Tom Ford's directorial debut, A Single Man, is opening in limited release this weekend, and even though the movie is strictly speaking the story of a man grappling with the sudden death of his young lover, there's no mistaking that a fashion icon is behind the camera. While period pieces usually get the most fashion love and attention, like Marie Antoinette's dizzy hair styles and gowns, there are plenty of other places to find your haute eye candy. In honor of Ford's dazzling new film, which stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, and Matthew Goode, here are my favorite men dressed to kill.
1. Colin Firth as George in A Single Man
The inspiration for the list, this buttoned-up English professor in the 1962 is veddy proper down to his cuff links, even as the gals start to get loose with Twiggy's straight hair, impressive eye makeup, and ever-present cigarettes. George's stubborn elegance, from his careful Windsor-knotted ties to his sharply shined shoes, offers him a daily ritual in the face of his heartbreaking grief, a lecture hall of uncaring students, and the turbulence of the times.
2. David Bowie as John in The Hunger
Oh yes, the Thin White Duke. It isn't enough that the movie starts with Bauhaus performing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with Peter Murphy looking all frigging spiky-haired and whatnot, but then we have John (Bowie) and Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) watching them perform in a club as New Wave kids writhe around. Ack! Sure, John's 2,000 years old, but he looks as dapper in his impeccably tailored all-black suit as the day Miriam sank her fangs into him. Well, at first, anyway.
3. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Brian Slade/ Maxwell Demon in Velvet Goldmine
What's more full of glam rock eye candy than Velvet Goldmine, a tribute to the crazy fabulosity of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, glam rock, and all that entails? Rhys Meyers rocks a bevy of glittery, out-of-this-world looks as his alter ego Maxwell Demon, a gender-bending wild child who fakes his own death and disappears into the ether.
4. Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Amadeus
The late 1700s were a fabulous time for giant powdered wigs, huge bustles and petticoats, tight corsets, and ribbons galore. No one so much as blinked at lace cravats and heaving bosoms, but Mozart, who admits in the movie he's "a vulgar man," goes so far as to sport a unicorn head. Forget his annoying laugh. The man wears a unicorn head. Talk about fashion forward.
5. Valentino as himself in Valentino: The Last Emperor
Love him or hate him, he's Valentino, darling! The man dressed everyone from Jackie O. to Audrey Hepburn and Liz Taylor in his 45-year career, and this doc looks at the life and legacy of the tan man as he and fashion partner Giancarlo Giammetti prep for their runway show and a retrospective of Valentino's career. Valentino announced his retirement a few months after the star-studded bash in Rome.
6. Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
Although his label whoredom is more detailed in the book than the movie, Bateman's narcissism represents the '80s Wall Street yuppie taken to a bloody extreme. He's not above putting on an eye ice mask in the mornings while he works out, judging people by the weight of the paper used for their business cards, or putting a rain coat over his Valentino suit before splitting someone's head open with an axe. And he collects the Style section of the Times.
7. Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd
Sure, he looks a little dusty and grey, and his straight razor is hungry for blood, but damn, Sweeney is fine in those Victorian duds of his, especially in the dreamy scene of him and Mrs. Lovett on the beach in all their stripey finery. And let's not even discuss the fabulous skunk stripe in his wild mane.