Fashion on Film: Pollock

Sometimes just switching the channel at the exact right moment can change your life. Or at least alter your wardrobe. Last week I clicked into the middle of the bio-pic Pollock just as its artiest and most stylish sequence played out.

In it, an early 1950s documentary filmmaker had traveled to Jackson’s Long Island country house to capture the abstract artist’s drip painting process on 16mm film.

Visually, the sequence was a mid-century masterpiece; the focal point for me being Ed Harris’s arty farmer-like costumes.

Ink-dark denim jackets, slim and trim T’s in black and white, and up-cuffed jeans in fits you can actually work in.

The sequence begins with Pollock changing out of his tobacco brown loafers into black, battered boots – but as the montage flickers on, he’s shown wearing both pairs of shoes, splattering each of them with the same inspired, uncaring abandon.

It was the juxtaposition of rural and urban in Jackson’s outfits, and of rugged and refined, that caught my eye. Whether a chore coat he’d picked up at some musty mercantile or a pair of spiffy loafers from his days in the big city, he wore everything with anything, and nothing was ever precious or premeditated.

Dressing like that is never easy, is it? But Jackson can show us how.

One Response to “Fashion on Film: Pollock”

  1. Damien Says:

    One of my favorite artists and fascinating story as well. Will, I’ve always thought the modern artists and writers of the 50s & 60s were true representatives of the highly functional, masculine, and nonchalance that is American style. They have recently become one of my main style influences.