"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...