Since dressing Richard Gere in softly-tailored suits reflecting his louche character in “American Gigolo,” Giorgio Armani has tailored movie characters-physically and personality-wise for thirty-one years.
He continues with Sean Penn in Terrance Malick's "The Tree of Life" and Cate Blanchett for "Hanna."
Penn's brooding character is expressed in his stoic uniform of two-button notch lapel suits, shirts, and neckwear in steward black and somber charcoal grey
Costume designer Jacqueline West, nominated for an Oscar for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, continues: “I've found Mr. Armani to be one of the most dedicated and inspirational designers I could ever hope to work with on a film. In ‘The Tree of Life,’ the grey suit we first see Adult Jack wearing is beautifully architectural. The suit represents the grey, ultra modern cityscape of present day Houston, the starkness and the bleakness that imprisons him, the grey glass and steel of his home and life. The black suit that Sean wears, for me, represents the clash of the present with the ancient prehistoric landscapes of nature. The lines of that perfectly crafted suit delineate modern man confronting mankind's beginnings. For me, nothing could have helped tell the tale of Adult Jack better than these brilliantly constructed suits.”
Mr. Armani comments: “What a pleasure to find myself working alongside this creative conclave. My professional relationship with Jacqueline has been a sartorial success story. Her exquisite talent makes film wardrobe key to the cinematic experience. Her work reminds me how clothing plays a leading role on screen.”
For further character development, Mr. Armani expresses the single-minded focus of Cate Blanchett's character in "Hanna."
Lucie Bates, the costume designer, describes her as the "Wicked Witch," "her colors would be red [for her hair] and green [in her attire]."
Expressing the character's professionalism and focus...and efficiency, both Ms. Bates and Mr. Armani reflected that in her elegantly tailored suiting and a striking green-colored cashmere overcoat.
Mr. Armani's uses Ms. Blanchett's professionalism as an actor as a foundation for her character's wardrobe, "Working with Cate Blanchett, on and off the screen, has always been a highlight for me," notes Mr. Armani. "She embodies the perfect combination of consummate actor and world-class fashion icon”
Don't expect Giorgio Armani to set the fad of the week or the trend of the month when he designs costumes for movies. The clothes are part of the character...and this is why his creations stand the test of time. They're as strong as the movie characters he designs for.