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Thursday, April 15, 2010

MoS at the Movies: The Thomas Crowne Affair

The other night MoS Charlotte and I got on the topic of stylish movies, and The Thomas Crowne Affair was at the top of both of our lists. Ever since I saw this movie in 1999 when it was out in the theater, I've been in awe of Rene Russo's smoldering performance as Catherine Banning. Banning is an insurance investigator hired to get investigate the theft of a Monet; the prime suspect is the irresistibly charming and superbly wealthy playboy Thomas Crown, who stole the painting not for the money, but for sport. The ensuing cat and mouse flirtation between the two is what makes the movie great. 

Russo was in her 40's when this was filmed and she brings something to the role that a 30-something just couldn't. If this is what 40 looks like then sign me up! 

MoS Charlotte's favorite outfit is this little number, where Banning sports a white oxford shirt underneath a black strapless dress. It's definitely out of the box and we love the sweetheart neckline.

Banning's movie wardrobe is classic, age appropriate, and sexy without going over the line...except for this see through dress! If you've seen the move then surely you remember this scene. Russo recalled that the dress was so thin and light that when crumpled up it basically fit in the palm of her hand.

Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair

Something a little less NSFW. Classic black sequins with cap sleeves and an asian-inspired neckline.

Russo's character makes great use of fur collars to add a sense of mature luxury to her outfits. While the colors of her wardrobe are mostly neutrals- camel, gray, black, white- the fur adds some elegant texture to the mix.

Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair

I love this dressy fur collar she wears in one of the later scenes. 

I can never resist a good turtleneck- slight cowl please- and when I saw this movie I went out and bought a white chunky turtleneck like this! It looks so fresh yet cozy.

This screen grab doesn't do much for her silhouette but trust me, this outfit is perfect. 

Another thing we can learn from the movie is the importance of a good blow-out. Banning's hair always looks perfect- not too prim, yet with a defined style. 

Again, a simple outfit but the multi-strand pearl necklace sets it apart.

In a few scenes, Banning sports camel-colored jackets and sweaters. Camel can't not be luxurious, but when used in a well-cut, undoubtedly expensive jacket, it just sings. 

I suppose this movie had to be spot-on in the style stakes since the original Thomas Crowne and Catherine Banning had quite an impeccable wardrobe.  I am somewhat embarrassed to say I've never seen the original version with Faye Dunway and Steve McQueen.


Of course, reliving this movie makes me want to watch it all over again. These screen shots don't do half as much for the clothes as the actual film does. You really have to see the movie to appreciate the style. 

Do you have any favorite movies that you think epitomize "modern style"?


Emily Kathleen said...

I love The Thomas Crowne Affair! I must admit I've never seen the original either...I think I'll have to watch it soon!

Lacquered Life said...

You must must must see the original. If you think Pierce and Rene are chic, Steve and Faye are absolutely impeccable. And the guys will like it too, because any movie with Steve McQueen has the best cars!

Risa West said...

breakfast at tiffany's might not be modern style, but it always inspires me.

Averill said...

I'd forgotten how much I loved the Thomas Crowne Affair. Great, great movie. Pierce at his finest, too, I might add.

Let's see...SATC movie is an obvious choice, but I did adore all the fashion in it.

Heather said...

I'm a sucker for anything Steve McQueen, and he was perfect in the original Thomas Crown Affair. That movie was so stylish and sexy! After watching the original I couldn't sit through the remake.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that movie! I used to try to imitate her by not putting my arms in my sleeves until I realized how impractical it was. (As well as being odd on a teenager...)

Pemberley said...

Ok so The Thomas Crown Affair is one of the all time favs. Bought the DVD and it's a go to movie when the hubby is out of town and the kids are in bed. The clothes!! Devine. So perfect. You know the see through dress was the other girls, Esther Canadis I think her name is. She brought it along for the shoot and Renee saw it and said "I want to wear that one!" Bold, very bold. This is my fantasy life - world traveler, super rich, man like that, uberconfident!! Big sigh.....

goheels83 said...

Ahhh I LOVE this movie. If I recall correctly, I believe alot of Rene's work wardrobe was Celine (the turtlenecks, pants, skirts, etc). Very high-end elegance.

The Matters of Style Girls said...

Anon- I am dying at the sleeve thing because I did the same thing after being inspired by Catherine Banning. I even drank Pepsi One for a while. I can't believe I am admitting this lol. - MoS Charlotte

Anonymous said...

ok..just ordered both movies on husband will be excited...the comment about the cars in the original...well, that will make him swoon!

Rebecca said...

Just nthing love for the original. Faye is the best!

Allyson/HBMomof2 said...

This movie's fashion was impeccable! I loved her wardrobe. I remember hearing a rumor at the time that Rene loved her character's clothes so much that she had it written in her contract to keep the wardrobe. Don't know if that is really true, but it stuck with me to always write the clothes into a contract! My faves run in the older movies (think Fred and Ginger, Doris Day, Marilyn, Audrey and Grace Kelly), but the one stand out has to be Holiday Inn. I loved the huge skirts, tiny waists and great colors, even the "dowdy" character looked good.

LouBoo said...

Hi - spookily I was looking for pictures featuring the wardrobe in Thomas Crown Affair and happened across your blog! Had to stay for more! Love Rene Russo in this film and the dress/white shirt combo has always been a stroke of genius dressing in my mind! L x

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