By Antonio Malara
Howard’s Hughes life always fascinated me, I knew him thanks to James Ellroy novels. Of course some things mentioned in the books are fictional but the life of this eccentric billionaire who was a producer, a director, an aviator with an insane passion for planes and women was so unique. When I knew that Martin Scorsese, who’s one of my favorite director, was realizing a movie about his him, I was totally excited. I was expecting some documentary style movie like “Casino”, filled with stories of this singular man who was Howard Hughes.
When “The Aviator” was released in the theaters, I went to the cinema after convincing my friends about the movie. Unfortunately it lasted almost three hours in that version and disappointed me and my friends who didn’t even understood the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I liked “The Aviator” but it wasn’t shot as I wanted and plus the most "extreme" parts have been omitted. With “The Aviator”, Martin Scorsese realized an academic movie, politically correct with the intention to finally win the Oscar. The movie which features a great performance by Leonardo Di Caprio has some great scenes like the plane crash in Bel Air, the part when Howard tests the the fastest plane in the world and the unveiling of the Hercules. Also great dramatic scenes between the characters, I like the scene when “Howard Hughes” tells to Katherine Hepburn “you’re a movie star, nothing more”, which emphasizes the power of this man. At the end of the movie looks like Howard Hughes has only planes on his mind, it looks like this was his only reason to live for. I believe this was one of the passion that Hughes had alongside with others which are not described in the movie.
Despite “The Aviator” disappointed me, I bought the DVD, watched it many times at home and liked it as an old Hollywood classic movie. But there was another reason which attracted me in the movie; it was the aviator leather jacket who wore Leonardo Di Caprio. I was obsessed with it and when I found out that it was on sale I wouldn’t believe. It was 2005 and when I saw it in a store I decided that I wanted it even if the cost was beyond my reach. I worked saving for six months and when I went to the store again there was only an XL size while I was an M at that time. The store owner who also was a friend, made me a huge discount but I paid the jacket 500€. I think it was my craziest purchase ever compared to my salary, but I was happy. I wore the jacket for years, when I was driving my car it was like I was piloting a jet, all because of that jacket. Years after years the trend changed so the oversize clothes weren’t stylish anymore and I left the jacket in the wardrobe. Years ago I wanted to wear it again and I found in a store someone who could reduce the size, he promised only one size less. I did it and I used the jacket for another short time, but in the meantime I also lost weight. Over one years ago I found a seamstress who claimed that she could further reduce the size almost to an S, I gave he jacket to her. I have say that she did a great job, he “cut” the jacket as much as possible and now on my actual body it’s between an S and an M. The new version of the jacket needed a blog post but for many reasons I couldn’t realized it last year.
For 2020 I want to realize only four outfits and I decided to start with the “The Aviator Tribute”, to give a new life to the jacket I also bought a pair of boots of the same color, I planned everything careful and a the beginning of January I shot the outfit with my favorite “photographer” friend and in my favorite location. An outfit to celebrate a man, a movie and a jacket.
Pictures: Tonino Catalano