The Royal Tenenbaums

Call him a hipster. Call him indie. Call him whatever you want, but you can’t deny Wes Anderson has carved a niche in modern cinema with a style all his own. You can tell just by glancing at a trailer that it’s an Anderson production. But what does it take to get that signature Anderson look? Here are some staples of the Anderson aesthetic that fans can expect to see in his latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Vintage chic

Anderson’s films take the viewer on a nostalgia trip. The best tool in Anderson’s time machine: his costumes. Anderson transports viewers through a gorgeous assortment of retro fashions. For example, Suzy’s pink dress, knee-highs and saddle shoes expertly set the scene for 1965 in Moonrise Kingdom. The red tracksuits worn by Chas and his sons in The Royal Tenenbaums give the movie a distinctively antique feeling. And what better way to flaunt your film’s indie cred than to display bold specs on your characters? If you’ve ever had a hankering to look like Max Fischer in Rushmore or any number of Anderson’s four-eyed, quirky intellectuals, check out Warby Parker for some fun frames. These vintage styles and patterns, as well as other timeless trends, make for a veritable visual feast. 


It’s not a Wes Anderson film without a notable hat. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou practically trademarked the red beanie. Moonrise Kingdom’s Sam has helped the coonskin cap make a comeback. But time and again, Anderson’s films prove there’s nothing like a good beret.


Perhaps the most potent ingredient for a Wes Anderson movie is a splash of color. Anderson films use a variety of color techniques: In some movies, such as The Darjeeling Limited, he prefers bold, rich colors, while in others he prefers more subdued earth tones (think of the suits in Fantastic Mr. Fox) or pastel hues. Often, Anderson craftily mixes palettes, pairing pastels with browns or throwing a dash of bright red into an otherwise drab ensemble. With The Grand Budapest Hotel, he has brought lovely purple hues into the mix, so prepare your eyes for a treat.


For all their trendiness, Anderson films do a spectacular job of showcasing nature. From the woods and the New England coast in Moonrise Kingdom to the ocean and seascapes in The Life Aquatic, Anderson knows how to bring out his wild side with picturesque scenery. He also seems to be an animal lover, if Fantastic Mr. Fox is any indication.


Wes Anderson has an impeccable taste in music — or at least soundtracks. He picks songs that make his movies rock. Anderson films feature everything from The Clash to the Bobby Fuller Four, and you had best prepare yourself for some dancing.


Jason Schwartzman. Bill Murray. Owen Wilson. There are bound to be a few familiar faces in the crowd of every Anderson flick.

[ READ MORE: The genius of Wes Anderson ]