The cultish look of each of Wes Anderson’s films creates a self-contained visual world where quirky sartorial touches are the main vocabulary. Yet, some characters’ ensembles get more of a spotlight than others. “There’s so many good ones that don’t get as much of a spotlight,” says Wes Anderson die-hard and founder of Rookie Tavi Gevinson. From Dudley Heinsbergen to Mrs. Fox, the quiet statements of the lesser-spotted Wes characters make for inspiring moments for a style aficionado like Gevinson. Anderon's films are something of a touchstone source of inspiration and interest. “I’ve modeled my hair after Margot Tenenbaum’s a lot,” she says. “I came really close to using the beige slip that Margo wears when she’s sitting in the tub smoking and painting her nails. There’s something about the beige slip and her wooden finger and the colour of her hair that is just really, very good. But then that would make this whole list redundant…”
Dignan (Owen Wilson) and Anthony Adams (Luke Wilson), Bottle Rocket (1996)
"Bottlerocket is (Anderson's) first movie and I chose Luke and Owen Wilson wearing these stupid collared shirts because I think that since his first movie, all his movies since have been kind of quaint-looking. I like how this is gross 90s, not at all like a cute period suit or anything. I just like how it’s really tacky."
Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), Rushmore (1998)
"Every other outfit Max wears in Rushmore is his school uniform, or a green velvet suit or whatever. I enjoy that he’s wearing just a normal ski jacket but still has to wear some ridiculous fur hat. Plus, I just really am such a sucker for a geometric ski jacket situation."
Henry Sherman (Danny Glover), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
"Danny Glover has a great blue suit and gold buttons up the sleeve, with a gingham shirt and bow ties matching his pocket square. He plays an accountant I believe, and I just really loved that this accountant is really committing to the gingham button downs and the bow ties. Those glasses are good. They’re like semi-circles."
Dudley Heinsbergen (Stephen Lea Sheppard), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
"This is the kid who's also in Freaks and Geeks, and these were like the only two things he was ever in, and now he writes about video games. But Dudley’s style in this movie is really good because he just has the essential '70s t-shirt going on, with his signature hat and glasses. I also really like the windbreaker he wears to the funeral. I actually used to have a poster of the cover of Dudley’s World in my room. It was from a magazine called Zeitgeist, which Wes Anderson contributed to, and the magazine came with the poster. It was the best thing in my room for a long time."
Jane Winslett-Richardson (Cate Blanchett), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
"The iconic look from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is the Bill Murray one, but I just love Cate Blanchett. I love her looking like Jane Goodall, with her hair pushed away from her face, and all the khaki. There’s just something very satisfying about it. It feels weirdly aspirational, like when I am like a settled adult who knows what she’s doing, I will look like Cate Blanchett in this movie."
Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
"I chose Jeff Goldblum’s costume because he looks like such a tool (laughs) wearing white pants, a white shirt, a white coat than then this pink scarf. He looks like he should be in Entourage or something, but he would be like the classy uncle. But I also like it because in The Royal Tenenbaums, Anjelica Huston wears this really good pink suit, this pink wool dress suit, and this outfit feels like the sequel to that in a way."
The Chief Steward (Waris Ahluwalia), The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
"I only watched The Darjeeling Limited once. I think it's my least favourite one (of Wes Anderson's films). But the steward has the best costumes. If you watch that movie on Blu ray you see those suits – the uniform, the fabric texture – is so beautiful and gold. The colours… It’s just a visual feast, if you will."
Mrs. Fox (voiced by Meryl Streep), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
"In Fantastic Mr. Fox, his wife has this great dress that’s yellow with little apples on it, and she has a cameo broach. The more I was like looking through stills from the movie to find a good picture of it, I realised that it has pockets which she keeps scissors and paintbrushes in. It’s a really good apron dress hybrid. I really wish this was a human thing that existed and not something they made for a little puppet."
Social Services (Tilda Swinton), Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
"I forgot what Tilda Swinton’s official title is in this movie, she’s like a child protector agency services person. First of all, it’s important to note that colour blue. She is also wearing a collared shirt that matches it, and perfectly tailored pants, which are the exact same colour. When we first see her in the movie, she’s using some kind of old-fashioned telephone system, and it goes really well with her outfit. She comes in at the end like – actually I forget what the hoopla is because I think this movie I paid way more attention to everything looked. But she comes in at the end and she’s like, ‘You’re a bad parent’ or something, and she's wearing this cloak and it’s so dramatic and looks great. It’s during a play of Noah’s Ark, and she comes in and she seems like God or something."
Mrs. Bishop (Frances McDormand), Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
"I edit the Rookie website, and every time we do a Rookie event so many girls come dressed up as Suzie from Moonrise Kingdom, because she has that perfect pink dress with the collar and they’ll get their boyfriend to be Sam. It’s really cute, but I feel like the unsung colourful dress hero of Moonrise Kingdom is Frances McDormand because she has all these really great '60s print Mom dresses and then these great head scarves. I also like the revival of her as the mom in Almost Famous, which is like '60s, '70s. I’m just so pleased any time Frances McDormand is a concerned mom from the '60s."
Follow Rena Niamh Smith on Twitter here @renathinks