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  • Fashion
  • Films
  • Issue 44

Wardrobe Malfunction

Why does the fashion in films so often disappoint?
Words by Rosalind Jana. Photograph by 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? 

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four

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