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Tag Archives: Benedict Cumberbatch

The Imitation Game’s Costume Design: What do Code Breakers Wear?

18 Nov

Film costume design analysis is a rare venture for this site (TV is in the title for a reason) and it is not because film doesn’t offer up plenty of talking points; The Imitation Game takes me into my first foray into movie costuming with a look at Sammy Sheldon’s excellent work. The muted tones we come to expect from a production that is set in World War II* are present, however there is actually a lot of color and pattern throughout showing this period as far more than the sepia/earth tones it is often portrayed as featuring an endless stream of. Austerity doesn’t mean a strict uniform of clothes and there are plenty of outfits worn by the women in The Imitation Game that would not look out of place today (someone start an Etsy store for the cardigans featured in this movie please). Some spoilers ahead.

*I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I have yet to see the TV show Bletchley Park (it’s on my list) and when I do I would love to do a comparison piece between the two.

The Imitation Game Alan TuringAlan Turing’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) introduction to Bletchley is in stark contrast to the man we see in the latter years of his life. A well put together and somewhat clashing tweed suit, Prince of Wales check shirt and Prince of Wales tie complete his interview look when we first meet Alan. The man we see during the later period is not interview ready as a bathrobe is part of his everyday attire and even when he is out in public his clothing is on the rumpled side; he is a broken man and as the narrative weaves between the three time periods (Alan’s schooldays, Bletchely and Manchester in the early 1950s) costuming is an indicator of his mental state and how barbarically he has been treated.

The Imitation GameWhen the first Imitation Game trailer was released the piece most coveted was Joan Clarke’s (Keira Knightley) cardigan, which looks like a code in itself.  This vintage item is one of the many patterns we see throughout the film and it is something Joan wears on more than one occasion (I can’t tell you how much I love it when costumes are repeated). Suit wise the guys all have their own distinctive style and levels of dishevelment are at varying points depending on how futile the code breaking task is at that point. There are a lot of long sleepless nights as they try to crack Enigma and Alan’s lack of tie/jacket/rumpled shirt are all indicators for how terribly it is going.

Imitation GameAlternately Matthew Goode’s Hugh is the most put together of the team, even when things have reached peak awful; the waistcoat and dark blue color sets him apart emphasizing his confident demeanor and alpha status (and as Joan points out that he’s a bit of a cad). Clashing tie/shirt patterns (sometimes in a three-way pattern off with suspenders) is part of the code breaker look with Peter’s (Matthew Beard) sweater vest looking much like Joan’s cardigan as a code of its own making. While some of Joan’s attire would look perfectly fine if worn today and not at all like 1940s dress up, the high waisted trousers and shorter ties worn by the men are very much of this time. Unless Her has predicted the future of male pants fashion. Tweed is very much Alan’s staple jacket choice and they all look like the academics that they are; chosen to be part of this very important top secret mission for their intellect.

The Imitation Game Keira knightleyOne person who isn’t from the academic field is Stewart Menzies (Mark Strong) and the double breasted pinstripe suit jacket has a way of demonstrating that he is a powerful man for a not yet know about organization and one of the key figures in this overall operation. Charles Dance is another commanding office and his military prowess is easy to convey through his uniform, plus he’s Charles Dance so it’s not a hard thing to sell.

The Imitation Game JoanBack to Joan and the main injection of femininity into the film and just because her clothing has a slight frivolous edge (polka dots and later Peter Pan collars) she is still a vital part of the team and Alan’s closest friend at Bletchley. The picnic scene (which I sadly don’t have a photo of) is another strong blue outfit for Joan and it is one you can see on display at Bletchley Park along with various other costumes and props from The Imitation Game. It’s also worth noting that most of Joan and Alan’s emotionally charged scenes occur when Joan is in blue; this is visual reminder of their bond. Joan’s hat game is strong and I’m wondering if this is something that can be pulled off in 2014.

Come award season (which we are currently dipping our toes into) Sammy Sheldon will hopefully be recognized for her excellent work as she has created not just one but three timelines worth of pieces (I haven’t mentioned Alan’s school uniform, but it does an excellent job of showing his traditional education and formative years). As I have already mentioned the pleasant surprise comes from how colorful Joan’s wardrobe is without detracting anything from her intellect or value to the Enigma breaking team. You can wear pretty clothes and still be a genius.

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Out of the Box: Look of the Week

16 May

So many red carpets this week including the several Upfronts events we have already looked at (here and here) and “Out of the Box” is covering the best of everything else. We’ve got dudes looking dapper in suits and some super cute dresses now the weather is finally of the sunshine variety.

Matt BomerThe Normal Heart is on the anticipated list and Matt Bomer is a power clashing delight at the premiere, wearing checks, polka dots and floral. This Tom Ford suit is exquisite and so is the dude wearing it.

Samira WileyThis is a fun, flirty dress on Orange is the New Black’s (which is back in under a month!) Samira Wiley and the dotty trim at the bottom make it way more than just a run of the mill navy frock.

Claire Danes and Hugh DancyHere celebrating Born Free Africa Mother’s Day Family Carnival is Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, with Danes wearing a Marni maxi dress that is part of the exclusive Born Free range (available on ShopBop). It’s a beautiful design and it looks perfect for the warmer weather that is coming, plus it has pockets (always a bonus) and the proceeds go to an excellent cause. Dancy’s pale blue Oxford shirt and dark blue pants is the perfect complement to pinks on Danes’ dress and I’m digging his brown shoes.

