How 1969 L.A. Style Inspired the Looks in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Pitt is clad in "Hawaiian shirts, aviators and denim, part of the 1960s youth culture"

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Tarantino was inspired by 1969 LA fashion. (Sony Pictures)
By Ariel Scotti / July 9, 2019 2:03 pm

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might star some pretty huge names — Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt,  Margot Robbie, etc. — but the filmmaker’s ultimate muse was his love of 1969 Los Angeles style.

Oscar-nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips, who worked on the film, “met a kindred spirit in Tarantino” when the two collaborated, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Once Upon a Time is a memory film for Quentin, of Hollywood in 1969,” Phillips told THR. “Growing up, I would spend holidays in Los Angeles. I immediately related to his descriptions.

“Once a week, we’d have movie night at Quentin’s theater, the New Beverly,” she added. “Everyone, from the crew to the actors, would eat pizza and popcorn, drink wine and watch films like Paul Mazursky’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”

For their roles, Phillips decided to don DiCaprio, whose character is a Western actor, in leather jackets, turtlenecks, “browns, oranges and mustards;” and for Pitt, she decided on Hawaiian shirts and “denim, part of the 1960s youth culture.”

There was one piece on set from the time period that “felt like a talisman for myself, Margot and Quentin,” Phillips told THR. For Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate, a young woman from the time who was murdered by Charles Manson, Phillips was able to secure a loan from Tate’s sister of a piece of Sharon’s jewelry.

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