10 Fascinating Facts About Phantom Thread

Focus Features
Focus Features

Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson turned his eye toward fashion—and, for the first time in his career, away from California—in Phantom Thread, the Oscar-nominated film that stars Daniel Day-Lewis (in his reportedly final role) as a fastidious 1950s fashion designer who finds himself locked in a battle of wills—and mushrooms—with a new paramour (Vicky Krieps). Buckle in for these 10 decidedly not chic facts about Phantom Thread

1. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS CAME UP WITH HIS CHARACTER’S NAME.

It was Daniel Day-Lewis who came up with the name “Reynolds Woodcock”—and yes, it is supposed to be a penis joke. Before Day-Lewis’s stroke of brilliance, Paul Thomas Anderson was using the decidedly less anatomical-sounding moniker “Arthur Dapple, Jr." as a placeholder.

2. IT WAS (IN A SMALL WAY) INSPIRED BY PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON AND MAYA RUDOLPH’S RELATIONSHIP.

Inspiration for the integral subplot where Alma (Vicky Krieps) must nurse Reynolds through a debilitating illness comes in part from an occurrence in Anderson’s own life. The director came down with something, and his wife (actress/comedian Maya Rudolph) took care of him. “My imagination just took over at some point, where I had this thought: 'Oh, she is looking at me with such care and tenderness ... wouldn't it suit her to keep me sick in this state?'" Anderson recalled. "[That moment] gave me an idea that such a thing could be served up with some spark of mischievousness and humor that might, in a larger picture, lend itself to what it means to be in a long-term relationship, you know. And the balance of power that can happen in that.”

3. DAY-LEWIS CONTRIBUTED TO THE COSTUME DESIGN.

Laurie Sparham, Focus Features

Day-Lewis was involved in the design of Reynolds Woodcock’s clothes—both those he wore and those he designed. For the gowns, Day-Lewis would sometimes choose color or fabric swatches for costume designer Mark Bridges. Woodcock’s own outfits were assembled in the normal, everyday manner of real people: An assortment of clothes was purchased and, per Bridges, Day-Lewis would select from it outfits that matched what he “was feeling at that given time for the scene.” (The blazer-over-lavender-PJs look is a Day-Lewis original.)

4. ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IS A BASED ON A REAL WOMAN WITH A TRAGIC STORY.

The character of Barbara Rose (Harriet Sansom Harris)—the drunken customer whose dress Reynolds and Alma steal off her body in one memorable scene—is based on real-life Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. The recipient of a $50 million inheritance on her 21st birthday, Hutton married seven times (once to Cary Grant). The marriage depicted in Phantom Thread, to playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, lasted two months.

5. IT’S DEDICATED TO JONATHAN DEMME.

Phantom Thread is dedicated to late director Jonathan Demme, friend and mentor to Anderson. Demme died on April 26, 2017, which also happened to be the last day of shooting on Phantom’s Thread.

6. VICKY KRIEPS DIDN’T REALIZE WHO SHE WAS AUDITIONING FOR.

Laurie Sparham, Focus Features

Anderson discovered actress Vicky Krieps when he rented a German movie she’d been in on iTunes. (“I couldn’t believe anyone saw it,” Krieps said. “It was on iTunes for one week. But he clicked on it!”) Failing to read an email from her agent properly, Krieps thought it was a student director who was interested in working with her—not Paul Thomas Anderson. She didn't realize the error until after she’d already sent in her audition tape. 

7. YOU CAN DRESS LIKE REYNOLDS AND CYRIL WOODCOCK—IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY.

Reynolds Woodcock’s suits come from Anderson & Sheppard, a Savile Row clothing house that has dressed Prince Charles, Cary Grant, and Day-Lewis’s father, former UK poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, during its 112-year history. Woodcock’s magenta socks come from Rome-based designer Gammarelli, which is famed for dressing bishops and popes. The socks retail for about $25 a pair. Those who want to dress like his sister Cyril Woodcock can pay a visit to London tailor/designer Thomas von Nordheim.

8. DAY-LEWIS RECREATED A BALENCIAGA DRESS TO PREPARE FOR HIS ROLE.

Day-Lewis, famous for his Method acting zeal, prepared to play Woodcock by studying archival footage of mid-century fashion shows, learning to sew, and recreating a Balenciaga sheath dress from scratch. Day-Lewis’s wife, director Rebecca Miller, “has worn the dress,” he said. “It’s very pretty.” 

9. THE FILM TOOK ITS FASHION VERY SERIOUSLY.

Some of the seamstresses who work for Woodcock are played by real seamstresses. One of the dresses they work on, the wedding dress Woodcock designed for Princess Mona Braganza (Lujza Richter), was actually made to the actress’s measurements, even though she’s never filmed wearing it.

10. YOU CAN BUY REYNOLDS WOODCOCK’S HOUSE.

The scenes in Woodcock’s London townhouse were filmed in a house in Fitzroy Square that was designed by famed neoclassical architect Robert Adam. Any Paul Thomas Anderson superfans with a hefty bit of cash to spare are in luck: As of January, the five-story, seven-bedroom house was on the market for just over $20 million.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Feel Nostalgic With the New Hello Kitty-Themed Tamagotchi

Bandai America/Amazon
Bandai America/Amazon

Back in November 1996, Bandai released the cult favorite Tamagotchi, a tiny virtual pet that users could feed, play with, give medicine to, and more. The name itself is actually a combination of two Japanese words, tamago and tomodachi, meaning egg and friend—and it was the toy's egg shape that was key to its distinct design. They could fit in pockets, on keychains, and inside the backpacks of any kid who wanted a distraction during the school day.

According to NME, more than 82 million of these egg-shaped digital pets have been sold since their initial release in the ‘90s, with 10 million of those coming within the first year alone. Now, the handheld pets are back again in the form of a collaboration with another famous Japanese creation, Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty first took over hearts starting in 1974 when a Japanese company called Sanrio put the design on a vinyl coin purse. More than 45 years later, Hello Kitty (her real name is actually Kitty White) has been developed into video games, cafes, hospitals, wine, and more. This new Tamagotchi is the perfect mixture of two of Japan’s most famous brands, both of which have reached a global audience.

Bandi America/Amazon

In these new editions, Hello Kitty will help you raise your Tamagotchi. You’ll be able to feed them Hello Kitty’s favorite foods, like apple pie or milk, and play a balloon game and piano game. Based on how well you raise your Tamagotchi from an egg to an adult will determine which of the seven surprise characters you receive.

These new Tamagotchis will be released on December 1, 2020, and are available to pre-order in red and white on Amazon for $20.

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