La La Land’s Minimalism
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about a little movie called La La Land that has fans practically booking a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. Besides the superb acting, catchy AF soundtrack, and Ryan Gosling’s beautiful face, the film’s understated wardrobe choices (not counting Ryan Gosling’s brief stint in an ironic neon polyester suit) were a breath of fresh air from some of the fashion industry’s most recent, wildly exaggerated looks.
Call it the Forever 21 curse. These days it’s hard to walk into a store and buy nice clothing without an obnoxiously graphic logo, embellishment, or Millennial-coined slang word plastered somewhere on the garment. While some may enjoy a neon colored, fur collared denim jacket with #WOKE bedazzled on the back, it’s definitely not a good look for everyone. Cue the elegant minimalism of La La Land. Costume designer Mary Zophres, who’s other credits include True Grit, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and The Big Lebowski, worked tirelessly to ensure every clothing choice fit Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s characters, Mia and Sebastian, and the film’s Old Hollywood feel.
Whether it was any one of Emma Stone’s romantic dresses, or Ryan Gosling’s dapper suits and two-toned tap shoes, the movie’s retro vibes had us swooning hard. If you want to achieve Mia or Sebastian’s look (and of course you do), it’s 10X easier than tap dancing on thin air. Zophres, who is nominated for Best Costume Design at this year’s Academy Awards, said that the clothes she selected reflected the characters and where they were in their lives. For Emma Stone’s Mia, Zophres explained how it didn’t feel right to have her wearing designer clothing when she was a struggling actress. Instead, the costume designer hit up a combo of her favorite vintage clothing stores and places like H&M, Marshall’s and other bargain priced stores, to find pieces that were not only affordable but also fitting to the character.
For Gosling’s Sebastian, the tortured jazz pianist torn between success and his passion for classical jazz, Zophres says she really only used two pairs of trousers, one dress shirt, a few casual shirts, and maybe three blazers. Additionally, Sebastian was never seen wearing t-shirts or more casual dress because it didn’t fit his character. Want to steal his look (because who wouldn’t want to look like Ryan Gosling)? A really well fitting pair of trousers and nice shirts (preferably in lighter materials like silk and light gray or brown colors) are going to be your best friends. Pair them with a retro-looking set of two-tone oxford loafers and you’re good to go.
POLO Ralph Lauren Johnsly Oxford, $74.50
To embody Mia’s classic aesthetic, go for lots of vibrant colors, and understated patterns (also keep jewelry to a minimum). Classic lines and vintage silhouettes will help you achieve that Old Hollywood glamour look, so do as Zophres did and maybe scavenge through your local vintage clothing/ thrift shops for some hidden gems. Mix and match them with nice basics you already have in your closet, or from affordable places like H&M, Zara, etc., to keep your look fresh and current. For date nights, or nice occasions, go with flowy skirts and dresses with necklines that show off your collarbones.
Sources: Hollywood Reporter