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Our self-isolation film guide

Our self-isolation film guide

Right now more than ever, we all need entertainment in our lives – good or bad, high brow or low, as long as it brings joy, it can serve as a welcome distraction from the rolodex of grim headlines. If, unlike us, you’ve managed not to consume a hearty portion of all streaming platforms, we salute you. But if you're on the lookout, once again, for something to watch, then you’ve come to the right place. Our stylists have rounded up the films they’re revisiting as they hunker down. And as a surprise to none, the costumes are also incredible, so you may just learn a style lesson or two along the way. 

Freddie’s choice: “Call Me By Your Name (2017)”

Why it’s a favourite 

Firstly, the chemistry between Oliver (Arnie Hammer) & Elio (Timothee Chalamet) is electric in this movie. I love both of these actors, but I never expected to enjoy them so much together in this context. They're one of the best on-screen romances I’ve ever seen. And secondly, I’m a sucker for anything set in the Italian countryside. The cinematography and pace of the movie do such a good job of capturing a long, hazy summer. It’s something we’re all craving now as the sun’s coming out, but we’re stuck in. 

What makes the costumes so interesting 

For me, it’s the fact it isn’t over styled. The exploration of adolescent sexualtiy is represented well in the clothing choices, but it isn’t too ‘cool’ or glamorous. Whilst I liked all the costumes, Arnie Hammer is by far the stand out for me. The oversized shirts, short shorts, and hi-tops combo is not an easy one but he pulls it off so well.

How to incorporate this style in real life

As I mentioned, the shirt, shorts, and hi-tops isn’t easy to pull off together, as they require long, lean legs, but the shirt and shorts are quite easily achieved. You don’t have to go as short as Oliver here, but don’t be afraid to go an inch or two higher than the usual ‘just above the knee’ length. And with the shirt, go for a classic button-down Oxford, but choose one that’s two sizes up. This will ensure it’s nice and floaty but will retain a nice shape. In terms of footwear, go for classic canvas trainers but opt for a low-top instead.

Alexander’s choice: “Do The Right Thing (1989)”

Why it’s a favourite

It’s a movie that’s still relevant today. It hits on race relations, economic anxiety, and the rising tension of being placed in a fractured environment and trying to hold oneself together. 

Spike Lee removed the blues and greens in the colour settings as much as possible to emphasise the heat and the uncontrollable bubbling tension, so throughout the movie you will see vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.

What makes the costumes so interesting

The movie is focused on a community in Brooklyn in the late 80s. It’s intergenerational and multiethnic, making it an interesting watch. You get to see how colours, variety of fits, the styles of all the characters, and how they can stand as a significant element in a person’s cultural identity. 

It’s interesting to see the history of streetwear and hip hop. To see the journey from subculture to infiltrating the fashion industry in a big way – just look at the Jordans in this film, and the pair recently designed by Kim Jones for Dior.

Photographed: Nike Jordan Air Jordan 3 Retro (£189)

Style lesson we can learn from the film

How to go bold with colour and patterns and how to be true to your own style.

How to incorporate this style in real life

Go bold with colours and patterns. Try dipping your toe in first with an accessible piece, like a t-shirt worn with the tried-and-tested classics (like jeans and white trainers). As you grow in confidence and start to understand what colour combinations work for you, then you can start being adventurous with it – before you know it, you will be wearing punchy pattern track pants with ease.

There's no one way to do this, but I like the idea of stepping away from fashion for a second and thinking about other things that interest me – maybe it’s music or sport. You can find some interesting references that are unique to you that way. Items of sentimental value can be a powerful tool for forging your own personal style. I’ve always liked my dad’s tortoiseshell glasses, so when I’m thinking about buying sunglasses, they are the first thing that come to mind.

Toby’s choice: “2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)”

Why it’s a favourite

It’s the definition of iconic. It’s the sci-fi film, and it holds up incredibly well. It’s both sombre, peaceful, and long – like three hours long. It draws you in and doesn’t hold your hand.

What makes the costumes so interesting

They were designed by the fashion designer Hardy Amies, and they show his vision of how everything from classic tailoring to airline uniforms would change in the fictionalised first year of the 21st century. The brand then recreated similar looks for their actual 2001 catwalk show, which is all kind of meta. 

