Stories / May 2019

This Week We're Channelling: The Two Faces of January

This week we’re looking to Viggo Mortenson’s suavely-attired Chester MacFarland for a lesson in sixties-inspired holiday dressing and a reminder of the undying power of linen tailoring.

Each year, as the days begin lengthening and the mercury inches higher, we revisit our favourite summer films, fastiduously seeking style inspiration for the warmer months ahead. Amongst them are all the usuals - the likes of The Talented Mr Ripley, Pierrot Le Fou and La Dolce Vita, cinematic classics whose fashions endure in our collective sartorial consciousness. A more contemporary film less obvious but equally as deserving to add to the rotation is Hossein Amini’s 2014 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s ninth novel - a psychological thriller titled The Two Faces of January.

Set in 1962, the story follows a glamorous American couple - con man Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortenson) and his wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst) - as they travel through Greece and meet a clever and charismatic tour guide called Rydal (Oscar Isaac), who scams tourists and is burdened with dark secrets. The three wind up in a tangled web of cons and cover-ups and the pace inevitably quickens. Yet throughout all the captivating twists and turns, we can’t help but focus on the gorgeous sixties styling, which can be attributed to the work of esteemed costume designer Steven Noble. Noble dove straight into research, immersing himself in the period and consuming old films, music, magazines and books. "I wanted to create the mood of 1962 and be true to it, but then also make it timeless and feel relevant to an audience, so it didn't feel like a costume drama," he told InStyle. "I wanted to bring it forward to a modern audience but still be true to the period." There’s an undeniable authenticity and effortlessness to each of the character’s outfits, reminiscent of costumes from original sixties films worn by the likes of Jean Seberg and Alain Delon, whom Noble attributed to having inspired his creative process.

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Aobh O'Brien-Moody

Editorial Assistant at The Rake