Film & fashion: Insouciant, moi? Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine
I like to think I helped popularise use of the word ‘insouciant’. In fashion circles, at least. I picked it up from my interest and studies in film history, where it has typically been used to describe the kind of ‘not acting whilst acting’ of such slouching, shrugging male archetypes as James Dean. I don’t think it was used much in fashion before a couple of years ago, but as with many things, a retweet here, a blogpost or comment there and ‘insouciance’ is everywhere. The word is now mostly in the bargain bin marked, ‘overused’, yet marked for a future revival.
Yet, whilst watching Blue Valentine last night, the startling indie movie now nominated for 2 Oscars, there are few words that could better describe Ryan Gosling’s visual appeal as bluecollar antihero Dean. His wardrobe, as Dean, the loveable removal man was very much non-fashion but at certain moments what he wore could have fitted right into a fashion shoot from recent times, especially reminiscent of those designers with a darker, urban gritty edge.
A scene on Brooklyn Bridge, where Dean wears a black hoodie under a leather biker jacket, paired with flatfronted burgundy workwear pants and boots (reminiscent of Raf Simons)
The customised, raw edged American Eagle sweatshirt (I hazard DSquared or Adam Kimmel as similar) and Terry Richardson-esque spectacles
The deep U-shaped neckline of a simple, beige sweater (could be so many people, the label is less vital than the effect, I’m sure that Burberry Prorsum and Acne have created similar)
The just-so tattoos, skull T-shirt and vintage Timex digital watch (straight outta Brooklyn!)
So, again this isn’t a movie with a particular fashion appeal, but Mr Gosling has such presence and the film is framed so tightly around both his and co-star Michelle Williams faces and bodies, that the details of what they are wearing and how they move has the resonance of a great fashion shoot or promo film.
Definitely a future contender for Nerdboyfriend.com and one likely to send the affable, unprepossessing character Dean into shrugs of denial at the suggestion he was interested in how he looks.
I leave you with a selection of images trawled from the web.
Blue Valentine is showing for a limited period right now and if you hadn’t guessed, is highly recommended.