I just love your Japanese POW look

by yayayanonono

What happens when the inspiration that you find comes from, at the very least, a depressing or at most, an inappropriate source? I was watching a pair of unrelated movies this week and was really struck by the colour and texture of the costumes.

First off is Empire of the Sun. How do I explain that the inspiration for a certain look is Japanese prisoner of war without sounding like a character out of Zoolander? Even though John Malkovich’s costume of an indigo dyed kimono under a khaki army jacket is SO Dries! Looking through pictures of real POW camps, I can tell you with certainty that no one looked like this- it is a very Ralph Lauren take on human misery.

And second is Beau Travail: Claire Denis’ lyrical meditation on ritual, maleness, desire and jealousy. Although I loved all the various washed out greens of the Legionnaires underwear hanging on the lines, it is the salt encrusted knick- knacks for sale at the market that really got me. Even in the tragic moment  when Sentain is laying in the salt flats dying all I could think is how do I get that salt look at home?

How do these colours and feelings of sun damage, dryness and  encrusting translate to garments? How do you even achieve these looks without it being pretentious (at best) or offensive (at worst)?