Wardrobe Malfunction Why does the fashion in films so often disappoint?

Wardrobe Malfunction Why does the fashion in films so often disappoint?

Issue 44

,

Fashion, Films

  • Words Rosalind Jana
  • Photograph Mária Švarbová

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (2017) is a film about a man obsessed with dressmaking. At one point, dissatisfied with a lace and zibeline silk gown made for a royal wedding, Reynolds Woodcock takes a step back, mutters “It’s just not very good, is it?” and then collapses. 

Strangely, for a film all about fashion, the same question could be leveled at many of the clothes we see on screen. The gowns that Woodcock brings into being are often more dowdy than dreamlike. This caused some confusion when the movie was first released. Was it intentional—a reflection of the somber sartorial mood in London in the 1950s—or was it just that the costume designer didn’t hit the mark? 

The costuming of films and TV shows that adopt fashion as their subject can be fraught. Take t...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)