The Miles Davis Movie: What about costume design? or: let’s talk fashion!

Miles Davis was cool. Miles Davis is cool.

The music he created is always top of the list, but damn if he doesn’t also look stylish playing it.

The music, the fashion, the attitude… the guy personified the meaning of what being cool is about. While some might prefer his suit-style of the ’50s and ’60s and others the flashy wardrobe of the ’70s and ’80s, Miles Davis remained a fashion icon throughout.

For me, it’s Miles Davis in the three-button Brooks Brothers suit I enjoy best.

I read recently in GQ (profiling the 50 Most Stylish Men of the
Last 50 Years!) that for those suits he had a tailor create his special look; ‘jackets cut in one piece, with only two seams-under the sleeves and down the jacket sides – no chest pocket or padding in the shoulders, and notch lapels that rolled down to a single button.’

For the Miles Davis biopic I think it’s safe to say the costume design will be an important element to keep an eye on.

I always hear about actors who say that when they step into the wardrobe of their character (especially it’s a real person) it helps to tie-in the role their playing.

For all the nuance and behavior Don Cheadle has to channel for his portrayal of Miles Davis, he will also have to dress the part, as it were, to complete the ‘character.’

Fashion and film have always been good bedfellows, probably more so now than ever before, and any design element of a movie (set, lighting, costume, etc.) gets extra attention depending on the largesse of the production.

But it’s the clothes! The glamour! The style! The magazine covers!

The Miles Davis biopic should be well-stocked with fashionable people and stylish wardrobes – adding some pizazz sure to catch the gaze of fashionistas and cool-hunters.

Of course the clothes can only go so far; it’s up to Cheadle to bring the character to life, which I have no doubt he will.

But, the costume designers are most definitely part of the storytelling process and their creativity can have a real impact on a film.

This is not to say the wardrobe is going to overwhelm the project as is the case with numerous movies (I’m looking at you “Sex and the City”), but it will be a central component in presenting the full detail of the man and the diverse eras of which he lived.


3 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: What about costume design? or: let’s talk fashion!”

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