THE SUPER SMART STYLE OF LIMITLESS
On this episode of From Tailors With Love, we talk about the movie Limitless (2011) starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro with the costume designed by Jenny Gering. Tom Ford supplied the clothes for the movie and Thomas Pink supplied the shirts.
Bradley Cooper who plays Eddie Mora, takes a cryptic drug called NZT that immediately makes him smarter. With his new found focus he begins to earn incredible wealth and incepts high circles of bankers and brokers. The style contrast between his character and that of Carl Van Loon played by Robert De Niro is significant.
DE NIRO STYLE
I have returning guest Christopher Laverty, author of Fashion in Film and the editor of Clothes On Film. He studies the style of Van Loon:
De Niro is very traditional, I think all his suits if not most of them are dark blue, very nice conservatively fitted suits. He is conservative apart from the ties. But for me hie is not intimidating. De Niro does more with his character than his costume does to make him intimidating.
WHAT A BREGUET CAN SAY
Jon Shanahan editor of The Kavalier, also joins us on the podcast. He remarks on De Niro’s wardrobe choices in Limitless.
I think the details are what sell it to me. De Niro has the pin stripe suits which are very banker; wall street. He has the peak lapels which are subtle then he has the full on bankers cufflinks. He also has a strong powerful collar and collar pins that are very traditional. That is a style of a banker that is from a generation. He is intimidating to Bradley.
And he has a Breguet which is a f*ck you watch.
The Breguet watch is a Classique Automatic 5197BA watch, more details can be found on Watch-ID.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Laverty also reflects on clothes and watch endorsements in the films.
I think people think that its more with clothes that deals are done as far as ‘you wear this’ and we’ll get loads free, and that does happen, but it happens way more with watches. If you’re seeing a watch in a movie its because an actor has a relationship with them.
THE SHIRTS OF LIMITLESS
It’s important that we talk about the shirts in Limitless. And as luck would have it our good friend David Zaritsky from The Bond Experience has a screen used Thomas Pink Keaton shirt from the film. The shirt has white mother of pearl buttons, (this being the striped one that he wears in all the promotional shots of the movie and when you see him in the Tom Ford Regency suit).
David talks about this shirt from Limitless.
Whats really nice about this, is that the costume designer chose Thomas Pink because they are well known to make this special collar. Because he [Eddie Morra] was never going to wear a tie in the movie she [Gering] needed a collar that would stand up and would look ok without a tie.
Because of the distance of the buttons [on the front placket] and because of the height and rigidity of this collar, its specifically to be made to be worn without a tie.
Be sure to check out David’s YouTube channel where he discusses all things James Bond.
TIE ANOTHER DAY – (featured in listener mail)
Limitless, very good choice of film, and one that I think is Brad Cooper’s breakout role.
Now the ties, so going backwards, as you said Brad only wears a tie at the end of the film, and his image is a lot more smarter than throughout the film. He is portrayed as a politician, or a political candidate. His tie is a conservative choice a red tie with a subtle pattern. The colour is very significant, red being associated with power, authority, it is tempered with a pattern, so as not to be too in your face. It is classic, and worn in a Windsor knot, again professional and polished.
Bobby de Niro, is very well matched in his tie choice. In the last scenes he is wearing a gold / yellow tie on a light blue shirt. Yellow on blue makes it more prominent. Also the hint of gold shows wealth, power, money. This is a power play between two alphas, one is political, the other business.
Bob meets Brad
Taking the time when Bob first meets Brad. His tie is very conservative, a navy blue with a simple pattern of yellow chequerboard design. He is in Interrogation mode, the scene starts as he is doubting Brad’s capability, and he is taking some time out of his day, which he thinks is being wasted. It is also intimidating to a point. The juxtaposition between him being this successful hedge fund manager and Brad a hotshot is seen here.
Contrast this with the warmer burgundy tie he wears when he recognises Brad is the real deal is a change in demeanour. He wants him on his team, and it is not as harsh an image. Yet he is maintaining his professional image.
The detective’s tie is very colourful for a law enforcement officer. But it also suggests a seniority, normal on the beat cops wear a uniform. He is in criminal investigation. The colour blue is associated with law and authority, however, it is a very unique pattern, not a Paisley, in fact it is like an aquarium
Whether you could say it is disarming is questionable. However, he is very well built and his physique can be intimidating, his tie could balance it. The tie choice in contrast with the expensive ties / costumes, could highlight that this is a cop who gets his tie from say Next or the US equivalent. He is wearing what he thinks is a good tie.
Back to De Niro
Going back to De Niro, he has this constant subtle chequerboard pattern. Suggesting order, game planning, or at the same time he is ordered, constrained, and conservative.
Ties are a good barometer, because you can wear a navy blue suit and white shirt, but the tie adds that colour, and that can reflect the mood. In films it is quite deliberate.
A good friend of mine said what you wear is saying something without you speaking. That is not to say you can psycho analyse from what a normal person wears, but it can be indicative.
Follow Tie Another Day on Instagram.
Listen to the podcast
You can download the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. Or listen in the player below. I’ve managed to capture 59 screen grabs from Limitless should you wish to make your own fan art. Download them from my shared Dropbox here.
USEFUL INFO (UPDATE SEPT 2020)
There is an interesting thread on the Style Forum where a collector talks about his screen used Thomas Pink shirt. He also intimates that the striped suit Cooper wears is from Pierre of Paris (Custom) Tailors.
The cardigan below is by Varvatos. They also provided some tee shirts for the film. The leather jacket that Eddie Morra wears is by Diesel.