Benedict CumberbatchAn event at Windsor Castle hosted by Prince William is time to bring out the big guns and once again Benedict Cumberbatch is showing just how it is done; repeating the success of this Met Gala attire this time opting for a suit rather than grandiose tails.

Rashida JonesRashida Jones is making up for the Met Gala by wearing this beautiful Tanya Taylor ensemble. The skirt has a 50s kick to it and paired with a silk ivory tee it manages to look retro without feeling costumey. The side pony tail and pink lip add a fun and simple edge; this is a really great outfit and could go toe-to-toe with some of the other floral and spring inspired looks from the Upfronts this week.

Rachel BilsonRachel Bilson looks adorable in a Mary Katrantzou floral print shift dress at the CW Upfront. The green and pink design is striking and pairing it with white Bionda Castana heels doesn’t detract, nor does it get the same blah effect a nude pair of shoes would give. The Hart of Dixie star is as delightful on the red carpet as ever.

OITNBLast night was the premiere for season 2 of Orange is the New Black and the red carpet stylings are as wildly different as the characters these women play. Taylor Schilling’s skull covered – which I first thought were Stormtroopers – Monique Lhuillier dress is a striking and bold look. Both Uzo Aduba and Danielle Brooks have gone for a different take on the full skirt/crop top trend and I love both interpretations. Aduba has gone for chic simplicity and Brooks has opted for deep purple/fuchsia, with Aduba adding a colorful pop with her lipstick choice. All three women are wearing metallic heels (once again three very different types) and they look amazing.

Best of the 2014 Met Gala – Part Two

6 May

Continuing our look at the Met Gala celebrating Charles James and part two (head here for part one) is focusing on the couples and dudes.

Emma StoneEmma Stone and Andrew Garfield have been on the promo trail for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for months it seems and both of them deliver once again. While I’m mourning the loss of Andrew Garfield’s incredible hair, Emma Stone is doing a good distraction job with a chunky side-braid that’s making me long for hair that can be tied up again. Stone’s Thakoon two-piece in pink and magenta is incredibly eye-catching and the leg slit is tastefully provocative. In a grey Band of Outsiders tux jacket, Garfield is complementing the pinks of Stone’s ensemble while also standing out himself.

Diane Kruger and Joshua JacksonDiane Kruger and Joshua Jackson were on the most anticipated list and they didn’t disappoint. Diane Kruger’s Jason Wu for Hugo Boss is sleek and the contrasting shimmery fabric on the bottom half is mesmerizing. Jackson doesn’t look too bad either. So many Pacey feelings right now.

Beyonce and Jay-ZBeyoncé’s black beaded Givenchy Couture gown is super sexy and like nothing else we saw on the red carpet at the Met Gala. The beaded veil ties the look together and the pop of burgundy lip color adds more dramatic impact. This is a great turn from Beyoncé and she tends to bring her A-game to this event (and to everything she does really). Jay Z is looking pretty dapper in a white tux jacket.

Sarah Silverman and Michael SheenSarah Silverman tends to do things differently on the red carpet and on this occasion she is wearing a maroon Zac Posen that is possibly the best interpretation of the 2014 theme (maybe tying with Taylor Swift). Michael Sheen’s done the decoration part of the dress code and the couple will be appearing together in the new season of Masters of Sex (which I’m already super anticipating).

Blake LivelyOne couple who don’t tend to pose together on the red carpet did away with this eye roll inducing policy last night. Both Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are wearing Gucci with Lively injecting some old Hollywood glamour into the Charles James celebration. This gown is pure Blake Lively (maybe too much) and the train adds a hint of romanticism to the look.

Claire Danes and Hugh DancyClaire Danes’ Oscar de la Renta gown is one we featured during NYFW and where Emma Stone’s ensemble is putting a contemporary twist on the Charles James theme, Danes is doing the same with color blocking pink and burgundy in a classic structured gown. The velvet/satin material twist is doing something different and a beardy Hugh Dancy looks pretty sharp in his traditional tuxedo.

Kim KCredit where credit is due as Kim Kardashian shows a big improvement on last year’s floral disaster. Maybe it’s the recent Vogue cover, but both Kim and Kanye look pretty damn good in Lanvin. Kanye’s gone all in with tails and a white piqué vest and while Kim’s daring thigh split was problematic, there’s no need to dwell on that when they look this good.

Matt BomerNow to the dudes and Matt Bomer in a tux is pretty much all I need to say.

Benedict CumberbatchFollowed quickly by Benedict Cumberbatch in tails and he’s observing the dress code for the guys which asked for white tie and decorations – most have the white tie down, but Cumberbatch goes the extra distance with a pocket chain. Very dapper indeed.

For part one of our Met Gala coverage head here.

Sherlock Mini-Episode Released: “Many Happy Returns”

24 Dec

While yesterday’s Orphan Black teaser didn’t reveal a whole lot, the same can’t be said for the Sherlock mini-episode which has been released ahead of the season 3 launch. While it doesn’t explain how Sherlock faked his death it does show what he has been up to in the two years between that moment and when season 3 returns. It’s a lovely video gift from the BBC and here at TV Ate My Wardrobe we say thank you! Not only that, but we get a glimpse at John’s new house and let’s just say we have wallpaper envy.

Sherlock returns on New Year’s Day in the UK and January 19 in the US.

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