The Talented Mr. Ripley is set in a specific place, at a very specific moment. Think Fellini and Via Veneto, on the late 50s cusp of Kennedy's Camelot, and you're on the right track. It's la dolce vita experienced through American eyes: a life and time costume designer Ann Roth remembers well. "The 50s were, for the most part, very dull visually," she says. "In the 40s, we had the restrictions of the war and limited fabric. After the war, Dior came with the New Look and that was very ...

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