 

Favourite look in the film

It’s a toss up between the character Heywood Floyd’s sharp chocolate brown suit (featuring a gemstone fastening in place of a tie – so cool). and the PanAm air hostess uniforms with huge beehive hats and velcro shoes.

Style lesson we can learn from the film

That a good fitting suit is the most timeless thing you can own, but you don’t be held back by stuffy tradition. And add flair and interest to the classics. 

How to incorporate this style in real life

Get a great suit that fits you well, and wear it with ease – don’t feel like it has to be something stuffy and plain. If you want an amazing checked suit like the photographer in the film, get one – you’ll look great now or in the future on the moon. Or wear jumpsuits and dress in bright, monochrome colours like Dave.

Millie’s choice: “Annie Hall (1977)”

Why it’s a favourite

It's a more grounded take on a rom-com, covering a relationships obstacles – and obviously the style and Diane Keaton are also a huge factor. 

What makes the costumes so interesting

Both lead roles have great style in the film, mimicking each other's at times. Wide trousers with button down shirts, sharp tailoring, linen, chambray and plaid shirts, but it’s Annie Hall’s style that I love and am inspired by the most. I love how she mixes in masculine pieces without losing a sense of femininity. 

Favourite look in the film

There's so many I could highlight here, and I’m sure the most famous is the shirt and tie with waistcoat and bowler hat. However, my favourite is the one in the photo below. I love the relaxed laid back feel of the look here. The tweed blazer mixed with a button-down striped shirt and loose trousers definitely influences my own style. I love how loose and adrogynous this look feels. It reminds me of how Margaret Howell styles its shows still – the sense of gender irrelevance in fashion by styling classics to form a natural and relaxed look. 

Style lesson we can learn from the film

It’s about learning how to mix different textures, fabrics, and shapes. The pieces she wears are all incredibly classic, but it's the layering and arrangement that makes them feel so different. She plays with proportion – soft fabrics layered with sharp tailoring. 

How to incorporate this style in real life

The nod to the 70s feels very in tune right now – think high-waisted, double-pleated trousers in looser fits with button-down shirts. It may seem an odd one suggesting you take style suggestions from a woman's style, but there’s a lesson of not just wearing all your heavy structural pieces together at once. Opting for a linen shirt with your heavy twill or denim can add more interest.

Artemis’ Choice: The Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray: “Pather Panchali (1955)”, “Aparajito (1956)” and “The World of Apu (1959)”

Why it’s a favourite

These are beautifully shot, quiet, and perceptive films. They’re very simple and low-key, about a boy growing up in the West Bengal of the 50s. Ravi Shankar did the soundtracks.

What makes the costumes so interesting

The clothes are totally functional – they’re lightweight for the climate and totally non-precious. I think I’m always really attracted to clothes when they’re worn in this way. Personally I’ve got a thing for tunics over trousers and the lightweight fabrics and loosely tailored shapes feel so appealing.

Favourite look in the film

Apu’s tunic worn over loose trousers.

Style lesson we can learn from the film

How to layer lightweight fabrics.

How to incorporate this style in real life

I’d reach for loose trousers! Particularly in summer, when they’re way comfier than slim fit. Layer up in lightweight fabrics such as cotton poplin or linen. Utility jackets or overshirts work well over grandad or camp collar shirts.

Luke’s choice: “Il Postino (1994)”

Why it’s a favourite

It’s a really calming, low-key story about friendship and self-improvement through art. Plus, it looks incredible. It’s set in 1950s Italy and is drenched in sunshine. 

What makes the costumes so interesting

The main character is a near-illiterate postman in a small Italian village. He wears oversized jumpers and tailoring in muddy colours, and it somehow feels very contemporary and stylish. 

Favourite look in the film

This oatmeal-beige knit over a t-shirt tucked into high waisted pleated trousers. It just felt really contemporary when I saw it, and I loved how the colours and shapes work together.

Photographed: Sunspel Lambswool Crew Neck Jumper (£205)

Style lesson we can learn from the film

Shades of beige, black, and brown worn together can make a great outfit. It also teaches us how to wear soft tailoring with knitwear. 

How to incorporate this style in real life

I think elements of it are really current because it’s such a casual take on that era of clothing. The more dressed-up looks would be a bit costume, but a soft polo worn with a loose blazer, or layered tonal knitwear? That feels wearable today.