Over the last century there have been many iconic images in the movies of men looking at their best, their most evil, their most emotional, based on how they dressed. It is a starting point for all actors, when they put on the clothes, they become the character they are portraying. And none demonstrate this better than three of the most iconic male leads of the 20th Century, Cary Grant, Michael Douglas and Brad Pitt.
Now you may come up with a whole list of other leading men that you think out strip these, but think back, who but Cary Grant can be chased through the American countryside by a plane and still look immaculate in a suit?
The perfect cut of Cary Grant's suit was the best of Savile Row tailoring. Kilgour, his tailor for the film and personally, were negotiated as part of his contact for appearing in the film North by Northwest with the director, Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant was known for having his shoes dyed to match the colour of his suit to give a perfect finish to the look. Grant spent his life excelling at playing tall, dark and handsome while immaculately turned out.
Nearly 20 years later, a costume designer was approached by Oliver Stone to design for his film simply called 'Wall Street'. While discussing the premiss of the movie, Stone described the story as 'men in suits', however the designer would have none of it. "No, it isn't. It's about power, money and seduction'. Thus was born the iconic 80's villain in bespoke menswear, Gordon Gekko. The epitome of 80's excess, Gordon Gekko was to become the symbol for a generation.
What finer moment was there than when Brad Pitt walked on to the screen in his skinny tie, crumpled shirt and distressed leather in the film, Seven. This look was copied by millions of men around the world as we all bought into the look of the man of steel with the heart of gold.
Three completely different looks but all iconic, and copied around the world for months, if not years after. Fundamentally, all three follow the basic rules of classic tailoring, quality fabric and cut with a twist. Cary wore his suits with class and panache, Michael Douglas took the suit into the power game and Brad's relaxed feel to the tailored leather jacket and trousers looks as good today as it did 20 years ago.