Acting performance this and cinematography that. Critics, we get it, you like cinéma. For those looking for a light-hearted summary of this year’s cracking London Film Festival, here is a rundown of the top ten looks from the films offered in the program.
10) In Bombay Rose, Kamala’s fantasies are filled with medieval romance. It is no surprise that she dreams of such a royal ensemble. This crimson lehenga flows with the same freedom that Kamala longs for. And the gold details and ornate jewelry outwardly reflect the self-worth she will soon fully realize.
9) Like Shiv from Succession, Chiara Mastroianni in On A Magical Night knows how to wear a power outfit. As she leaves the apartment of her new lover, she walks the Parisian dawn with poise and confidence. Her frilly blouse, well-fitted trousers, and statement high heel boots command the streets. Her bouncing curly hair adds an elegant rhythm. This is someone who knows how to move in her clothes. But being fashion-forward won’t exactly save her marriage once her husband (Benjamin Biolay, a French Brad Pitt-Andy Serkis hybrid) finds out about her extra-marital dalliances.
8) Timothée Chalamet has a reputation for rocking stylish and bizarre threads on the red carpet. Regardless of what he wears, he looks great. The same is true for his turn in David Michôd’s The King, where his robes are beautiful patchworks of fabric in a tessellated fashion. The colors are muted to serve the overall atmosphere but the fur and metallic embellishments pull his looks together. And he’s bumped one spot higher in this ranking for being the first person to make a bowlcut work.
7) Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire may be seen as an unusual choice for this list. The gowns worn by lead Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel are very simple. But that was the intention. This understatement serves to draw attention to Merlant and Haenel’s incredible natural beauty. The romantic gazes between the pair hold that much more power when we aren’t distracted by embroidery or finery.
6) As Lunga in Bacurau, Silvero Pereira makes a distinct impression in an already very bizarre and twisty story. He’s is one of the festival’s most bejeweled characters; he’s never one to shy away from adding another piece of jewelry to his body. His eyeliner and black-painted fingernails accentuate the defined features of his face and give him a fierce look. It is difficult to see from the photo, but his high-waisted trousers and bare chest command authority. This turns out to be the perfect look to defend your fellow villagers when outside forces arrive to tear things apart.
5) Dev Patel was utterly charming in The Personal History of David Copperfield and part of that can be attributed to his smart Victorian-era attire. Rarely is a man with so much melanin seen to be wearing such clothes but Patel inhabits the life (and garments) of David Copperfield with zeal. From the waistcoats and ascots to the coats and top hats, Dev Patel makes his outfits work for him.
4) Jean Dujardin has all fashionistas trembling. His deerskin ensemble in Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin made waves as people began to realize confidence may be all you need to pull off a look. Dujardin’s boundless admiration of his own style conveyed a never-before-seen level of swagger. But there is a downside. His 100% deerskin jacket, hat, trousers, boots, and gloves may draw the ire of PETA and other animal rights activists. So, in this increasingly environmentally conscious world, whether Dujardin’s style can stand the test of time is yet to be determined.
3) Knives Out accomplished an extraordinary feat. In Rian Johnson’s modern-day whodunnit, everyone is hot. Jaime Lee Curtis dons an amazing carmine pantsuit, Toni Colette is dressed from head to toe in couture and Chris Evans is doing people all kinds of favors in his casual autumnal look. Each character is distinctively stylish. This is a costume designer at the top of her game; with such a large ensemble cast it is important to know who’s who if you’re to keep up with the story. Brava!
2) Anyone acquainted with Lupita Nyong’o’s red carpet style over the years knows that she can really wear a gown. In Little Monsters, she radiates charm and beauty in her yellow summer dress. Aesthetics is one thing but practicality is another. Luckily Nyong’o didn’t have to prioritize one over the other. The flowing style of the dress and her short haircut are the perfect uniforms to slay zombies. Let’s just hope she owns detergent strong enough to erase the bloodstains her dress sustained after fighting her undead adversaries.
1) Tired of Celeste Wright drawing all the attention, Renatta Klein trains as a family lawyer and enters Netflix’s Marriage Story. Importantly, she retains the style of the fiery Big Little Lies mother. As Scarlett Johansson’s divorce lawyer, Laura Dern is as fashionable as she is cunning. Her colorful dresses and blouses command the room with grace and sophistication, allowing her to slay as she spits legal arguments at anyone daring enough to oppose her. She is the definition of glamour and we could all make her life a little easier by dressing better. She is helped on-screen by Johansson’s relatively muted fashion presence — she cuts her own hair. Yikes!
And that’s it! If your favorites didn’t make the list, perhaps you should re-evaluate your fashion choices.