Do the American Hustle

Fur. Sequins. Disco. If 2013 was the year of the 1920s, then 2014 is the year of the 1970s.

I recently hit the theaters and caught up with the con men of American Hustle. I had a vague idea of what this movie was about, but I wasn’t prepared to be dazzled by the skills of costume designer Michael Wilkinson. Never before have con men looked so sexy and I have definitely fallen for their swindling ways simply due to their well-dressed appearance.

The movie has changed my views on 1970s fashion, as I became entranced by the clothing and hairstyles of the female lead characters, Sydney (Amy Adams) and Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). Both ladies are foxy in their own right, and Wilkinson’s genius styling of vintage and contemporary pieces is simply a feast for the eyes. It allows the audience to visually understand the how the characters are polar opposites. While they do not represent the entire spectrum of 1970s fashion, they certainly depict the essence of swanky disco trends in NYC during that decade.

In one corner, there is Sydney, with her long wavy hair, wrap dresses, and plunging necklines; she portrays a sexy, confident, and powerful con woman. In the other corner, there is Rosalyn, with loose curls piled high on top of her head and body-hugging jersey dresses – she represents the bored suburban housewife.

I was less sold on the men in the movie – who likes a balding Christian Bale with a protruding belly anyway? I also prefer Bradley Cooper sans curls. I’m not a fan of the unbuttoned dress shirts and exposed chest hair on a man – to each their own, I suppose. Despite my general dislike of pointy dress shirt collars and wide lapels, I do however appreciate the silk ascot ties donned by both Bale and Cooper.

Pros and cons of American Hustle? There are many pros in this movie: the fashion, the acting, the plot, and the con men of course. At one point I was confused about who was conning whom. As for the cons…well, there are none, except for the con men.

Rosalyn vs. Sydney

The Great Gatsby

His name was Jay Gatsby and he threw the most lavish parties.

I know I’m a month behind the times, but I finally watched Baz Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. Oh how I would’ve loved to live during the great Jazz Age just to experience the booze, the dancing, and the fashion of the roaring 20s. Who doesn’t want confetti dumped on them from a huge champagne bottle?

The movie was a spectacle of bright colors, fast moving scenes, and dramatic theatrics. Even more stunning were the costumes: the dresses, hats, accessories, suits, and hairstyles. Words cannot describe the glorious outfits, which were designed by Catherine Martin in collaboration with Prada and Brooks Brothers. Nevermind if the movie itself was a disappointment and the character development lacking, but at least the costumes and fashions were a feast for the eyes. Martin’s version of the 1920s style translated easily to present day and were freshly modern yet retro at the same time. The soundtrack is also to die for: with Jay-Z as executive producer, the music is worthy of much more than just jazz hands.

Alright old sport, I’ve received my invitation, now all I have to figure out is what to wear to the party.