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Mafia Fashion

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This is a magazine I created for my Italian Cinema class exploring the Mafia's fashion and how it relates to their identity








    Best Costume Design!Godfather II & More



    REVEALHow SleekHair ReallyMakes You

    Look SoGood

    JAZZ AGENew TrendsYou Can Wear Now!

    STYLES THAT KILL!Find the Best Suitfor Your Body!

    PlusAl Capones ClassAct!


    Cool Classy Costumes: Best Costume Design Winners & NomineesFind out which Mafia movies have the best costumes

    Secrets to Instant RespectItems that will make people think you are an A-List member of the Mafia

    Jazz Age: New Trends You Can Wear NowThe hottest accessories that make your look to die for

    Al Capones Class ActLearn how the nations most infamous gangster became the classiest man in town

    Styles that Kill: Find the Best Suit for Your BodyHow to look your best when roaming the city streets

    Hair Stylists Reveal: How Sleek Hair Really Makes You Look So GoodComplete your Mafia look from head to toe with these hair tips

    Who Wore It Better?Readers judge which Mafia phenomenon wore the newsboy/golfer hat best

    Dressing for SuccessLearn the psychology behind why looking good is so important

    Fashion Dos and Donts: Dressing for the Rise and the FallHow to dress to make sure you always stay on top

    Works CitedSee what wonderful sources were used during this project















  • HTheadora Van Runkle

    ere are award nominees for Best Costume Design. The winners are marked with an astrisk (*).

    Academy Award NomineesThe Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, Howard Shoup (1960)Bonnie and Clyde, Theadora Van Runkle (1967)The Godfather, Anna Hill Johnstone (1972)*The Sting, Edith Head (1973)*The Godfather Part II, Theadora Van Runkle (1974)Prizzis Honor, Richard Condon and Janet Roach (1986)The Untouchables, Marilyn Vance-Straker (1987)Harlem Nights, Joe I. Tompkins (1989)Dick Tracy, Milena Canonero (1990)*Bugsy, Albert Wolsky (1992)Bullets Over Broadway, Jeffrey Kurland (1994)

    BAFTA NomineesThe Godfather, Anna Hill Johnstone (1972)

    British Academy Film Award Nominees*Goodfellas, Richard Bruno (1990)

    David Di Donatello Award*I Cento Passi (One Hundred Steps), Elisabetta Montaldo (2000)



    Costume Designer for Godfather II

    Edith Heads sketches of The Stings Academy

    Award Winning Costumes


    In this photo, you see the costume Elisabetta

    Montaldo designed for I Cento Passis lead

    character, Peppino

    Academy Award for Best Costume Design

    Ultimate Gangster/Crime Film Site: Academy Awards (1990-present). Ultimate

    Gangster/ Crime Film

    Site: Academy Awards (1990-present). N.p., n.d.

    Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

    Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 21

    Jan. 2013.


  • Who Wore It Better?

    Nino from Mafioso Vito from The Godfather Joe from Donnie Brasco

    19%38%42%The winner of our Who Wore It Better? competition this month is

    Nino Badalamenti from Mafioso because readers like his classic use of the newsboy hat. Historically, the working class, in specific, factory

    workers, construction workers and laborers, wore the newsboy hat because it is the most inexpensive hat. However, people often

    distinguished themselves from other members of the working class by using different fabrics and colors that represented their wealth. Nino,

    Vito and Jonnie all wear this hat when they are either performing jobs in the working class, or have small/lower-ranked roles in the Mafia. Nino is the most successful in wearing the newsboy hat because he captures the true essence of the working class. Nino is proud of his

    factory job in Milan, and satisfied with his small role in the Mafia as a messenger true to the newsboy style.

    We asked our readers to vote on who wore the

    newsboy/golfer hat the best. The contestants were Nino

    Badalamenti from Mafioso, Vito Coreleone from The

    Godfather and Joe from Donnie Brasco.

    Secrets to Instant Respect

    White SuitIf you want to get respect, make a statement in a

    white suit. In this attire you will instantly show people

    how wealthy and powerful you are because it is

    expensive and difficult to keep a white suit clean.

    Belinsky, Fred. Iconic Hats: Newsboy Hats and Ivy Hats. Hat Blog N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

  • JAZZ AGENew Trends You Can Wear Now!

