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If you’ve been out of the house at all over the past couple of months, it’s almost certain by now that you will have heard of Call Me By Your Name. After spending the majority of 2017 circulating popular festivals, the coming-of-age film has received international recognition and acclaim for its depiction of first love and is now widely tipped for Oscar glory in March. In the light of this success, it is important to acknowledge the impact that fashion and styling have on film, visually shaping our interpretations of the characters and the narrative.

Without a doubt, one of the most pivotal roles in the creation of a film’s aesthetic is that of the costume designer. In the case of Call Me By Your Name, director Luca Guadagnino turned to his friend and regular collaborator Giulia Piersanti to take up this important position. Piersanti, who works as a knitwear designer for Céline, entered the creative process of the film with a reluctance to design outfits that felt overwhelmingly constrained to the 1980s period in which the story is set. Instead, she opted for vintage pieces that evoked a feeling of timelessness and intimacy, referring to old photo albums as inspiration for her choices. The result was a polished collection of outfits that subtly reflects the fashion of 1983 Lombardy, but not to the extent that the style detracts from the beautiful narrative of the film itself.

Saying this, Piersanti’s position as a costume designer for Call Me By Your Name plays a certain role with regards to the mapping of the film’s narrative. Working closely with Guadagnino, the designer chose to repeat certain outfits throughout the film, using fashion in order to subconsciously remind the viewer of events that occurred in previous scenes. Piersanti’s styling of both Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) also has a tremendous effect on how we interpret the characters’ relationship over the course of the film. The differences in fashion between the two characters are clearly noticeable, creating an understated binary opposition between the experienced Oliver and the frustrated Elio.

It goes without saying that the character of Oliver steals the spotlight when it comes to fashion throughout the film. Piersanti made a conscious effort to style Oliver in oversized Oxford shirts and short shorts in order to emphasise his larger-than-life American personality in the setting of the small Italian town. The character’s staple look is that of a beige or powdered blue Oxford shirt tucked into fitted camel shorts that are worn above the knee. Visually, the precision with which his outfits have been assembled results in an appearance that exuberates a certain confidence, reflecting his personality. This same confidence is seen in his swimwear, with Piersanti making use of bright, yet muted colours that echo his buoyant, yet composed nature.

In contrast, the character of Elio is styled in a way that often acts as a visual manifestation of his adolescent confusion. We see him over the course of the film donning polo shirts, graphic tees, light double denim and short shorts which, like Oliver’s, are fitted and worn above the knee. However, Elio’s shorts evidently differ from Oliver’s in the sense that they are almost always patterned, reflecting the character’s frustration towards his feelings for his romantic counterpart. Although Elio’s outfits are definitely trendy, they often feel much less structured than Oliver’s, as Piersanti visibly reminds us of the dichotomy between the two characters.

Piersanti’s role in the production of the film is nothing short of imperative, using her artistry in a way that subtly guides us through the narrative. Due to the timeless nature of the designer’s fashion choices, many of the outfits would not look out of place in today’s society. On that note, here is how to shop the best looks inspired by Call Me By Your Name (prepare for lots and lots of Oxford shirts).

The Oliver Look:

Wear this powder-blue Oxford shirt tucked into camel shorts and pair with a brown belt and brown loafers for the ultimate Oliver aesthetic.

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OFFICE

The Elio Look:

To channel Elio’s relaxed style, opt for this navy striped polo and light blue denim shorts, complementing them with classic white Converse and black shades for the Italian sun.

Charles Tyrwhitt

 

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Converse

The Double Denim Look:

Choose your denim jeans light and ripped, matching it with a staple denim jacket. Add a pop of colour with this dusty pink Oxford shirt and put on white trainers to complete an outfit that Elio would be proud to wear on a night out.

Pull & Bear

 

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Pull & Bear

The Poolside Look:

Perfect your summer look by going for burgundy swim shorts and an oversized Oxford shirt, worn unbuttoned. Go full-Oliver by pairing this with your favourite sliders and a gold bracelet.

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Adidas Originals

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