loved ‘phantom thread’? here’s what to see, read, and listen to after the film
i-D's moodboard includes dramatically dark photography, sexually charged cinema, and delectable mushroom-topped breakfast foods.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread is a movie about the cracks that lie beneath the surface of the esteemed fashion elite in post-war London. Anchored by the convoluted relationship between designer Reynolds Woodcock and his latest muse Alma, the film offers countless displays of decadence; the parties are lavish, the garments are exquisite, the breakfasts are absolutely over the top. Keeping this in mind, we’ve gathered five cultural pieces for necessary post-Woodcock consumption.
Book: Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton
“It’s so good to be classic, and not trendy.” Those, in fact, are not the words of Reynolds Woodcock, who states in the film that whoever created the word chic should be “hung drawn and quartered,” but rather chef Gabrielle Hamilton. Ideological similarities aside, Hamilton makes some of the best damn breakfast in New York City, and her cookbook Prune catalogs an impressive number of her modest yet refined recipes. Though trim on prose, it’s bristling with regimented instructions for culinary excellence. You may even learn how to properly cook a mushroom or two.
Album: Gist Is (2014) by Adult Jazz
It’d be near impossible to top Phantom Thread’s Oscar-nominated original score, composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. However, if ever tasked with rescoring the film with a bit more vocal elasticity, doubtlessly chalk it up to Adult Jazz. The Leeds band’s debut record, Gist Is, is an ambitious and precise expedition, where iridescent meditations on sexuality gradually unspool into raucous moments of theatricality. The band will drop an anticipated second full-length LP sometime this year, but until then, Gist Is sounds just as fresh as it did when it came out in 2014.
Photographer: Erwin Blumenfeld
With Erwin Blumenfeld’s iconic fashion photography, it’s often less about the clothing than it is about the model — that being said, it’s uncertain as to whether he’d be House of Woodcock’s top choice for capturing Reynold’s garments. Nevertheless, Blumenfeld’s post-war gaze, warped like an erotically charged and highly stylized science fiction film, made for dramatically compelling fashion photography with a persistently dark undercurrent. Picturing Alma as the subject of one of his elaborate and experimental shoots is a necessary post-film indulgence.
Film: Head-On (2004)
Fatih Akın’s Head-On captures the tumultuous dynamic between two young Turkish-Germans, alcoholic Cahit and damaged Sibel, who meet in a psych ward. The two quickly marry, in an effort to appease Sibel’s strict conservative family. But their arrangement, wherein Sibel continues to date other men while sharing an apartment with her new husband, quickly becomes a point of unique contention. Though decidedly less glamorous than Phantom Thread, the film’s leading couple oozes a similar toxicity that permeates each striking moment between them.
Designer: Hardy Amies
There is much to be said about how fashion is utilized in Phantom Thread, but it’s particularly compelling as an amalgamation of 1950s couture culture. One major influence that went into the fictional Woodcock brand was London designer Sir Hardy Amies. In recent years, the Hardy Amies brand has pivoted to exclusively tailored menswear. Yet Phantom Thread warrants revisiting the days when Amies’s house at 14 Savile Row bustled with an energy that generated crisp designs for queens and countesses alike.