Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The beauty of A Single Man

Tom Ford's A Single Man.

For many months now, I've been hearing that Tom Ford’s debut feature is a sumptuous mix of Mad Men and Far From Heaven and I cannot recall ever being as excited by a films style credentials. On Sunday afternoon I finally grasped the opportunity to watch Ford's directorial debut. Armed with a colossal coke and a ponderous tub of popcorn I took my slightly uncomfortable seat, ready to watch the beauty wash over me. It certainly didn't disappoint in this regard. The film is a thing of beauty. From a lingering shot of a perfectly placed tie bar to a languarous close up of plump lips dragging on a cigarette, Eros makes his presence felt at every turn. The Ninety nine minutes of running time can reduced succinctly and accurately in a mere sentence or two. The rest of the film demonstrates a number of shooting techniques including countless saturation changes but very little else other than a splendidly rose tinted snapshot of 60's American style...

"It takes time in the morning for me to become George, time to adjust to what is expected of George and how he is to behave. By the time I have dressed and put the final layer of polish on the now slightly stiff but quite perfect George I know fully what part I'm suppose to play." George Falconer.

As expected, A Single Man is as impeccable as the director's own crisp, exact menswear collections."It was clear in the script how meticulous George is," says costume designer Arianne Phillips. "There was a fastidiousness and perfectness to the way he was planning the last day of his life." George is the type of man who has a daily uniform, a drawer full of perfectly starched, crisp white cotton shirts which reminded me of our post on Personal Uniforms last year. Phillips started her research with 1960s sack suits, then made the silhouette more appealing to the contemporary eye. Produced in Ford's factory in Italy, Falconer's suits manage to be both boxy and form fitting at the same time but a part of me would have preferred to have seen the sack suits.

The costumes on the supporting players are just as memorable. Kenny (played by Nicholas Hoult attempting an interesting American accent), a student who comes to Falconer's emotional rescue, appears somewhat angel-esque in a white mohair sweater. The sweater was modeled after one Phillips discovered in a book of 1960s street-wear photos taken by Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger. "It was one of my inspiration photos for the character, so Tom suggested we make a sweater like it. We had a weaver in London do it." For the benefits of a style blog, style over substance is no bad thing, let the following images wash over and inspire you...

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