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How Directors Dress Brings Filmmakers’ Fashion to the Forefront

The new book from movie merch masters A24 spotlights the off-camera style of Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson and more.


Wes Anderson on the set of ‘Rushmore’ with cowriter Owen Wilson
Wes Anderson on the set of ‘Rushmore’ with cowriter Owen Wilson. Photograph: Cinematic / Alamy Stock Photo
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Sofia Coppola dons the same Charvet collared shirt (sometimes layered over a tank, sometimes buttoned all the way up) while working on her movies. On the set of his Studio Ghibli films, Hayao Miyazaki famously wore off-white aprons on top of whatever outfit he’d chosen that day—a gray blazer, a wool vest. And Spike Lee practically made the sports hat a signature while directing his most iconic works, like Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X.

When it comes to Hollywood fashion, there’s no doubt that the public has its eye trained firmly on celebrities’ styled, curated, highly enviable looks on and off the red carpet. But behind the scenes, directors have their own sense of fashion that’s worth their salt, too. Enter: How Directors Dress: On Set, In the Edit, and Down the Red Carpet, a new coffee table book created by @directorfits Instagrammer Hagop Kourounian, Screen Slate editor in chief Jon Dieringer, fashion writer Charlie Porter, and film critic Caitlin Quinlan. Published by A24, the tome features over 200 photos of directors sticking out on set in their everyday—albeit still instantly recognizable against the sea of costumes—outfits. There are also essays by fashion journalists like Lynn Yeager and Lauren Sherman in the book, along with a foreword by The Souvenir filmmaker Joanna Hogg. How Directors Dress also comes with an afterword written by Yohji Yamamoto, who was the subject of Wim Wenders’s documentary Notebook on Cities and Clothes, which is all about the designer’s life and personal sense of style. Yamamoto, therefore, is in a unique position to speak from both sides of the aisle: “Wearing a well-cut jacket and pants, a white tie, and a white shirt is typically formal,” he writes. “It becomes difficult to tell who they are or what they do because the formal element is so very strong. It becomes boring. Wearing those clothes at the Cannes Film Festival signifies, ‘I’m successful. I’m walking the red carpet.’ That is not appealing to me.”

Below, a look at some of the best ‘fits from the pages of How Directors Dress.

RGR Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Sofia Coppola on the set of Marie Antoinette—wearing her signature Charvet button-down.

Universal Images Group North America LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

David Lean on the set of Ryan’s Daughter.

© TriStar Pictures/Entertainment Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

Marielle Heller and Tom Hanks on the set of her 2019 Mister Rogers biopic, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

EL DESEO S.A / LEROY, JEAN MARIE / Album / Alamy Stock Photo

Pedro Almodóvar with his cast on the set of Kika.

LAKESHORE ENTERTAINMENT / REED, ELI / Album / Alamy Stock Photo

John Singleton on the set of Shaft.

Alamy Stock Photo

Steven Spielberg on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Paul Thomas Anderson on the Boogie Nights set.

Album / Alamy Stock Photo

Andrei Tarkovsky

Courtesy of A24

A look inside How Directors Dress: On Set, In the Edit, and Down the Red Carpet.