FAMOUS FOR HIS TASTE AND ATTENTION TO DETAILS, IN HIS MOVIES WES ANDERSON CREATES PERFECT PASTEL-HUED WORLDS POPULATED BY CURIOUS AND ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS WITH UNIQUE LOOKS. HERE ARE ALL THE OUTFITS SPORTED BY THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE MALE CHARACTERS.
The links we draw between Wes Anderson and the fashion world are endless. An inveterate perfectionist, the director is known for his meticulous attention to detail, which results in perfect and extremely studied scenes, in the constant search of symmetry as well as in certain chromatic combinations and the outfits, which often play a pivotal role in the characterization of the characters. Almost in any case, in fact, Wes Anderson’s characters wear the same outfit for the entire duration of the film, like a second skin, something that in some way traps them in a particular pattern of movements and characteristics.
The director’s style has often crossed paths with the fashion world, providing not only a fertile ground for inspiration for some of the most prestigious fashion houses but also a chance for actual collaborations. In 2013, with Roman Coppola, the American director had directed a series of three commercials for Prada aimed to launch the Candy fragrance; later in the same year, he also worked for a short film for Prada, “Castello Cavalcanti”, a picturesque video set in a typical Italian square in the 50s. And how can we forget the most recent Christmas spot shot by Anderson for H&M?
Not to mention the impact that the look of his characters – some become iconic – have had (and continue to have) on popular culture as well as on high fashion. If at first Wes Anderson was considered the one who dictated the style codes and the imagery of the perfect hipster, now that nostalgic narrative is everywhere and is no longer the preserve of a subculture (if hipsters could have been considered so). Even the catwalks have seized his nostalgic and vaguely intellectual looks, above all Gucci who totally embraced the Wes Anderson-style, giving it a touch of glam. BUTif Margot Tenenbaum’s look with her tiny hair clip, her short tennis dresses and long fur, has become a legend, also male characters sport some different and compelling styles.
Let’s start from the beginning, from “Bottle Rocket”, the film of Wes Anderson’s debut. Here we find the two young Wilson brothers (Owen and Luke), also at their debut, struggling with a series of improbable adventures as they try to pull off the coup of their lives. The style is raw and strictly 90s, short sleeved collared shirts with tacky fantasies and zipped turtleneck sweaters. Most iconic, the bright yellow jumpsuits the two protagonists pick as their uniform.
In “Rushmore” things take a different turn, and we go back in the classroom with the brilliant (and obsessive) Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman). School uniform is the key, but the real highlights are the accessories: a pair of tortoiseshell framed glasses and a bright red French beret.
2001 comes and with it the director’s masterpiece, the movie that will forever mark his aesthetic: “The Royal Tenenbaums”, the story of a family of child prodigies who lost their way and as adults find themselves trapped in their childhood. The two Tenenbaum brothers sport as different as instantly recognizable styles: Chas (Ben Stiller), has abandoned the role of the entrepreneur in suit and tie that distinguished him as a child and, now a paranoid adult, wears a comfortable classic adidas tracksuit, in bright red and white stripes – a kind of “uniform” that also his two children wear; Richie (Luke Wilson), tennis player going through a career crisis, wears a beige suit, sunglasses and sport headband on his forehead, a legacy of his burned career. A couple of other pretty unique outfits are those of Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), who wears a blue dress with gold details, yellow bow tie and matching pocket handkerchief, and that of the extravagant family friend Eli Cash (Owen Wilson), a cool Texan look, complete with a white hat and suede fringed jacket.
Another film which at the time gave new inspirations to the current hipster scene was “The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou”. Inspired by the nautical world, here we find the simplest and probably the most iconic style of Anderson’s filmography: red beanie, light blue shirt and the perfect mise is served.
In 2007, we move to East with “The Darjeeling Limited”. Traveling on a special train across India, on a journey that should help rebuild their lost relationships, the three Whitman brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) dress in a rather similar style, all with classic and elegant suits, in contrast to the colorful and exotic atmosphere of the film – a contrast that becomes even more evident when the protagonists start to wear flower necklaces and red bindis on the forehead.
The scene changes radically in “Moonrise Kingdom”. All the events revolving around the elopement of a ‘deserter’ boy scout, the predominant style in the film is linked to the scouts world and Edward Norton, in the role of a suffering head scout, wisely show all the tricks of the trade: shorts and khaki uniforms, white socks, wide-brimmed hat and yellow scarf around the neck.
In “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, on the contrary, the atmosphere is tinged with pink, ultra-saturated colours and vivid contrasts, and we move into a luxurious hotel populated by memorable characters. The purple uniforms of the staff stand on the hotel’s pink or bright red walls. The style master here is Monsieur Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), the eccentric and gracious concierge. To create his look Anderson’s perfectionism reaches its peak to the point that the purple jacket’s trimmings are in same red of the walls.
2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” deserves an honourable mention. The main character of this brilliant film in stop motion might not be a human but has style to spare. In his beige corduroy suit with cigarette trousers and double-breasted jacket he could be the envy of anyone.