Monday 16 January 2017

Iconic Fashion in Film: Richard Gere in American Gigolo

Sinead Van Kampen

Published 24/02/2011 | 11:02

The already iconic Oscar nominated Black Swan costume designs (see Jim Carrey dressed as a black swan on Saturday Night Live) have inspired us at Independent Woman to ask ourselves what are the most stylish films of all time?

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Richard Gere in American Gigolo

In 1980 there were very few things you could have put on film that could have stolen the limelight from supermodel turned actress Lauren Hutton. Yet the soft Californian sunshine filtering through designer blinds before coming to rest on the pert buttocks of a certain Richard Gere would probably be one of them.

Handsome, cultured, beautifully dressed and on the game, American Gigolo was the first film that introduced full male nudity and Giorgio Armani to the wider world.

Originally intended for Travolta, the role of narcissistic lover and Armani clotheshorse went to Richard Gere and, in hindsight, who else could have worn and then removed those expensive threads more thoughtfully. Who can forget the skinny ties, double breasted blazers and beautiful fabrics laid across the bed as he chooses what to wear in one of the film's most stylish moments.

The fact that, in style terms, the film has everything is thanks in the main to a certain Giorgio Armani. As the flares of Saturday Night Fever and the disco of Studio54 were becoming a distant memory, it was the Italian designer who was responsible for styling the American Gigolo look which in turn became responsible for defining the way every woman wanted her man to dress like by 1981.

Sharp, sensual and, above all, aspirational, the Richard Gere and the Armani aesthetic brought the Italian suit to the public at large.

Signature look: What Armani did so well mother nature did so much better.

Fashion legacy: Who would have thought a well organised wardrobe could be so sexy?

In a phrase: "This is my apartment. Women don't come here."

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