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Phantom Thread is a story about an artist’s creative process

Phantom Thread is a story about an artist’s creative process. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most famous man in the world, who pronounced his retirement from acting, earlier this year. Previously he  took a break from Hollywood — in the ’90s, and moved to Italy and trained to be a cobbler, and returned back to acting after later And his last role will be playing Reynolds Woodcock, a couture dress designer in 1950s London, in the movie The “Phantom Thread”. Phantom. Thread is set to hit the theaters on December 25.

Day-Lewis plays characters based on real people, and we can assume that The Phantom Thread, is also based on a true story. But there’s an issue: Day-Lewis’ character’s name is Reynolds Woodcock, and this name is a dead giveaway that The Phantom Thread can’t be based on a person who once existed.

Director P.T. Anderson was not satisfied with the character’s initial name, Arthur Dapple, Jr. in an interview with Vulture, Anderson said  that he and Day-Lewis “[texted] each other back and forth like teenagers” to find the perfect moniker. And after a long timed discussion they found (with tears in eyes combined with

cordial laughters) what they had been searching for.

Rather than being a complete fabrication, the name is more an amalgamation of actual British designers of the post-war era. According to an article, Anderson incorporated specific nods the designers of post war era within Woodcock’s character.  As Woodcock’s sister, Cyril, runs his salon and the sisters of real-life designers Victor Stiebel and Norman Hartnell also did so.

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Reynolds Woodcock embroiders messages into his clothing, that seems to be an homage to the time Alexander McQueen allegedly embroidered profanities inside a jacket for “Prince Charles”.

 Reynolds Woodcock bears the greatest similarity to the English-American designer Charles James who is a brilliant designer,  known for his eccentric behavior. In 1939 James modeled his own ball gowns for Andrew Goodman of the deptt store Bergdorf Goodman being unsatisfied with his own model.

Woodcock’s relationship to Alma (Vicky Krieps) his muse, resembles the relationship James had with Nancy Lee Gregory (his wife).

Like James, Woodcock designs dresses resembling sculptures in their shape and complexity.

Day-Lewis (to prepare for the role) studied designers like James, and Cristóbal Balenciaga, Edward Molyneux, as well as John Cavanaugh.

Day Lewis says he and Anderson decided not to base Woodcock too heavily on any one person — not even Charles James.

 This story is about an artist’s creative process and we can compare Woodcock to any artist, not just to designers who had been providing elaborate ball gowns for London’s post-war society set.

Saba Imran
Saba Imran
Saba is a passionate and versatile writer of NetMag's blog and Magazine. She is known for her great research based articles which are more often concluding the depths of insights of ICT in Pakistan and globally as well.



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