Sharp-dressed Dan

How Daniel Day-Lewis’s farewell film be­came the men’s-wear epic of the year.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Style -

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 men’s-wear icon him­self) went on a spree out­fit­ting the im­pres­sively named Reynolds Wood­cock, the ’50s 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. (DayLewis 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 ’30s 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.”

From bot­tom left: Day-Lewis in a win­dow­pane-checked coun­try suit; a pair of shoes by George Clev­er­ley; Day-Lewis prop­ping up a Bris­tol 405 in a heavy blue tweed over­coat; swatches by Bri­tish tai­lors An­der­son & Shep­pard.

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