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The Armani Also Rises

August 04, 1993|BETTY GOODWIN

The Movie: "Rising Sun"

The Setup: LAPD Detective John Connor (Sean Connery, pictured center) plays the senpai (guide) with questionable loyalties to Detective Web Smith (Wesley Snipes, pictured right), leading him through Japanese customs when a woman is found murdered in a Japanese corporate building in downtown Los Angeles.

The Costume Designer: Jacqueline West, who designs women's sportswear under her own label. "Rising Sun" is her first foray into costume design.

Sources: One must accept that there's a good measure of fantasy here, because both these cops wear Giorgio Armani, but Connery wins first fashion prize.

Snipes gets only one off-the-rack Armani suit. But Connery sports ties, shirts, belts, oxfords and three custom-made suits, all based on the designer's long, tapered jackets for fall. Not surprisingly, West says Connery took home the wardrobe at the end of the movie.

The Look: Connery, wearing a beard and a toupee of monk-like silver bangs and dark suits with monastic black shirts, comes across as enigmatic and vaguely Eastern. Meanwhile, take note of Snipes' vivid red shirts--West's symbolism for Japan's rising sun.

It's a good thing Snipes gets those high-voltage shirts. Otherwise, Connery would have taken him hostage, style-wise, and he would have faded into cinematic history as just another blah-looking cop.

Try This at Home: Black on the golf course. Connor tees off in a black silk polo shirt, forest-green linen pants and black golf shoes.

Trivia: In the Michael Crichton novel on which the film is based, the murdered woman's ensemble is described as an expensive Yamamoto black dress. In the movie, supermodel Tatjana Patitz wears a zip-front cocktail dress of black stretch satin designed by West.

Quoted: "I came about using Armani because I had drawn (Connor) dark, monochromatic, like a cross between a descendant of Rikyu, the 16th-Century Buddhist monk known for his impeccable taste, and John Wayne in 'Stagecoach,' " West said.

"I originally thought of using Yamamoto, but Sean Connery's so tall and the Japanese styles are so boxy. I thought Armani would be the way to go because of the drape. It's very good on large men."

Deja vu: In his one fight scene, Connery wears a navy mock-turtleneck sweater under his suit, a reference to his image as James Bond.

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