#TBThursday Review: SPECTRE’s James Bond and Other Sharp-Dressed Men


Daniel-Craig-james-bond-BW-e1417693457606Cole Clay // Film Critic

The clothes make the character. It doesn’t take a fashion connoisseur to look at a costume design and draw influence to inflict upon one’s personal style. These silver-screen dreams are meant to be larger than life, something to strive for and emulate. Just take a look at your Facebook feed from Halloween and there must be several cosplay adaptations of famous movie get-ups.

With that being said, at one time or another we have hand-picked some fresh threads that gave us some semblance of feeling like we’re walking alongside the crew from OCEAN’S 11, but sadly, most end up looking like Ducky from PRETTY IN PINK. That’s the magic of movies at work, people.

With the release of SPECTRE (our review here), Daniel Craig’s forth go-round as the elusive James Bond (complete with an army of dashing Tom Ford suits), we at Fresh Fiction are bringing an onslaught of dapper gentleman who are dressed to kill… or drink White Russians.

psychoAMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)

There are a lot of things that can go into looking sharp. A clean shave (although today the same could be said for a well-trimmed beard), new shoes, or a new haircut. No matter how we change our appearance, it is meant to be a source of confidence. AMERICAN PSYCHO takes that notion a step further and shifts it into jealousy.

All of the film’s yuppie jocks at Pierce & Pierce, including Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), use everything regarding image as a power play. Looking at the boardroom scene alone, personal aesthetics are measured in dialogue, whether actual or Bateman’s thoughts in voice-over. Valentino suits, Oliver Peoples’ glasses… but nothing is more suited as a source of power than the business card.

Taking it one step further in the scene where Bateman meets Detective Donald Kimball (Willem Dafoe), he fakes a phone call but immediately launches into an imaginary conversation regarding suits and tailoring. The man, as psychotic in his acts and notions as he is, always cares about his image, his look, and the fit of a good suit.
– Jared McMillan


dianekeatoninanniehallANNIE HALL (1977)

The nebbish neurosis of Alvy Singer in ANNIE HALL was essentially star/writer/director Woody Allen playing a version of his public persona. As timeless as Allen’s black-rimmed glasses may be, it’s the titular Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) that steals the show. Her flamboyantly confident hodgepodge of outfits were far too progressive for women… like my mother to comprehend 40 years back.

It was the quirk and the confidence of Hall that made Keaton a star and even though she is portrayed as naive she knew exactly what she was doing rocking that fierce vest and tie combo. At the beginning of ANNIE HALL singer says, “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” Well, you two are ingrained in a very important club as one of the best dressed couples in cinematic history.



Living the life of leisure is a tough task for any man, but not for Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), aka “The Dude.” His jelly flip-flops, earth-toned bathrobes and overall effortless bravado has become not only a symbol of comfortability, but a shrine for all of us to live by.

Fans of THE BIG LEBOWSKI should (and quite frankly probably) already do know that most of The Dude’s wardrobe came from Bridges’ own closet, which gives a new meaning to method acting. 17 years after the film’s release “His Dudeness” is forever immortalized as a fashion icon for not giving a flip what he puts on his body, or anything else besides intentionally falling in the lowest tax bracket possible. And that ladies and gentleman is the definition of cool.

driveDRIVE (2011)

When you look at most of Ryan Gosling’s movies, he always knows how to rock a suit on and off, especially if you’ve seen CRAZY STUPID LOVE. But when it comes to looking menacing and cool simultaneously, nothing compares to Gosling donning the iconic scorpion jacket– accompanied by some leather gloves, a denim jacket and jeans, and, of course, the toothpick.
– Preston Barta


Whatever gawky ora Jason Schwartzman conjured up to play 15-year-old multi-hyphenate student Max Fischer sure did resonate– not with the well-to-do squares who shop at Brooks Brothers, but with the “hipper than thou” Urban Outfitters crowd. Maybe that’s because director Wes Anderson had a drastic leap forward with his meticulous yet mannered sense of style that was posed upon the art direction of RUSHMORE.

His character Max, led the charge with his nerd-chic attire and confident demeanor that tackled everything from a red beret, to a groovy fencing outfit. *Spoiler Alert* It really is a shame Fischer didn’t get the girl at the end of the movie.

SPECTRE opens tomorrow.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.