'Inception' fashion: Decoding the film's timeless style

inception_320.jpg If you couldn’t tell by our review, cover, and our endless PopWatch items, we here at EW loved Inception and its mind-bending, trippy aftershock. Though most fans were focused on the film’s puzzles, mind games, and the how’d-they-do-it stunts, I found myself honing in on something completely different: the film’s style.

Not trendy, yet not dated, Inception had a timeless aesthetic that constantly kept me guessing about the time period. For every almost vintage-looking dress, there was a blue jeans outfit; for every 70s-style leather jacket, there was a slick suit reminiscent of today’s streamlined fit. For the scoop on the other secrets of Inception, I turned to the studio as well as costume designer, Jeffrey Kurland.

Because the movie was an original sci-fi adventure, Kurland wanted to bring a contemporary feel that still felt ambiguous, which makes sense for the dream world layers upon layers. There was nothing in the surroundings that dated the film, so it was only natural to make the wardrobe feel the same way. Kurland custom-made all of the clothing — minus Ellen Page’s jeans. Even Cobb and Mal’s rings were original pieces.

You might not be able to score Mal’s beautiful beaded dress or Ariadne’s print scarves (both custom-made), but you can snag Cobb’s button-down (shown above), which Kurland designed with legendary shirt maker Anto Beverly Hills. His shirt was made specifically for the film and can be custom-ordered through the company ($350; 310-278-4500).

What other looks did you like from the movie?

Photo: Melissa Moseley

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  • Jason

    I liked Inception a lot, but I think this article finally puts the nail in the coffin of “we have nothing else to say any more about this film.”

    • Jaymii

      I was surprised there was anything to say after even seeing the film. It spoke for itself.

  • Josie

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 3 piece suit, Cillian Murphy’s tie ( I think in the bar scene), Cillian’s suspenders in the plane (amazing, I love suspenders), Ken Watanabe’s suit when they go see Yusuf. Everything Tom Hardy wore. And So Much More

    • Quirky

      Yeah, I loved the 3 piece suit also. I kind of hope that in the same way that the Matrix had alot of people running around in black trenchcoats, Inception can bring back the 3 piece suit into popular culture.

    • Johnification

      Yes! How did they write an article on Inception’s fashion yet say nothing about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s suits. WANT.

    • dancerindc

      Anything he was wearing was fantastic – I want to dress like him.

  • Madd

    So I can’t score Mal’s awesome trench coat? ****.

  • meaNYer

    Pet peeve: you don’t hone in on something, you HOME in on it.

    • bamalam

      •”hone in 1. To move or advance toward a target or goal: The missile honed in on the military installation. 2. To direct one’s attention; focus. The lawyer honed in on the gist of the plaintiff’s testimony.. . . . [Hone in, alteration of home in.]

      so basically, it was originally home in, but now both are acceptable. found at: http://grammar.about.com/od/alightersideofwriting/a/homehonegloss.htm

    • bamalam

      so maybe I wasn’t allowed to post an address to an outside site…but grammar has started to accept the use of “hone in” although it was originally “home in”

      •”hone in 1. To move or advance toward a target or goal: The missile honed in on the military installation. 2. To direct one’s attention; focus. The lawyer honed in on the gist of the plaintiff’s testimony.. . . . [Hone in, alteration of home in.]
      (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Mifflin, 2006)

      • bamalam

        now I seem like an even bigger nerd…I came back and my comment wasn’t there…so I posted again and it came back…ugh…

      • LibbyP

        bamalam, no worries. We love nerds here (not saying that you are one…).

  • dohrayme

    I saw Inception yesterday for 1st time. I liked it OK but think the gaga hype is more than it deserves. The biggest stickler for me was the ridiculous plot line about Dom’s wife. She commited suicide to live in a fantasy dream world–with no regards for her young kids? Worse, she decided beforehand to frame her husband for her (non)murder and make her kids orphans?!! That’s more sinister calculation than I buy for the dreamworld-process-made-her-nuts arguement.

    • um…

      She thought the reality was the dream world…she wanted to kill herself in order to return to what she thought/brainwashed reality, but she wasn’t able to understand that she already was in reality. I think she framed Dom because logic would probably be if he is convicted he would receive the death penalty, therefore returning to reality too.

    • gluvnast

      Mal accepted limbo as her reality. She lost sense of everything being a dream whereas Cobb couldn’t stand being in limbo any longer in a fake reality and was missing his real children.

      Therefore, Cobb performed an inception on Mal to make her believe everything is a dream. It got them out of limbo, but it forced her to continue to believe everything is a dream in spite them being back to reality. She commits suicide because she thought she was in a dream, and framed Cobb in order to force him to leave too.

      • yes

        Nice recap. Finally saw it last night after avoiding all spoilers and I really liked it. I didn’t find it difficult to follow the plot and I was very satisfied with the ending. I thought it was pretty clear he stayed it limbo and that’s why everything worked out smoothly for Cobb and he was finally able to be with his kids. The best thing about the movie were the phenomenal FX. Second best were the costumes/sets.

    • ficfan

      Sounds like Step Up 3-D is more appropriate for your intelligence level.

  • Renee

    I loved all of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s outfits…that dude rocks a waistcoat like a badass!

  • Shoshi

    Where can I find the snake hoop earrings Envy Adams wore in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World?

  • Talisha Laplaca

    If there is one thing I DON’T want to see, it’s Spencer Pratt’s pasty a** on my TV screen, especially if it’s anywhere near his wife, who appears to be made of Playdough. I threw up in my mouth just typing that. This man is a bottom feeder. Please die, soon. And why the h*ll is he BEIGE?!? I don’t know if he’s a albino who discovered spray tanning or what, but he’s the only person I’ve ever seen who is truly monochromatic. .

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