Power Player Panache
How costume designer Louise Frogley sharpened up conservative political dressing for the campaign trail in George Clooney's "The Ides of March."
As the political season heats up, Hollywood is putting its own stamp on presidential campaign style. In Sony's thriller The Ides of March (out Oct. 7), Democratic candidate Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) cuts a powerful, sophisticated figure in clean and classic single-breasted gray suits. "His character, like any politician, needed to appear confident and pulled together, but it wasn't about making a style statement -- the clothing is elegant but never draws attention to itself," says costume designer Louise Frogley, who met Clooney on 2005's Syriana and has since worked with him on The Good German and Ocean's Thirteen. "All of George's suits and dress shirts were custom to ensure a precise fit. I wanted the conservativeness of a political candidate with modern elements like a slimmer, figure-flattering cut that work for him." In the Ohio-set film, which Clooney directed, produced and co-wrote, Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) is the idealistic press spokesman who learns about dirty backroom politics. Early on, his character wears more traditional suits, bought at Beverly Hills menswear store Carroll & Co., but by the end of the film, he's a smooth-talking slickster in Gucci.
For neckties, Frogley used lots of blue and some power reds in stripes and dots. Notes image consultant Patsy Cisneros: "Ties aren't necessarily about sending a message, but they can support a candidates' image. Once they've won, you'll often see a signature color or style that men's stores stock, and it becomes ubiquitous on businessmen." Bill Clinton made yellow popular and George W. Bush favored light blue, while the current trend as seen on Obama and some GOPers, says Cisneros, is a medium to deep blue with white or pale blue dots, which Clooney's character wears in the film.