I adore movies, but when a movie encumbasses both wonderful acting (from the always amazing Cate Blanchett) and an orgy of fashion, I'm in heaven! I adored the movie. Allen is known for being cruel to his fictional characters, and this might be the cruelest he has been yet. But the juxtoposition of Jasmine (played by Blanchett) and the amazing fashion he showcases only helps deepen the impact and complexity of the character he is depicting. Blanchett is astounding in the role and despite the shallow nature of her character manages to make the audience feel empathy towards her, a real testament to both the writing of Allen and the amazing performance by Blanchett. A must see.
Aside from the wonderful acting and fantastic script, the fashion in this movie is truly stunning. The person responsible for the costuming was designer Suzy Benzinger's and this is her fifth time working with Woody Allen. After working with Allen so many times, Benzinger knows exactly what he likes. Woody Allen has always managed to create a timeless, almost classic feeling with all of his films and this is in part due to the costuming. Speaking of her experience working with him, Benzinger says: "He wants his films to be timeless. He doesn't want you to look at one of his films five years from now and say, 'Oh, that was so trendy. That was so five years ago.' He loves the classic stuff; that's just the way he is."
Due to the nature of Blanchett's character, Jasmine her wardrobe consisted of elegant and expensive clothes which is a true reflection of the world she lives in. Therefore the most prominent designers were on the hit list. "As far as the brands go for Jasmine, it really was Chanel and Fendi," she says.
Swaddled in Valentino and and Carolina Herrera, only a true star like blanchett could of pulled in such a stunning wardrobe. A perfect example of this was when Benzinger sent Karl Lagerfeld a note asking if he would be so kind as to send Blanchett a custom made Chanel jacket. However the time of this request happened to fall on fashion week and due to just how busy the house would of been during that time she says, "I was astounded. I sent a note and in two days he shipped out two custom made jackets for Cate Blanchett with the most beautiful note. And I just thought, 'Oh my god,' and he just said 'For Cate, I’d do anything.' When the jackets arrived, I said, 'How could he do this?' It was right during the fashion shows and everything and he turned them around and sent them to me. Cate put it on and it was perfect."
The Chanel Jacket that Benzinger is speaking about is a piece specifically requested by Allen for Blanchett's character. Feeling that it was a piece that would instantly be associated with the character, and perfectly exemplified her lifestyle and where she had come from. "Woody loves to have costumes in his films that speak volumes about history and fashion," says Benzinger, "I think as soon as I said Chanel jacket his eyes lit up and he said, 'Do you think we actually could get a Chanel jacket?' And I said, 'I think we could.'"
As for the other characters? For the men, including Alex Baldwin's charachter, Benzinger looked to Ralph Lauren. Baldwin's character Looks very Hamptons chic throughout, with his character wearing lofas and white shirts. Sally Hawkins who plays Blanchett's sister, Ginger in the movie it was thrift shops. "We did Salvation Army and thrift stores because she started down on her luck," said Benzinger, "I think her character’s fun and I think she’s sexy and has found a different way of life than her sister."
With absolute eye candy of fashion throughout, and surely a best actress nomination for Blanchett, I highly recommend!