Getting with the program
by Elizabeth Snead
Free your mind. And, apparently, your closet. The cast of "The Matrix Reloaded" stuck to basic black-and-white at Wednesday night's premiere in Westwood.
Keanu Reeves was somber in a black Nehru jacket, shirt and pants. Jada Pinkett Smith and Carrie-Anne Moss were also funereal: a black dress with a leather jacket and a sexy strappy gown, respectively. Even Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) went casually dark in an open-collar black shirt and slim trousers. Only Monica Bellucci added a hue, shimmering in a snug pale mauve satin gown.
But it was Laurence Fishburne and the film's dreadlocked albino twins, Neal and Adrian Rayment, who brightened the black carpet with stunning cream-and-white Ozwald Boateng custom-made suits.
Boateng, who dressed Daniel Day-Lewis for the Oscars and the SAG awards (remember that cool purple suit?) had only a month to make 12 suits for the three actors for "Reloaded" premieres in L.A., New York, Cannes and London.
Boateng is a close pal of Fishburne's and designed his wedding suit. It was at his wedding last year that Boateng met and bonded with the twins. "I was like, Brits! Great! Those guys are absolutely amazing. They're like one person." His new menswear collection, available at his London Savile Row studio, Selfridges in London and Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris and soon in his new Manhattan shop, has a futuristic "Matrix" theme. But he's no newcomer to Hollywood. As well as dressing actors such as Sam Jackson, Graham Norton, Russell Crowe and Will Smith, he's also done custom suits for Anthony Hopkins in "Hannibal," the British gangsters in Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," and some bad guys in "Tomorrow Never Dies."
Now he's got his eye on Bond. James Bond. "Traditionally Bond wears Savile Row suits," Boateng says. "But Pierce (Brosnan) has been wearing Italian suits. We need to get him back to Savile Row. But I'm optimistic."
The mood was more than optimistic for the film, as hundreds of fans screamed for the download of stars, including Sandra Bullock, Tori Spelling, Heidi Klum, Alyssa Milano, Katie Holmes, Jamie Kennedy, Amber Valetta and musicians like Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. "I think this one is going to raise the bar, as far as special effects and what we can do with cinema," said Durst, whose band contributed to the soundtrack.
Always a man of few words, Reeves expressed one simple Neo-like wish: "I just hope the fans like it."