Fashion in Call Me by Your Name is the Best Guide to Nonchalant Summer Fashion

Author: John Reel

Just this winter, there has been a barrage of phenomenal films that have released one after the other. First, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s adaptation of The Disaster Artist brought in swarms of fans to the box office. Seemingly moments after, The Post—the story behind The Washington Post, the pentagon papers and Kay Graham, stunningly brought to life by Meryl Streep, hit big with film critics. Since then, it seems like more and more phenomenal movies like Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Churchill and Shape of Water have been popping up faster than film-goers can count. Among these films, one has truly stood out: Call Me by Your Name, directed Luca Guadagnino. Since its release at the Ross Theatre, the recent indie-flick-turned-blockbuster-hit has been bouncing around the tongues of fans, who desperately urge their friends to go see it as well.


The cinematography and fashion in the movie is the major pull-factor here—though the beautiful and heart-wrenching love story between Elio, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, and Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, is also to be noted. The story takes place during the summer of 1983 in the chic, though pastoral, countryside of northern Italy during 17-year-old Elio’s coming of age. An American named Oliver, who works under Elio’s father, a professor of archaeology, comes to stay with the family in their 17th century villa. The two seem to oppose each other at first, but eventually those emotions evolve into an arduous bond.

The backdrop of the film is romantic, lush but light. It perfectly captures both the feelings of an endless summer and the fleeting love that’s associated with the season. This is also portrayed in the clothing worn throughout the film, which plays off the current interest in nostalgic fashion.

The film is littered with subtle and effortlessly cool looks, including Elio’s simple pairing of multicolored short shorts and a black and white talking heads t-shirt, accompanied by a timeless pair of Ray Bans. On Oliver, an outfit consisting only of camel short shorts and a big baggy blue shirt fits matches the overall feeling and palette of the scenery.


The visionary responsible for the elegant and nonchalant looks in the film, Guilia Piersanti, is not only a costume designer, but is also involved higher up in the fashion industry. Her main position is as the knitwear designer at Céline.


Piersanti, in an interview with GQ, claimed that she wanted to stray from from the norm of making the outfits worn on-screen to appear to like costumes, which seems to be the norm in other depictions of the 1980s.


“From the beginning, I wanted the costumes to be very subtle and not be too present, and the look to be on point but without the period to disturb the viewer from ‘feeling’ and experiencing the story,” Piersanti said in a GQ interview.


The looks are exactly as she described; even with the more retro looks in the film, most of the styles could be imagined on the backs of a contemporary teenager without looking too out of place. The most beautiful thing about the garments is their ability to harmonize with the overall aesthetic of the film. This is true with every part of the movie, but especially true in the clothing, as it seems to simultaneously reflect the characters’ personalities, the summer environment, the era, and the musical score. Not only is the film a work of art, but it can also be used as a well of style inspiration for the upcoming warm seasons.

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