Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is the 37-year-old fairly successful ghost writer of young adult novels in the big city of Minneapolis. When she visits her conservative little home town Mercury, she’s confronted with her fading success and tries—in a sort of midlife crisis—to win her college love, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), back.
When she arrives home, she tries many subtle strategies to get her ex-boyfriend back and to kick his wife, Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), out of his life; her seductive tactics include blonde hair extensions, makeup, high heels, sexy clothes, and a lot of alcohol.
At this juncture, her sense of fashion plays an important role because it conveys her mood, emphasizes her emotional state, and function as a comment on the situations she must face. A good example is the short black jacket that she wears when she picks up Buddy and Beth Slade at home for Beth’s rock concert in a pub and to see their baby. Her jacket is a model from British fashion brand “AllSaints" which is known for their dark and rough underground style.
The brand is also popular among many pop and music stars like U2, Stereophonics or Robbie Williams. The UK rapper Tineh Tempah even mentioned the brand in his song ‘Frisky’:
“I think I found a winner, with no ring around her finger. Her dress from AllSaints, but I think I’ve found a sinner”
Which might be another hint, that the image of the brand fits perfectly to a ‘sinner‘ like Mavis.
Furthermore, the brand “AllSaints” might be a subtle hint towards her thinking that she is the angelic “saint” destined to rescue a lost ex-boyfriend from the misery of his boring life and marriage. In Mavis‘ eyes, Beth is the enemy, who gets all the love from Buddy. She doesn’t understand his choice because Beth is the exact opposite of her shining blonde beauty; she is black-haired, short, kind, a loving mother, and boyishly dressed—everything that Mavis hates.
And if you look even closer to Mavis’ “Karst Cropped” jacket model you will notice the military frogging on the front. The army style subtly symbolizes that she sees her journey home and the freeing of Buddy as a military mission. Therefore, I would go so far to assume, that she prepares herself every night with a new outfit for another little “battle” to regain her ex-boyfriend.
I don’t know for sure if costume designer David Robinson or movie director Jason Reitman had all this in mind when choosing the “AllSaint” jacket, but I think it’s a nice little film fact and assumption.
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