Fashion on Film: Tilda Swinton Wears More Than Pringle

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Published June 17, 2010

 

A golden cuff, a hidden note, an outdoor tryst, and the flash of a crimson Jil Sander sheath:  I Am Love, Tilda Swinton’s latest film, makes betrayal look gorgeous. The story of the Recchis, a Milanese aristocratic family, I Am Love is a lush modern take on classic melodrama. As Emma Recchi, Swinton plays a loving mother and wife suddenly undone by a few good meals prepared by an attractive young chef. In a movie bursting with color and style, it’s Emma’s simple but colorful wardrobe that grabs the attention of the viewer. Raf Simons’s designs are masterpieces of minimalism that are both simple and distinctive, traditional and unconventional.  An electric blue shift worn on the busy grey streets of Milan practically rediscovers the purpose of Technicolor, while an innocent pale pink gown at a business dinner is the perfect mix of vulnerable and regal. Directed by Luca Guadagnino, who was also a co-producer with Swinton, the film draws inspiration from the Douglas Sirk dramas of the 1950s. But rather than succumbing to the retro inspiration and risking camp, Guadagnino breathes new life into the genre. With a John Adams score that never fades in the background, a formidable Swinton and a fantasicaly bright wardrobe, Guadagnino creates a full-bodied film that makes all those other thin family dramas seem like pencil sketches next to an oil painting.