This film features the year's best-dressed actors
Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, Phantom Thread, has a lot of people talking.
They’re saying it’s inspired by designers like Dior and Balenciaga. That it’s Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film. That it’s awards-season catnip. We’ll say this: It’s the year’s best-dressed movie. That’s thanks to Academy Award-winning costume designer Mark Bridges, who’s worked on everything from The Artist to 8 Mile.
“If there is such a thing as Method costume design, I do it,” Bridges says. “I shop where the character would.” So Bridges and Day-Lewis (who is something of a sleeper menswear icon himself) went on a spree outfitting the impressively named Reynolds Woodcock, the 1950s English couturier who carries the film.
They picked up accessories at London stalwarts Drake’s and Hilditch & Key. They ordered magenta socks from Gammarelli, an outfitter to the Vatican, as a nod to Woodcock’s eccentricity. Handmade shoes came from George Cleverley, where the actor is a regular. (Day-Lewis once spent five years apprenticed to a cobbler, so footwear was a priority.)
“I often work with actors from the feet up,” Bridges says. “I knew if Daniel was getting shoes made from his usual guy, we’d be fine.” But those are details. Everything hung on the tailoring—a point of pride for someone of Woodcock’s era and class. So they went to Anderson & Sheppard, the Savile Row tailors who redefined taste in the 1930s with the “English drape”—a soft, unstructured jacket with natural shoulders, high armholes, and some breathing room at the chest and back.
“The drape of that suit has not changed much since the 1930s,” Bridges says. They quickly assembled a country suit (“extremely heavy tweed”), two city suits (“double-breasted, for his salon”), one shawl-lapel tuxedo (“barathea wool—unbelievably elegant”), and a thick blue tweed overcoat so popular the tailors took turns wearing it around the shop.
Once the wardrobe came together, Day-Lewis had no trouble inhabiting the clothes. “He just chose what he thought should be worn on that day,” Bridges says. And while the garments are period-perfect, there’s a lot of takeaway for today’s guy—starting with the value of buying from the best. “That was always the secret of British bespoke,” Bridges says. “You buy it once, buy it well, and never worry about it again.” Words to live by.