie's production appear outdated when the movie is finally released and you actually get to watch it since months will have had elapsed by then. This being the case, your best bet for to-the-minute fashion ideas are your trusty glossies (e.g. GQ, Esquire, etc.) previewing the creations of fashion powerhouses that predict and dictate trends, seasons in advance and some serious blogs (check out my list!). But really, unless a movie is actually about fashion, then this somewhat difficult to reconcile disparity between the sensitive time-frame involved in producing a movie and the high turnover of fashion trends shouldn't impact a movie or even be seen as a problem. Honestly, though, we needn't worry about Hollywood and their inexhaustible resources!

A tremendous amount of work is involved in both costume design and costume coordination in film. Design, of course, is the fabrication of garments from scratch - think period films where most of the costumes are painstakingly hand-sewn with much attention paid to detail, and much care taken to maintain authenticity and to keep true to the setting of the movie. Coordination on the other hand, essentially involves putting ensembles together out of existing clothes. And while the accolades for this important aspect of movie-making usually go to those period films showcasing full-costumes, honorable mention is in order when it comes to many others films featuring contemporary costumes that still effectively lend to the credibility of their characters.

Kumar is a real movie aficionado. As for myself, the last movie I saw was Inception - that's how much of a movie-fiend I am! Frankly, I still don't understand exactly how many "dreams within dreams" the lead protagist, Dom Cobb, played by the illustrious Leo di Caprio transcends. But then again I saw the movie all but once - in two installments. I also missed some crucial dialogue. Apparently you need to watch it a couple of times in order to get it. Just let me watch it again, and then I promise we'll talk inception!

I did like a lot of the outfits in the film, though. I loved the heir (or heir expropriated of his bequeathment by extraction???) Robert Fischer, jr's conservative business attire on the business-class scene right before they take off to L.A. and he is cunningly induced to a deep slumber. I liked his crisp shirt with the extra-wide-spread collar. I certainly preferred it over Cobb's shirt with the regular-spread collar, as you can see below. I'm not sure who was responsible for deciding who wore what, regardless, Leo certainly got the short end of the "cool-shirt stick" and Cillian Murphy just pulled off the corporate look better. Why am I not surprised? He's Eurpoean! (Well, so is Leo, technically, but he's more of a typically American dresser off-screen and somehow it translates here to his disadvantage.)

Then there's Cobb's right-hand man character, Arthur's three-piece suit (see picture at outset). Again not a huge fan of the regular-spread shirt, and too much taupe on taupe with the tie that you can't even make it out in this picture, but I love the shorter length of the pants and how it's tapered. Doesn't he look like a pawn, or actually, the King, on that chessboard pattern floor??? Just awesome!

I also liked Ellen Paige's student-architect character's get-ups. There was the casual "campus-chic" outfit with which she wore her hair loose and tousled (again, showcased in the picture at the outset for a better view):

...and then the corporate conservative power-suit with which she had her hair swept back into a severe chignon:

Both simply beautiful. Now, I know this is supposed to be a men's fashion blog, but what is a metro without his muse? :)

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