Public Enemies, the upcoming Michael Mann directed crime thriller starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard, has just updated its marketing campaign with three new poster designs HERE.
Telling the story of infamous 1930s Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger (Depp) and FBI agent Melvin Purvis’ (Christian Bale) efforts to bring him to justice, Public Enemies is certainly not a fashion movie in the traditional sense. Though judging by the pin-sharp HD trailer and these lavishly realised one-sheets, it is set to be a sumptuous period piece in terms of costume design.
For the thirties gangster look we should expect larger-than-life trends of the day: wider suit lapels, wider trousers, nipped-in jacket waists with elongated shoulders, and light ties on dark shirts.
Men’s style was dictated by something of a paradox: Hollywood reflected the gangster look in movies such as Little Caesar (1931) and Scarface (1932), while the gangsters themselves were copying said look and exaggerating it for the street. They always had broader pinstripes and louder Glen checks than anyone else.
Women too were heavily influenced by Hollywood. Despite the Great Depression, for gangsters’ molls, those with a secured inheritance and ladies of independent means, the trend meant fur coats and stoles, draped gowns and Chanel suits for daytime. Designers encapsulating this glamour included Edward Molyneux and Jeanne Lanvin, both of whom only catered for the top end of the haute couture market.
As evidenced by a bushy fur stole on the new poster, Marion Cotillard will be embracing this moneyed style alongside her male co-stars in their heavily pleated pants and sloping trilbys (a gangster dipped the brim over his eyes for that extra air of mystery). Although Hollywood has gotten it wrong before; take The Godfather films for example. Stylish? Yes. Accurate? Not so much.
We’ll find out for sure soon enough. Public Enemies is released in the U.S. on 1st July and two days later in the U.K. Costume design is by Colleen Atwood.
Full story: ‘Public Enemies Posters Online’ (Empire)
© 2009 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.