If you take a quick look at our ‘Most Stylish Films Of 2016’ list below, you might think, depending on your taste in films of course, that it could’ve easily appeared under the header ‘Best Films Of 2016’ instead. This is no coincidence. Ever since the likes of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Marlon Brando and James Dean graced the silver screen in the 1950s, the greatest films have often been defined by well-dressed central characters. And whether a film is set in a 1970s dystopia (High-Rise) or a modern utopia (A Bigger Splash), it’s difficult for a director to craft a convincing world without a commanding wardrobe. From floral shirts to suede and Stetsons, these are this year’s best-dressed (and also pretty brilliant) films.
Whoever directed the adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 classic – a near-future set novel depicting the bacchanalian activities in a high-rise apartment block – had to be exceptional, given how well-loved the source material is. Ben Wheatley rose to the occasion. He decided to stay true to the book and set his film in the 1970s, meaning plenty of double-breasted jackets, neat polo shirts, and Tom Hiddleston in an impeccably-cut, slightly flared grey suit. And, owing to the residents’ penchant for a good party, there is some classic eveningwear to appreciate, too. Not sure about you, but we’ve never seen a dystopia look so inviting.
A Bigger Splash
One look at the trailer for this Luca Guadagnino directed film and we knew it was going to be easy on the eye. Especially when you learn that it’s based on La Piscine, a film inspired by a Hockney painting and starring Alain Delon – perhaps the coolest man to grace the silver screen. If you want to invest in the perfect summer wardrobe a little (OK, a lot) early, look no further, and take note of Matthias Schoenaerts’ easy denim button-downs (and well-cut shorts) and Ralph Fiennes making a strong case for the pink shirt.
The long overdue film about the trials and tribulations of Oasis went much as we expected. Some sing-a-long anthems and an absolute shedload of fucking swearing. But, because we see him wearing nothing but a flammable hoodie these days, one surprise was remembering just how cool Liam Gallagher was in his heyday. If he wasn’t masterfully pilfering John Lennon (we mean the shades, rather than the melodies – but those too) then he was bossing a sheepskin coat, or pushing boundaries in a cream safari jacket. In one scene, he even makes a polyester floor-length football manager’s jacket look good. Arsène Wenger, take note.
The Magnificent Seven
Menswear is a cyclical business. So it was with little surprise, yet much pleasure, that we welcomed back ‘Wild West’ cowboy clothes for SS17. From Topman to Missoni, designers are digging out their pearl-snap silk embroidered shirts and denim and suede jackets once again. So, a film which updates a 1960s classic featuring the likes of Denzel Washington wearing, well, all of the aforementioned (including some dodgy waistcoats, we must admit), earns a Stetson tip from us.
Described by critics as a ‘middle-aged buddy movie’, you might not expect Chevalier – an absurdist black comedy in the same vein as The Lobster – to be a hot bed of style. But the subtle dress sense of the six affluent men who embark on a fishing trip in the Aegean Sea (which turns into a long game of one-upmanship) caught our eye. You simply can’t really argue with colour-block sweaters, rib-necked zip-up knitwear, and cosy yet refined loungewear. So relax, embrace the older you, and dress like 40-something-year-old Greeks this winter.
Made by the world’s most stylish man, it would’ve been weird if psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals didn’t make this list. But, unlike Tom Ford’s last directorial outing – 2009’s A Single Man – it isn’t for the tailoring. Instead, it’s for some casual yet classic Americana, which populates one of the film’s three narratives (that of a book in which a man’s wife and child are abducted during a road trip). Firstly, there is Jake Gyllenhaal’s plaid shirt, distressed denim and vintage Mercedes (that’s an accessory, right?). Then there’s Michael Shannon – whose 10-gallon hat wouldn’t look out of place atop Pharrell Williams’ head – and his corduroy blazer and tie bar. Not a black suit in sight. Maybe Mr Ford directed with his eyes closed to avoid mental scarring.
The Nice Guys
Men’s collections have been obsessed with the 1970s for a couple of seasons now, so a film set in LA in 1977, and starring Ryan Gosling, was likely to be a looker. And this dark (or should we say neon-lit?) comedy doesn’t disappoint. This is a world of floral shirts, wide lapels and gold aviators – in which Gosling, who plays a private investigator trying to solve the case of a missing girl, parades around in a timeless, deep navy suit which Burberry have been trying to make since forever it seems.
Florence Foster Jenkins
Set in 1944, Florence Foster Jenkins is based on the true story of a New York heiress who became a (very bad) opera singer. So it features lots of white tie: the most formal dress code for men, requiring a tailcoat (with peaked, not notched, lapels), patent leather footwear and a white cotton bow tie. Hugh Grant, who plays Ms Jenkins’ husband, scrubs up rather well in it. And it would seem, a wide, peak lapelled pinstripe suit. He also wears an embroidered night gown at one stage. There may well have been a world war on, but that’s no excuse for not looking your best.