The Talented Mr. Ripley
While there are many cinematic gems that continually serve as fashionable inspiration for any summer holiday, one flick we frequently return to is Anthony Minghella's 1999 adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Between the sun-drenched Mediterranean locations, beautiful cast, and suspenseful twists-and-turns, this motion picture is everything you would want out of a good psychological thriller. However, we would be lying if we didn't admit that one of the main reasons we continue to revisit this movie is due to the stunning costume designs and styles worn by the main characters: Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and, in particular, Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow). Hints of her character's blueblood-debutante-gone-dolce-vita style were also seen this season on some of our favorite runways, specifically Dolce and Gabbana and Nicole Fahri. And while Marge's fashion choices morph from carefree to dramatic as the story progresses, we have decided to pay homage to her warm-weather wardrobe while living in Mongibello (a fictional resort based on Positano and filmed in Ischia) in today's edition of Currently Channeling.
For those of you who didn't catch the film, let us give you a quick overview-apologies in advance for being vague, but we don't want to reveal too much! During the late fifties, Tom Ripley, a bathroom attendant in New York City, borrows another man's Princeton jacket to play the piano at a highbrow party. At said soiree, he meets a shipping magnate who offers him $1000 to go to Italy and convince his dilettante son, Dickie, who is living the good life of an American expatriate abroad, to come home and assume his role in the family business. Tom accepts this unusual proposition and we next see him on the craggy Amalfi coast insinuating himself into the lives of Dickie and his girlfriend Marge. Tom grows accustomed to their bon vivant lifestyle (days sunning on his yacht Bird-named after Charlie Parker-and his nights playing and listening to jazz) and develops an amorous obsession with Dickie, first wanting to be with him, and then desiring to be him. Needless to say, Something Bad happens, creating a domino effect of nerve-jangling plot twists, where Tom assumes Dickie's identity and finds himself in a cat-and-mouse game with the Italian police that will have you on the proverbial edge of your seat.
Though the ending may not be happily-ever-after, what ensues is without a doubt one of the most stylish and literate film adaptations (the movie is based on Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name) and stuffed to the gills with sophisticated and lively retro-chic glamour (Anne Roth received an Oscar nomination for best costume design). While you will certainly be waiting with bated breath to see how this films ends, we can guarantee that you will also be thoroughly absorbed by the breathtaking on-screen visual feast!
Michael Kors Madison Vintage Sunglasses($225)
Though glasses are a cinematic symbol for confusion, clarity, and double vision, we simply love these tortoiseshell specs for their perfectly old-fashioned-yet-modern feel! Whoever said men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses, however, clearly never laid eyes on this vintage-inspired pair from American design master, Michael Kors!
Zara White Fedora ($26)
Though Dickie Greenleaf characteristically sports a black felt porkpie topper, we think this Panama-style fedora would be the ideal way to shield your face from too much summer sun!
Boden Breton Bikini Top and Bottom ($72)
Marge may wear an assortment of sherbet-hued and pretty printed bikinis throughout the film, however, our favorite is a red and white two-piece that she not only wears in the water, but also under her signature collared button-ups. Accordingly, we found this similarly striped suit from Boden because it is eye-catching, figure-flattering, and would look brilliant against the blue Mediterranean sea, as well as under any summer tunic!
Guerlain Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent Body Mist ($55)
While it may sound relaxing, we can't in good conscience recommend baking in the hot sun for days on end. Instead, opt for this body mist from Guerlain, which will hydrate the skin, accentuate your tan (thanks to its tan-booster formula), and add a splash of summery floral scent! It won't give you that mahogany, dipped-in-gold luster that Gwyneth's character sports in the film, but the bottle alone is sure to impart some seasonal sophistication and glow!
House of Harlow 1960 Carnelian Dome Ring ($65)
Though a jade pinky ring plays a pivotal role in revealing key plot points the film, we like this solid gold-plated style from House of Harlow 1960 just as much. The piece looks like it could be a treasure discovered at a craftsman's shop in Naples (where Marge bought the aforementioned ring for Dickie!).
American Apparel Unisex Pinpoint Oxford Short Sleeve Shirt ($52)
One of the most dynamic elements of style in this film is the fusion of menswear-inspired sportswear staples, like a crisp-collared white cotton shirt, with more feminine pieces. Though Marge often knotted her classic button-down at her waist (exposing a tiny sliver of midriff), she also draped this top over her bathing suits. We suggest doing the same, or you can even tuck them into an A-line skirt to create a very era-appropriate ensemble!
Castaner Pilar Espadrille ($218)
Here at Who What Wear headquarters, we always have our eyes peeled for the perfect summer sandals. We set our sights on these espadrilles due to their indigo hue and storied history, as both are beautiful. Founded in 1927, Castaner has been the manufacturing quality and authentic espadrilles for the well-heeled for decades (not to mention collaborating with Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin). As such, it's completely feasible that these espadrilles would be in Marge's closet, adding a little regional flare and European craftsmanship to her trans-continental costumes!
Bread and Butter Sail Away Skirt ($178)
This full twill skirt has Mr. Ripley written all over it-literally! The dainty paddleboat sketches accent the maritime leitmotif of the Italian seaside, while the generous silhouette and knee-length hem is pure fifties style. Slip this skirt on for an al fresco lunch and prepare for the compliments to pour in!
Superga Torino ($65)
These Italian-made sneakers are a modern-day version of a pair of white cotton lace-ups that Marge wears while lounging around her Mongibello villa. We also happen to think that these Supergas would look just as smart with a summer dress or a pair of denim shorts!-KM