Fifty Shades of Everything
The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 50 languages.
The film adaptation of the erotic novel by E. L. James broke records in its opening on Valentine’s weekend.It was an immediate box office success, breaking numerous box office records and earning over $566 million worldwide
“‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was a hit because it fed off women’s fantasies, many of which are not sexual, but involve lifestyle and the props that go along with that lifestyle. Cars, jewelry, exotic locations can all play into them, which is how product placement services calculate their prospect lists.”
And women aren’t the only ones stirred by “‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
A BILLIONAIRE WITH A SECRET: In Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian Grey is a man that knows what he wants. Expensive wingtips. Well tailored suits. The company chopper.
Everything You Need To Know About Christian Grey’s extravagant lifestyle and millionaire taste
Christian is all about Audi, with a fleet comprising S6, S7, and S8 sedans (from $US75,500 to $US114,900 and up) and a Q7 crossover SUV (from $US48,300), plus tight-lipped livery drivers (their silence, priceless).
But only he gets to drive the V10 R8 Spyder convertible (from $US167,000, above). He even buys Ana a red Audi A3 ($US29,990) for her college graduation, selling her vintage Volkswagen Beetle in the process – without asking, of course .
In a brand statement, Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi of America, said, “Audi is a brand that symbolizes performance, technology and modern design. The natural inclusion of our hottest models in this series illustrates how Audi has become truly synonymous with sophisticated luxury.”
Seattle aviation law only allows certain types of helicopters to be used, so while Christian’s Charlie Tango couldn’t be exactly like the book, his Eurocopter EC130’s (above) buttery chestnut brown seats and black Bose noise-canceling headsets are still plenty pimp. (It costs around $US3.2 million.)
When he surprises Anastasia down in Savannah, Georgia, for a post-breakfast glider ride, that’s a Flugzeugbau DG-1001 sailplane. Like his choice of auto, this two-seater hawk-like stunner is also German, handmade in Bruchsal to the tune of $US150,000.
The wine and cocktails
If you’re going to drink a lot of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fum, you’re going to want Bacarrat crystal wine glasses to drink it out of – although by the shape of some of the stemware, we think we spied a Riedel or two in a scene as well. For bubbles, it’s all about the Bollinger.
Christian keeps cocktails classic: a gin and tonic, either with Hendricks and a cucumber, or Bombay Sapphire and lime.
“International Contemporary, a la Tom Ford, Lenny Kravitz, and Ron Arad” is how production designer David Wasco and set designer Sandy Wasco described Christian’s personal design sensibility. Translation: rich.
Christian Grey’s penthouse may have been a set, but his home base, Escala, is a real building in Seattle where a three-bedroom penthouse sold for $US6.2 million in 2013, according to US real estate database Zillow. Its windows do actually lord above the skyline.
The Wascos had free range to ratchet up the glamour on the somewhat “Vegas-y” Escala. The key was to make it timeless, like a photograph by Helmut Newton.
Christian’s stark white marble office is designed to make an impression: floor-to-ceiling windows, vintage French desk topped by Koch & Lowy brass lamp, a potted tree that twists like rope (above). Its lobby is an actual building by Foster + Partners in Vancouver.
Even the mundane is on point, like plentiful Grey Enterprises-branded pencils (US22 cents a pop in gold foil; lucky for unprepared “journalists”) and a Dunhill pen ($US686) for conducting real business.
A MacBook Air ($US1749 all tricked out) is his computer of choice (handy with all that iMessaging) so it’s no surprise Christian keeps it in the ecosystem with a black iPhone 5s (up to $US549). Yep, even billionaires don’t always update. Ironic if it’s because he’s under contract … to his phone company.
The watches and accessories
Christian is an Omega man, flashing two models prominently throughout the film – the white-faced Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph ($US7200) and black-faced Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph ($US26,500).
Those Dunhill silver Knot and Rod cufflinks ($US991, above) in the contract negotiation scene definitely do exist, and are just one of the sly details Christian uses to signal his lifestyle (and Academy Award-winning costume designer Mark Bridges picked to amuse the cast).
He takes a more straightforward approach with his luxury leather goods-belts, briefcases, travel bags, wallet-all by Yves Saint Laurent (from $US375 to $US5975 and then some). Those just say, “I’m classy.”
One word: bespoke. When it comes to business attire, no billionaire is going off the rack, least of all Christian Grey (see: control issues.) There were so many well-cut suits popping up on-screen, I thought of negotiating my own dom/sub contract – with a tailor.
Costume designer Mark Bridges kept the wool lightweight and Italian, the cuts classic, and the buttons were mainly limited to one. Although actor Jamie Dornan is slender, Bridges didn’t shy away from peaked lapels.
Cary Grant and modern international style icons like David Beckham and David Gandy served as inspiration to get that perfect “clean, classic, young, expensive, and sexy” look. Good quality, classic design is always in style.
Johnathan Behr . He’s the guy behind the scene-stealing suits in 50 Shades of Grey (well, the guy behind costume designer Mark Bridges anyway). Behr worked with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant to create suits for characters Don Draper and Roger Sterling.
Behr knew little about the character or the production going into the job; even the film’s title was kept secret before he met Dornan for the first time in November 2013.
Bridges showed Behr a Canali suit ad from a fashion magazine, and Behr instantly understood the look: subtle, dark and elegant with a fitted, slim cut to show off Grey’s sculpted physique, Behr said.
“No bold patterns, big shoulders or wide lapels. Just a very minimalist approach with a rich, dark, conservative color palette and timeless design,” Behr said.
Behind the covered windows of Behr’s Wilshire Boulevard workshop, Dornan tried on seven suits made from lightweight Italian wool in five shades of gray, one brown, one French blue. The evolving color palette reflects Grey’s softening attitude toward his young lover, Bridges told ELLE.
Anto Beverly Hills sewed the custom shirts (from $US300) and custom ties (from $US185), including eight of that one grey tie. Shoes are the only thing Bridges hit Rodeo Drive to buy, as production timing didn’t allow custom work by cobblers; one pair is Prada (upwards of $US1500).
The casual clothes
Boxer or briefs? Christian doesn’t play that game and instead goes for Zimmerli boxer briefs, a cult Swiss brand at around $US100 a pair. When he’s not in a suit, he’s in a well-fit pair of jeans and rough-out boots by Ralph Lauren, cashmere shirts by Malo (above), and a Dolce & Gabbana black leather jacket (from $US4195).
On his gliding date, that jacket gets switched up for a Bottega Veneta windbreaker ($US980) and a John Varvatos tee ($US198).
Christian isn’t even afraid to get his James Perse sweats ($US135) and Wings + Horns hoodie ($US195) all dirty when working out in classic Nike kicks. See, he’s a real guy! Just an incredibly expensive version of one, “the hot sort of human,” as Ana’s roommate puts it.