— Eric Bana — THE DRY LOOK
MAXIM Australia|May 2021
Eric Bana may be the star of Robert Connolly’s mystery thriller The Dry, one of the biggest Australian box office hits in years, but it’s his suave wardrobe that’s the real scene stealer. To coincide with the film’s digital release, MAXIM sat down with AFI award-winning costume designer CAPPI IRELAND (above) to talk practical dressing, wheat farmers and Tom Ford sunglasses…
REILLY SULLIVAN

While watching Eric Bana in The Dry, a tale of scandal murder and betrayal in a fictional country Victorian town, we couldn’t help but take special note of his character’s suaveness. And judging by the social media reaction to the character, his Tom Ford shades are the unsung hero from the film. A city transplant who returns home to investigate a suspicious murder suicide, Aaron Falk’s journey from town pariah to quite literal saviour is enlivened by his outfits.

This practical yet polished wardrobe was costumed by none other than AFI award-winning Cappi Ireland (Lion, Wentworth). The result is the perfect sartorial metaphor of a city bloke returning to his hometown in rural Australia. To underscore the point, we’re shown several sequences of Aaron in his smart casual interacting with a bar full of blokes in high vis and stained singlets. “The juxtaposition was intentional but also part of the story,” says Cappi. “My mood board consisted of colours and textures and I referenced some TV detectives and also wheat farmers.”

The first step to analysing Aaron’s wardrobe is to hone in on the basic plot of the film, based on the novel of the same name by Jane Harper. “Falk drives from the city to a funeral intending on driving home the same day,” explains Ireland. “When he realises he needs to stay longer he purchases some shirts from the general store which essentially stocks shirts for farmers and workers. We chose a pale blue chambray R.M. Williams shirt, as not only did it look good on Eric it was something that farmers in the wheat industry wear a lot.”

In a time when many brands enthusiastically push their wares on film and television productions, Cappi eschews over-costuming characters in the latest styles. “Unless it’s really scripted that someone has to be ultra-modern, I avoid making a conscious-decision to use contemporary fashion.” This philosophy elevates an easily forgettable wardrobe into one that’s meticulous, striking and timeless. Ireland’s genius is in choosing carefully. Therefore, the black funeral suit we first meet our hero in had to be perfect. “We tried a bunch of suits on him and ended up with a two-button single breasted suit: classic and not too baggy.”

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