Yesterday Page Six reported that Daniel Day Lewis‘s post-Phantom Thread game plan is to become a dressmaker or, you know, possibly a dress designer of some sort. The 60 year-old actor fell for the art of making women’s dresses while researching haute couture fashion in preparation for playing the legendary Charles James. James is the focus of Paul Thomas Anderson’s film, which Focus Features will open on 12.25. It’s about James’ high-time career in the ’50s. While James operated out of New York City during that decade, Phantom Thread is strangely set in London.
DDL’s career-switch decision makes perfect sense, of course. Instead of building upon a brilliant body of work as a universally admired actor of unquestioned genius, he will henceforth devote himself to dressmaking, a notoriously fickle and demanding profession that only a relative few have truly excelled at, and as a journeyman at that.
Question: From my moron perspective I’m presuming that dressmaking is more or less about literally constructing dresses on your hands and knees with sewing needles between your teeth, and that dress designing is where the inspirational part comes in…right? And that DDL has opted to be a grunt who handles the material and thread and whatnot? Or is he looking to design dresses as James did? I’m presuming he’s intending to primarily design but also roll up his sleeves when the occasion demands and literally cut and stitch the damn things together. I don’t know anything. I love high-end men’s fashion (particularly shoes) but I never cared about women’s stuff. What straight guy does?
Who said Lewis is particularly gifted as a designer? Who has told him “you have promise, young man…you should develop your skills!” Where are DDL’s original designs so we, the popcorn-munching audience, can assess whether he’s just as talented in this new calling as he is at acting? I respect Lewis’s willingness to explore new terrain at an advanced age, but c’mon, dude…what are the odds that you’re the new Yves Saint Laurent or Christian Dior or Stella McCartney?
John Malkovich has a suit-designing business.
Boil it down and this is the latest what-the-fuck?, should-he-stay-with-the-same-medication-or-see-a new-doctor? move from an actor known for his mercurial eccentricity.
Remember that Lewis quit acting for five years in the 1990s to become a Florence-based shoemaker under the tutelage of Stefano Bemer.