The Informers (2008). Directed by Gregor Jordan. Costume design by Sophie Carbonell. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder.
Bret Easton Ellis is a writer synonymous with Los Angeles and its culture. Made famous on the strength of such novels as ‘American Psycho’, ‘Less than Zero’, and ‘Rules of Attraction’, the novelist is known for the portrayal of extreme acts described in an affectless style.
Another tenet of his works is its critiques of consumer culture, rendered all the more poignant through the intense and detailed description of characters’ personal style and the worship of designer labels. His collection of threnodic short stories, 2007’s The Informers is no different, showcasing classic 80’s L.A. style.
Style: L.A. in the 80’s
Being set in the 1980s, a lot of the elements of this novel’s fashion isn’t something you would want to mimic today: Bleach highlights, fried-chicken tans, and shoulder-padded blazers. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few style points to take from this generally sleek, minimalist period in fashion history.
These have already come back in a big way thanks to the indie-rock addicted, disaffected generation coming of age in places like Brooklyn. Still, no matter how trendy these shades may be, their ubiquity now, and twenty years ago is built largely on their near-perfect design.
The wayfarers of ‘The Informers’ are the most classic style, which may not actually suit most people, since the frames are set at a substantial angle when on one’s face. But there are countless ‘interpretations’ based on the original model now, varying from more subtle, rounded, colored, and sized versions.
The Casual Blazer
The de-facto uniform of males in ‘The Informers’ is the blazer, done in a poignantly 80’s style, which more often than naught means padded shoulders, pastel colors, and polyester. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sport one, but only that it should be ‘censored’ a bit to adjust for modern taste.
Look to brands like Band of Outsiders, or H&M for blazers that are fitted, sleek, and stylish at a variety of price points.
Basically, taking style notes from a novel like The Informers requires a certain amount of artistic license, and he ability to interpret 80’s LA fashion – which was at best, over the top – in a more contemporary, modern way. Certain items like Ra-Ban Wayfarers never go out of style, while others require a little bit of contemporary editing to become fashionably contextualized.
Have some insight into the novel’s style that we missed? Or maybe just want to talk about how terrible the movie adaptation was? Le us know!