Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Thomas Crown is a British Tailoring Affair

"The film remains one of the most empowering intersections between masculinity and sartorial expression ever captured by the camera's lens." Wei Koh for the The Rake.

I've been suffering from the most serious form of 'man flu' and in typical, gender form have spent the last week or so moaning to anyone and everyone who would listen, well when I've had the energy to. In amongst all the grumbling, I've slept a great deal and watched a fair bit of daytime TV. Thankfully the odd movie or two breaks up the terrible daytime offerings, otherwise I might have lost my mind by now. I was able to watch a film I've been meaning to for some time, The Thomas Crown Affair. The 1968 original of course, not the 1999 Pierce Brosnan remake.

Steve McQueen's magnificent wardrobe stole the show the 1968 heist film. Few leading men have looked so well tailored as McQueen did in his role as the high-class jewelery thief. It is little surprise then that the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Timothy Everest and Ozwald Boateng all regard it as one of the most influential moments in men's style. Of course, the film has its critics, even in 1968, audiences realised it was a film of style over substance, but there is nothing wrong with that now, is there? There is plenty of eye candy what with Ferrari GT 250s, Rolls Royces, Faye Dunaway's thirty one costume changes and of course, McQueen's wonderfully British tailored splendour. The Thomas Crown Affair is something of a catalogue of '60s conventions, from its clipped editing style to its photographic trickery, to its mod design, the decades stlye oozes out from every pore.

It was up to British tailoring legend Doug Hayward, the man responsible for Michael Caine's super lean suits in The Italian Job, to outfit McQueen in this marvellous array of suits. The suits are perfectly representative of classic British tailoring. There are of course classic three piece suits, waistcoats without lapels, two button coats with well-suppressed waist, a gold Patek Philippe pocket watch and a wealth of other sartorial perfections. Every detail of McQueen's dress is executed with perfect sartorial precision and it certainly eased my aches and pains whilst watching it. As I return to the sofa feeling sorry for myself, I will leave you with the original trailer to enjoy...

10 comments:

Mouse said...

But I LOVE the Pierce Brosnan remake!

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mouse: But have you seen the Steve McQueen version? I concede that the remake out does the original in terms of story and hollywood style entertainment but not in terms of style. The original was ahead of its time in that sense...which for the purpose of the blog is all that really matters.

bobblebee said...

The McQueen version is over the top. It's so avant-garde for its time.
And geeez... McQueen pulls the tailoring like no one else! :D

Michael said...

I have always thought McQueen looked much better and much more comfortable in casual wear.

Style Salvage Steve said...

bobblebee: It certainly is over the top. Quite an odd film to watch really when high on lemsip! Ha!
Michael: The clothes make the man here rather than the other way around but I think he looks pretty comfortable. McQueen was certainly at his most naturally stylish whilst wearing classic sportswear, Harringtons, shawl collared etc but in this film he really showed how great a tailored look could be with the jacket off.

Giancinephile said...

it could be likely for ME to consider it as an epoch of style in cinema... I have to see this one with McQueen as I've only seen the Brosnan remake which wasn't particularly much eye candy on my behalf...

Giancinephile said...

And I'd just like to add on the McQueen thing and the Ferraris: MAJOR eye candy. haha

I can't seem to get over this one particular image of McQueen and a Ferrari from the Sixties. It has been stuck on my head since last year...

SustantivoMasculino said...

~slick and tailored.. so clean on edges and makes a real gentleman.

Florent said...

I was not too fond of the Pierce Brosnan remake... at all.
But it is not the point : it indeed seems to be an exquisite to British classic tailorism. For I who seek such inspiration, it is a goldmine! I'll go and rent it right away! (or download it illegally).

Love it!

Florent - http://www.lhabitfaitledandy.com/

Paul Rayson said...

The director of the original beatifully described the film as a "love affair between two shits". I'll watch the sequel. I find Brosnan a bit cheesy, otherwise I'd have done it by now. I understand the post is well over a year old, by the way, but this is a fast response for me. Paul Rayson, Steve McQueen Style

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