It’s been on the tip of everybody’s tongues, it’s got the strongest female actors on board, 16 million views alone on a single Instagram trailer post from Jennifer Lopez. Hustlers has well and truly arrived and has triggered me into writing a piece (based on the trailer) on the inspiration of the film, and about the fur looks that Jennifer Lopez sports. J-Lo is a huge fur supporter and is renowned for wearing her big furs whether on tour, ‘papped’ on the streets, or on set; she puts the A in ambassador for the fur industry and appreciates the reasons for wearing real fur and continues to do so, looking remarkable. As seen from the short trailer, where there is a glimpse of a luxuriant fur coat spotted on J-Lo, already there is a form of power, dominance and supremacy radiating on what is bound to be a huge box office selling film.
To begin with, let’s understand the inspiration of the film. Hustlers takes its muse from an article named The Hustlers at Scores written by Jessica Pressler for The Cut, which shadows the lives of two women, Roselyn Keo and Samantha Barbash, who utilise their wit and charm into conspiring to take Wall Street’s biggest earners by enticing them into strip clubs. Mimicking the article of ex-strippers who come together, taking one under the other’s wing to earn more money, Keo quit school at just 17, only to fall victim of not producing enough money as a waitress, to meeting Barbash and taking up stripping full-time. This then led to a series of events, where the film Hustlers really cashed in on drawing in Wall Street men, AKA the richest clients coming into the gentlemen’s club ‘Scores’, spiking their drinks, and scamming them off their money. Writer and director of Hustlers, Lorene Scafaria, explained that the film is an “empathetic look at women and men, our gender roles, what we’re valued for, what we’ve been told is our value in every movie, TV show, every corner of culture… There is no other actor who could embody this raw and dynamic character with such complexity, humanity and intelligence. It’s always been her. She’s fucking Jennifer Lopez.” For many, Jennifer Lopez is seen as the true star of the film, but for us it’s also the Marc Kaufman furs that she so incredibly wears which oozes sex appeal.
Jennifer Lopez who is one of the main characters in the movie is a huge pro-fur advocate for the fur industry – she embraces what fur is all about, and all that it embodies, and isn’t afraid to show it, especially in this case through the character that she plays. This makes her worthy of a position amid the most chic and vogueish characters that we have on our screens. These women all signify authority in their own way – something that a material like fur conveys in itself; it is considered a social ranking which is what Hustlers appears to highlight to its audience. The fact that the movie looks into gender roles shows the divide that men and women have in society, where men are valued on how much money they have, compared to women, who are valued for their appearance. This is where fur feeds in to the tale, as it has connotations of wealth, power, sexual desire and appearance, and in Hustlers, all of these factors are intersected within the narrative between male and female. The significance of fur to the development of the story is important as for the females in this film, especially J-Lo (as she is only one who wears fur), as their main agenda is to reel in money from the men, fur is established as a dominance giving off sexually powerful and transgressive meaning to their roles in luring men into their predatory ways. This of course goes hand in hand with authority, and who possesses it. Regarding the extensive history that fur has, there are many different alternatives to which fur can be epitomised as; either by wealth, monarchs, or aristocracy, however ultimately it all falls under supremacy, and although beauty is valued, in westernised culture what is regarded higher is power. In Hustlers, power is the epitome of what it’s all about, as although it’s the men that are seen to be classified as virile, it is in fact the women who are in control of decoying every situation.
In retrospect, Jennifer Lopez’s love for fur is admirable; on a broader level she has shown that she hasn’t ‘followed the crowd’ and has worn fur proudly. Moving away from Hustlers, more recently, J-Lo had plenty of wardrobe changes on her ‘It’s My Party’ tour, but most notably (and the most striking) was her pale gold fox coat by Fur Salon of Saks Fifth Avenue, where she stunned the crowd and prompted us of just how much power capacity she has as a performer, actress, and as a style icon. For years, J-Lo has supported the fur industry, and has worn fur like no other, ranging from fur trimmed parkas, to the infamous Fendi fur coat; she has never been seen as less than modish in anything that she does, or wears for that matter. Going back to Hustlers, as seen on the trailer, there is a moment where she and her other female companions are walking into the strip club, and immediately, there is an occurrence of power recognised in her presence, and that is predominantly due to her opulent fur coat, which undoubtedly presages what her role in the movie will entail. One thing’s for sure, fur has and always will be a material that delivers something special and unique into a role, and into a person’s character, both in real life and on screen.