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Oliver Rose - What A Way To Do Three Piece Suits

by Nicholas Atgemis |

It is Easter for most Christians today. My Easter, the Orthodox Easter, comes in a week's time. So I am using this Sunday to write the blog and design silks and .... soaking in some television and revisiting old movies.
This week it has been all about The War Of The Roses. I watched it mid week in the evening and I was struck by how elegant the clothes were on Michael Douglas' character, Oliver Rose.
The costume designer, Gloria Gresham does an exceptional job of creating the arc of the character; from the young Oliver Rose in a mac on a rainy day in Nantucket looking for a bargain at an estate sale, to the young family man, the lawyer on the make trying to ingratiate himself with the senior partners and finally to the man who reaches the zenith of his manhood until his wife tells him she wants out just as the kids are packing off to go to college.
It is such a well told story narrated by the idiosyncratic voice of Danny De Vito as he tells a prospective new client of the slow and eventual degradation of the marriage until Oliver finds himself pissing in his wife's fish in what is some of the best but dark comedy I have ever seen and possibly the most enjoyable divorce film I have ever watched.
And the clothes are wonderful. Michael Douglas does a three piece so well in this film with a longer collar and lower notched lapel often in a more generous cut both in terms of the size of the lapels and in the shoulders. He is, when at work, impeccably dressed in a higher stand windsor collar and a small dimpled four in hand silk neck tie in a jacquard woven silk.
But it is the waist coat, something so few men do in Australia and which so few men do well these days anywhere, which sets off the suits and gives him a presence that befits his position as a senior partner in a law firm.
The use of costume in this film only heightens the fall from grace as the breakdown of his marriage becomes to vitriolic that he resorts to wearing his white tie tuxedo with a silk top hat and bow tie on top of a t shirt to venture into his wife's dinner party, throw his snotty tissue in the soup bowl before announcing that he will then go into the kitchen to piss on their fish.
If you haven't watched the The War Of The Roses, you should. It's a killer comedy (black comedy?) and in between the entertainingly toxic relationship that builds you will enjoy all the fashion which, in my opinion, has not dated one iota.