    CigarsThe more expensive the cigar

    the more prestigious you are.

    WristwatchRetire your pocket watch and move up in the world with

    the newest fad wristwatches. Developed in the early

    part of the 1930s, having this wristwatch allows you to

    drive, travel and play sports. A wristwatch with a more

    rectangular shape will be more sleek and modern.

    1929-1942 Hat

    1914-1928 Shoes

    1914-1928 Tie

    1914-1928 Hat

    1914-1928 Gloves

    1929-1942 Shoes

    1929-1942 Gloves

    1929-1942 Tie

    Blackman, Cally. The 20s & 30s Flappers & Vamps (20th Century Fashion). Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1999. Print.

    Hill, Daniel D. American Menswear: From the Civil War to the Twenty-First Century.Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech UP, 2011. Print.

    Peacock, John. Fashion Accessories: The Complete 20th Century

    Sourcebook. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000. Print.





  • Underneath his cool violent demeanor, this well-renowned Mafia leader is a fashion guru, ready to share his look with the world. Even 70 years after his death people still talk of Al Capone as a stylish gangster in the era of stylish gangsters (1920s and 1930s Gangster Suits: Classic Mens Fashion.).

    apone is a deadly rival both in life and in fashion. His gang alone shot seven men from a rival Chicago gang in the 1929 St. Valentines Day Massacre. But you better bet that when Capone made his hit, he was decked out in one of his custom, top-of-the-line suits. During the 1930s, the best suits would cost $85, which is equivalent to more than $1,000 today. Capone would have 20 custom suits made at roughly $135 apiece. This means that Capone spent approximately $35,000 in suits, and that price does not include all of the accessories he wears to complete his ensemble. It is difficult to spend the same kind of money Capone spent on his suits, but you can emulate his fashion

    style. Though patterns and bolder colors were becoming popular in the 1930s, Capone typically stuck to solid color suits in hues of blue, brown or grey. The suit has to be a light fabric, and the outfit is best completed with frilly accessories. Robert Schoenberg describes one of the suits Al Capone would wear and the accessories he would add to it.

    To this suit he would add a Raccoon coat, matching

    silk tie and handkerchief, a canary yellow or green silk

    shirt, Italian glove silk undies, a cream colored borsalino wide-brimmed hat, a big

    black cigar, and of course his $50,000 11.5-carat Jagerfontein

    diamond ring.

    So there you have it. If you want to dress like Capone and earn his street cred as a top-notch Mafia leader in business and in fashion, you have to be decked out in the

    finest quality of clothes from your underwear to your hat.

    C1920s and 1930s Gangster Suits: Classic Mens Fashion. 1920s and 1930s Gangster Suits. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.

    Blackman, Cally. The 20s & 30s Flappers & Vamps (20th Century Fashion). Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1999. Print.

    Inflation Calculator. DollarTimes.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.



    ow you dress holds more meaning than just looking good. Fashion is representative of your social class, status and identity, and can be a tool used to transcend symbolic boundaries. The fact that clothing is one of the most visible forms of consumption makes clothing an easy way for people to feel like they have risen in the world and accomplished many of their goals. Immigrants divested themselves of their traditional clothing as soon as they arrived, using clothes as a means of discarding their previous identities and establishing new ones (Crane 5). In addition, members of the lower class would do their best to emulate the fashions predetermined by the upper class in order to gain a higher status. The idea of class that is associated with clothing is a prominent reason in the Mafias attraction to expensive suits. Clothes as artifacts create behavior through their capacity to impose social identities and empower people to assert latent social identities (Crane 2). Leaders of the Mafia identify themselves as powerful, family-oriented businessmen who are deserving of

    respect, so they want their clothes to reflect that identity. By buying expensive suits and accessories, members of the Mafia feel like they have established their legitimacy both as American citizens and as wealthy men. In this business, you fail without the respect of others, and wearing expensive suits not only gives people the perception that disrespecting you could end in a terrible fate, but it makes you feel empowered and respectable. That is why it is important for all members of the Mafia, including lower-ranked members, to look good in order to impress members of the Family and intimidate anyone outside of the Mafia a concept we see portrayed in the film Donnie Brasco. Understanding the psychology behind clothes allows us to fully appreciate the role fashion plays in

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