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“That's the kind of movie that I like to make, where there is an invented reality, and the audience is going to go someplace where hopefully they've never been before. The details, that's what the world is made of.” Famous words from one of our generation’s most iconic directors, Wes Anderson.

In 2020, we’ve certainly been to places we’ve never been both emotionally and mentally despite not being able to physically travel. And while Anderson’s films are seemingly too bizarre for real life, they’ve resonated more than ever this year.


You may be familiar with the viral meme about this year being written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. But what if the iconic Wes Anderson directed 2020 instead? We’re imagining a vibrantly coloured world steeped in idiosyncratic whimsy and sprinkled with nostalgia; one thing’s for certain, it would have been magical.

The obvious Anderesque magic put aside, many of the director’s distinct style characteristics still neatly summarize the year’s series of unfortunate events. For starters, 2020 has left us feeling as if we were operating in slow motion, while simultaneously catapulting us into a vast pool of uncertainty. With the news of a global pandemic sweeping the world came uncomfortable conversations, priority shifting, and constantly changing protocols; all of which culminated in a singular newfound truth: we are in this together. Support bubbles formed, friends became extended family, and everything that would’ve been considered bizarre became the new normal. The realities of the year quickly began to strongly imitate the common themes in Andersonian directorship.

As the year continued to unfold, a sense of nostalgia set in. Not just in the usual sense where we find ourselves reminiscing of the neon-dominated 80s and the pop-culture-crazed 90s, but more a sentimental attachment to the freedoms of pre-pandemic life. The type of nostalgia where people are yearning to hold loved ones close and to sit down at restaurants without physical distancing measures in place. Similarly, to Anderson’s films, this nostalgia and a longing for simpler times became a daily reality.

Confronted with newfound truths and daily doses of nostalgia, society took to some of Wes’s classic costumes this year. Hotel-Chevalier-inspired luxury loungewear and colorful tracksuits loosely inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums became staples of the 2020 wardrobe. So much so that Monsieur Gustave would certainly say, “you’re looking so well, darling, you really are.”

This week MSM escaped the grey weather - which seems ever-present in 2020 - and visited London’s Accidentally Wes Anderson x The Old Bank Vault immersive and colourful pop-up. Filled with thoughtful details, the small space evidenced Anderson’s signature attention to detail and the four walls seemed worlds away from the realities of 2020. Tequila tonics were sipped, postcards were sent to loved ones, and photos of the faraway places we’ve all missed traveling to this year draped the walls.

After leaving the pastel pop-up, it occurred to us that despite the many difficulties of 2020, the Texan-native’s charms and cinematic style were more present in the year than we initially thought. And though there isn’t a perfectly symmetrical, curated balance of happiness and cheer, this year we have collectively found family in unexpected places, and everything that seems crazy has slowly become normal. After our brief venture into the warmth of Wes Anderson’s art, we left with a sense of knowing that much like his film’s endings, everything will be okay.

For your escape, step into the Accidentally Wes Anderson x The Old Bank Vault immersive pop-up to celebrate the recently launched ACCIDENTALLY WES ANDERSON book, curated by Wally Koval with a foreword by Wes Anderson himself. For 20 days, you will find exclusive prints, merchandise & a charity raffle. Follow @accidentallywesanderson and @theoldbankvault for more.

Words by: Sandy Aziz (Contributing Editor) and Tara Tadlock

Credits: Photos provided by the Old Bank Vault.

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