© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
August 17, 2012 7:23 pm
Styling a film franchise, particularly one as bankable as writer Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series, is often an exercise in characterisation over couture. However, while 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, which made more than $422m at the box office, saw Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) trading his slick spy chic – leather jackets, chunky tan sweaters, and many outfit changes – for a pared-down, markedly less conspicuous look, The Bourne Legacy, now showing in the US and UK, is more fashion-sensitive than its predecessor.
“Matt’s character was really the onion peeled away,” says British costume designer Shay Cunliffe, who worked on both films. With a narrative switch from Jason Bourne to Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), the product of a CIA programme who has been chemically enhanced to become an unstoppable killing machine, “we wanted to shake it up a bit, but not take it into a completely different vocabulary”. The result is a fugitive clad in practical and stylish outerwear that is likely to infiltrate civilian closets in the autumn.
Cross’s wardrobe was largely sourced from specialist Canadian outfitter Arc’teryx, whose thermoformed, micro-seam jackets are engineered to be “fantastically light, fantastically warm, impervious to water”. Function-infused fashion was important to Renner, who told Cunliffe: “I want to be able to put it on, live in it and do everything I need to do.” A utilitarian black-on-black Belstaff jacket, leather in appearance but made of cotton to minimise sweat, also plays a part.
Colour relief comes via a Ralph Lauren Highland green cable-knit sweater worn by Cross’s fellow “Outcome” agent (Oscar Isaac) and referencing “frontier men together in solidarity”, says Cunliffe. Conversely, as a morally dubious CIA agent hell-bent on catching Cross, Eric Byer (Edward Norton) dons muted grey suits from Ermenegildo Zegna and Hugo Boss: “cool and collected, like a young JFK”.
As for the womenswear, Cross’s scientist saviour Dr Marta Sheerling (Rachel Weisz) forgoes high fashion for Earnest Sewn dark jeans, a faux shearling Comptoir des Cotonniers dark camel duffel jacket (Cunliffe removed the toggles to take away fuss), and charcoal Rag and Bone flat zip-boots – proof, perhaps, that this new chapter of the Bourne series has some pretty powerful fashion legs.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.