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Fashion Forward: How to dress like a Wes Anderson character

Looking for unique ways to dress for spring? Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, will inspire you to add texture to your wardrobe.

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By Nadine Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: March 26, 2014

(The Grand Budapest Hotel is full of quirky but elegant style inspiration.)

(The Grand Budapest Hotel is full of quirky but elegant style inspiration.)

Looking for unique ways to dress for spring? Wes Anderson’s new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, will inspire you to add texture to your wardrobe.

In The Grand Budapest Hotel we see the classic uniform; the hotel is populated with bellboys, concierges, maids, lobby boys, and lax elevator guides dressed in fitted purple with stiff bow ties. It was a time of sophistication, a time of elegance, simplicity, and drawn-on moustaches. Most importantly, for legendary concierge M. Gustave — played by Ralph Fiennes — it was a time of civility. “Darlings” are everywhere: among the kitchen staff at the hotel, on death row in prison, among soldiers dressed in black during World War I.

It’s too quaint to fully plagiarize in our own wardrobes. The colours shift from wedding-cake pink and purple to harvest yellow and orange tweed as we jump from 1932 to 1968. But as always, Anderson gives the fashion-conscious a taste for the nostalgic and inspires a further hunt for vintage treasures.

A particular fashion icon arrives in the form of Jeff Goldblum’s character, a lawyer and estate manager who manages to pull of Harry Potter-esque glasses with professionalism and class. The light grey three-piece suit, complete with enviable cuff links and understated bowtie, speaks to Anderson’s never-outdated Old World style.

While Anderson’s uniformed good guys are plentiful — we meet a fantastically-moustached Bill Murray along the way — his bad guys are simultaneously loathsome and bad-boy chic. William Dafoe’s hitman wears a leather jacket complete with a place to hold his alcohol; Adrian Brody’s curled moustache and dark, slightly over-large suits make for the perfect arch-nemesis.

If your style is a little less flamboyant than a typical Anderson character, watch for the more muted fashions of the heroic Agatha. Agatha dresses in pastels, her hair tightly braided over the crown of her head in a rebellious nod to practicality. Her look speaks to Prada sensibility; her pale blue scarf, mint gloves and sweet brown dresses makes for an understated yet no less bold statement. Try a khaki summer dress paired with pastel pink accessories for Agatha’s capable style.

Wes Anderson has an eye for timeless fashion. His characters’ outward fashion invariably reflects their personalities, from vicious rake to heroic everyman. Yours should too; make sure to sample Anderson’s style while staying true to your own.

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