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 50 Capsule Wardrobes Unpicking a fashion staple. Fashion Issue 50 What Are You Working On? David Koma’s current workload. Films Issue 50 Sally Potter The film maestro on her musical debut. Fashion Issue 50 Received Wisdom Marimekko’s creative director, Rebekka Bay, on leadership and finding the right work-life balance. Films Issue 49 Ruben Östlund Crude, contrary—and killing it: Meet the auteur of awkwardness. Fashion Issue 49 Urban Doom A saturnine mélange of subversive styles.