ripley1_crop.jpgThe Talented Mr. Ripley

In the wake of Anthony Minghella’s unexpected death, we thought we might take a look at the sartorial legacy his short body of work has left. His longtime collaboration with costume designer Ann Roth—beginning with *The English Patient*—cast a long shadow over his short body of work. His movies had a real sense of style, remarkable for both its faithfulness to the period and its emotional effect.

ripley2_crop.jpgPhilip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles

*The Talented Mr. Ripley* saw the most relatable use of this style. (Much as we love Saharan Africa and the Civil War-era South, you won’t find them in Bloomingdale’s.) The movie focuses on the American émigré class in 1960s Italy, and is practically a primer on the preppy style that emerged in those years.

Club ties mix with various J. Press regalia, while Matt Damon’s bumbling Tom Ripley stumbles through the scene looking appropriate but out of place. In one scene, he is mocked for wearing a corduroy jacket in Italy, while another scene sees Freddie Miles mocking his “bourgeois” taste in furniture. The film is a thriller, so it naturally escalates to deception and murder, but the clothes remain unstained. Ripley’s style improves, but by the end his sartorial virtues seem to echo his inner decay.

ripley3_crop.jpgRipley in Venice

There are many more stylish movies, but few that make a style seem so ominous.

-R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom