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? This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Fashion Issue 44 Under the Sun Far niente, on the faraway island of Alicudi. Design Fashion Issue 44 Michelle Elie An audience with an audacious dresser. Fashion Issue 43 Mind Games Cerebral fashion, from the deepest folds of the cortex. Fashion Issue 42 Off Grid Pack a bag. Pitch a tent. Find a slice of nature to call your own. Fashion Issue 42 Rawdah Mohamed Fashion's new gatekeeper invites everyone inside. Design Fashion Issue 41 Nikolaj Hansson An introduction to courtside cool.