Armani is commonly considered to be the real star of American Gigolo. He and Richard Gere where at the beginning of their careers and are a perfect fusion of understated elegance and effortless cool. After AG, Armani continued to dress Gere for the rest of his life for free, since he so beautifully embodied the ideal Armani man.
Though I think it was set dresser George Gaines that was really the unspoken hero of American Gigolo. His fingerprints were all over the film. From the sleek interiors of Julian Kaye’s apartment to the red drenched dining room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, his chic eye continued the vibe of high class style seamlessly throughout the movie. With the assistance of visual consultant Ferdinando Scarfiotti he took every scene and made it cool. Most notably the line play across walls created from the metal horizontal metal blinds that would go on to be a staple of 80’s film Noir and music videos… think The Hunger and anything by Ridley Scott in the 80’s. I recently tried to recreate that for a portrait and instead of metal blinds had to make do with blue tape stuck on the window….. I’m sure the people across the way thought we were nuts..
Gaines had a stunning if short career doing art direction for visually lush movies like Shampoo, The Cotton Club, The Big Chill, Heaven Can Wait and All the President’s Men. American Gigolo not only represents quintessential 80’s Beverly Hills luxe and Palm Springs desert Chic but the minimalist Armani inspired touch keeps it utterly timeless as well.