The Style of Wes Anderson


With the release of the first trailer for ‘The French Dispatch’ it only seems appropriate to look back at the influence of Wes Anderson’s style throughout his career, on screen and off.

Comfortably twee and warm, Anderson’s style has always bled through to both the style of his filmmaking and the wardrobes of his characters. Colour is always considered as a palette; with character and set working in harmony to create an aesthetically pleasing scene. Look at any of the shots within ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, such as the one below, to see the deliberation of design between costume and set. The rich purple of the hotel’s uniform highlights Gustav’s larger than life personality, but not vulgarly so, with the purple complementing the crimson of the background without clashing against it. Everything is carefully considered. It is perhaps for this reason that Anderson’s stop-motion films have been such a delight to watch; microcosms of his individual style, each movement and choice so deftly nurtured.

[Perfectly framed: Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori in The Grand Budapest Hotel.]

Imitators, and hipster-twee fashion, have followed in the wake of the increasing popularity of his films and his style. Every carefully considered maroon blazer and braces owes some part of itself to Anderson. The willingness to break away from traditional black and white suits- while maintaining an air of sophistication- and to experiment with different fabric and colour is one of Anderson’s largest legacies in the world of fashion. As we’ve seen with Tom Ford’s eye for cinematography in his directorial debut ‘Nocturnal Animals’, an eye for composition can transcend across mediums.

[Champion of Corduroy: Wes Anderson’s own tailor- enigmatically known as ‘Mr Ned’- created the costumes for Mr Fox. Miniature suits were based on the cut and fabrics of Anderson’s clothes.]

This leads us to ‘The French Dispatch’ and the future. All of the trademark trappings of an Anderson film make a return in the trailer, refined and interspersed with some beautiful black and white shots. His staging is second to none. Pastel yellow shirts and blouses complement the lemon walls of Bill Murray’s office, broken up and framed with brown wood and brown waistcoats. A spotlight shines upon Tilda Swinton’s clementine dress, and this light is the only thing that highlights her against the darker orange of the stage background. After two decades honing his craft and building his reputation, any of Anderson’s shots are now a sight to simply behold. He’s found his style, and now it never wavers, yet with each new iteration it still surprises and delights.

The French Dispatch enters UK cinemas on the 28th August, 2020.

Written by: Harry Shufflebotham