Sundance: What Your Parka Says About You

Your parka in Park City can speak volumes about where you fall in the film-world landscape. And we're here to help


Spot someone wearing a miniskirt or shorts — perhaps without tights? The young and the pantless who dot Sundance (hello, Dakota and Elle Fanning) "will throw a cute bomber jacket on top as if that's going to help" with the cold, says producer-actress Miranda Bailey, who's in competition title The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Among the underdressed at the fest: Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway and Zooey Deschanel. Jokes one vet: "Seeing young Hollywood out in high heels is always a treat: Hey, guys, did you notice the blizzard?"

The legging topper: Burberry London shearling-paneled leather biker jacket, $3,795,


If the outer­wear is dark, sleek and high-tech from brands including Belstaff, Moncler or Aether (launched by former producers Palmer West and Jonah Smith), it's likely being worn by an investor or a studio bigwig on the hunt for an indie bargain or new filmmakers. Among them this year: Colony Capital founder and Miramax chairman Tom Barrack, and Lionsgate's Patrick Wachsberger, Rob Friedman and Erik Feig. "Even Harvey [Weinstein] is wearing a tailored black parka," says an observer of the TWC chief famous for sporting the same uniform at every fest.

Tailored fit: Belstaff down-filled parka, $1,375,


Fest regulars don ancient jackets for sentimental reasons. "I regretfully fall into this category," says Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn of his decade-old Moncler. Boyhood producer and Cinetic president John Sloss brings back Red Wing boots from college, which he's worn at every Sundance deal: "They're steel-toed, perfect for kicking ass." Ethan Hawke, who returns after last year's Boyhood with Ten Thousand Saints, says his go-to is "a great parka I got when I did Alive [in 1992] on the glacier; I always bring it to Sundance."

Comfort and warmth: Moncler Claude field jacket, $1,103,


Nothing but the latest for these problem-solvers. Joni Sighvatsson, who has Z for Zachariah in dramatic competition, says he'll be sporting his "lightweight, Primaloft, fake-down Isaora" in milder weather. For bitter cold, he'll break out a parka by Icelandic label 66°North, a company he owned for 10 years: "It's become trendy — Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth and Jake Gyllenhaal discovered it years ago." Lawrence Bender still has the silver parka Sighvatsson gave him during Inglourious Basterds. "I wear it every year," Bender says. Roth, who has Knock Knock at the fest, swears by his 66°North pants: "They're my go-to directing pants when shooting outdoors."

Always on trend: Isaora Primaloft insulated shirt in dark teal, $165,


Sundance-branded jackets are issued each year to jurors and directors with films in the festival. The anointed few have multiple versions, like two-time doc directing winner Ondi Timoner. Marianna Palka snagged her first director's jacket in 2008 (when her film Good Dick competed). "I wear it on set," she says. "It gives you the sense of being a superhero." Doc specialists Submarine Entertainment's company coat, created each year with different brands (recently, Arc'teryx and Canada Goose), is another coveted item. Few beyond Submarine's principals and frequent collaborators get to have it. Says co-president Josh Braun: "We have received requests. If John Waters asked for one, he would get one."

Branded parkas go to Sundance participants. And Submarine makes a company coat (2014’s was by Canada Goose and was emblazoned with the company’s logo on the left arm).

This story first appeared in the Jan. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.