holidays and dragon tattoo

happy holidays, everyone! i hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season- i have! back from holiday blog hiatus and excited for the new year.

one of the best parts of the holiday season was going to the movies with Andrea to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. i'm a huge fan of the books and the Swedish film versions, and was very excited to see this film. for those unfamiliar, it's a Swedish book about a disgraced writer, Mikael, hired by a wealthy former business man to investigate the disappearance of his grand-niece 40 years earlier under the guise of writing the business man's memoirs. the title character refers to Lisbeth Salander, a hard edged hacker hired to assist Mikael.
there's been a lot of talk about the style of the man character, Lisbeth, because of her extreme hardcore, gothic look. while the costumer, Trish Summerville, did a fantastic job with Lisbeth for the most part, i find this type of costuming to be fairly easy. Lisbeth's palate is extraordinarily tight- worn. black. leather. metal. grey. pieces that say, "go away, leave me alone." this is not difficult styling, and Summerville took direction from the book, which describes Lisbeth in great detail, pretty well. though i found her overstyled at times- too put together. too stylish. too deliberate (holes in her clothes and wear in them in particular.).

i'm more interested in the style of the MEN in this film. the main males are Mikael, Vanger (the businessman), his nephew, and Bjurman (Lisbeth's case worker, also a rapist). mostly because the title of the book when transliterated from Swedish is "Men Who Hate Women." it is not Lisbeth, then, who is the title character, it is these men (and which of them actually hates women is up for discussion).
Summerville did something very interesting here. the wardrobe of the men is not all that varied- most wear suits, sweaters, and winter wear (the film is set in a harsh, Swedish winter) but texture, color, and fit are the indicators of their personalities.

Bjurman is the only man in the film who wears touchable fabrics. velvet. cords. his palate is in brown tones and rather understated. this subtly indicates that he desperately wants to be touched but knows he has to blend in to hide his impulses (he is a rapist and a detestable man). his clothes also fit to hide his size- his weight and large belly are not revealed until a pivotal moment.
cord blazer, knit tie
to the point- once revenge is taken upon him (which i won't spoil), he no longer wears touchable fabrics, though the color palate remains. a subtle indication that a change has taken place.
watch it, unlined jacket.
Vanger the elder, Henrik, is a representation of old Sweden and old masculine ways. a former businessman, still powerful, he is always either in a three piece suit or a large coat (with matching accessories, of course). his hair is combed and his clothing tailored. blue palate. note the subtle pattern matching (dotted tie and striped shirt). very chic and perfectly fitted.

old school style.
dapper and warm
Vanger's level of comfort is denoted by his tie. only at his home and after telling Mikael the story about his niece does he remove his tie. simple, classic, and well captured masculine style.
his nephew, however, has the dark palate of menswear, much in contrast to his stark white, ultramodern, glass house. however, he's inherited the fit and tailoring from his uncle. he is the only man in the film who appears in all black. compared to his uncle, Martin is the new Sweden, the new look. no ties. high collars. sharp.
... sinister?
and then there's Mikael, played by the very dashing Daniel Craig. Mikael's character not only has to provide a foil to Lisbeth (his palate is light and new enough to do so), but has to stand out from the other men. that said, he is an everyman in this story- the connective character in the story (they all come into contact with him) so his wardrobe contains aspects of the other men. he wears black, blue, and brown, but is the only character who wears quite a bit of grey. the other men also don't wear blue jeans. this sets him up as stylish, young, but also professional and seasoned. since he's been discredited, his dress has a bit of unkemptness- untucked shirts. uneven sleeve rolls, etc.
well dressed, but casual
3 piece - untucked
grey coat

grey blue, fitted jeans
and he is, yes, oh, so handsome!

i very much enjoyed this film. not only was it a great story, it looks fabulous. men's fashion is often looked over in films, but should you see this film, keep an eye out for Summerville's styling. excellent juxtapositions of characters and thoughtful choices. she did a fantastic job.

and everyone have a safe and happy new year!


Kirstin Marie said...

This all sounds crazy interesting. I love how well you described everything! I hope you have an amazing & happy New Year!!

sacramento said...

ALWAYS wonderful and magic.
I hope this 2012 all your dreams brecome true.
A year rich in all the things that cannot be bought with money.

Sara C. said...

Happy New Year!!!!
Sara C.

John's Island said...

Hi Mode - GREAT write-up on dragon tattoo! Now I've got to see it! Happy New Year! John

mode. said...

happy new year, all! and thanks, John! be sure to read the book if you haven't!
<3 mode.

The Tote Trove said...

I enjoyed reading about the significance of the characters' styles to their personalities. Very well written.

Lorena said...

I saw the original Swedish version - it was a kick ass movie.

Claire said...

love checking out the fashions of the movie! i haven't seen the american version yet but man, daniel craig is a hottie! i loved the book. it was dark but a page turner!


Jenni Wells - Stop Making Sense said...

This is so exciting! I've read the first two books but haven't been able to find the third at any used book stores. And I've only seen the first Swedish film. I think my husband and I may have to go to the theaters soon!!