11 Times Costume Designers Created Such Accurate Costumes, It Made Us Want to Give Them a Standing Ovation
Sometimes we get so carried away by plot twists and acting chops that we fail to pay attention to the costumes and looks of the main characters in movies. However, oftentimes, it’s the costumes that can tell us a lot about the characters and their motives, more than they themselves can.
We at Bright Side decided to take a closer peek at the looks of the characters in recent movies and series, and we found a bunch of surprises that costume designers prepared for us.
About 1,000 different costumes were created while working on this fantastic project. According to the designer, “Costume is the bridge from the actor to the character — it allows them to slip into a different guise and try out a new attitude.”
This is especially noticeable using the example of Rebecca Ferguson — Lady Jessica. It was important to convey the combination of her vulnerability and strength — that’s why her wardrobe was always transforming. At the very beginning, she wears a black, modest dress that looks like a protective shell. It allows this heroine to hide completely from the outside world. Later her outfits become more elegant and even rich, but Jessica continues hiding her face with masks and veils — this illustrates her position as the concubine. Yes, she does wear royal clothing but she is still in chains. Finally, when she realizes that she will have to adjust to the new world and survive in it, she puts on a special uniform and demonstrates her physical strength.
2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The main character of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel series impressed the viewers not only with her sense of humor but also with her luxurious outfits. The costume designers had a hard task — to restore the stylish epoch of the ’50s on the screen and adjust the clothes to the plotline. Thus, Midge’s numerous multi-colored coats act as her armor. The costume designer calls them “the equivalent of a superhero cape — transfiguring, protective, emotional armor that emboldens and empowers her as a character.”
3. Sex and the City and And Just Like That...
Some time back Sex and the City became a true guide on the fashion world of New York in the 00s. Of course, when it was announced that the cult series would be continued, many fans were eagerly waiting to see the new looks of the characters. In order to show the connection between the original series and the continuation, the costume designers decided to put on the legendary tutu skirt on Carrie again — however, it had been slightly modified, as if those 18 years were not there and like we were seeing our old friends on the screen again.
Speaking of the costumes in And Just Like That..., we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the dashing coral Valentino dress with pink gloves.
This look was created for the final scene where Carrie is standing on the Paris bridge where sometime back Mr. Big confessed his deep love for her and now she wants to scatter his ashes there. The costume designer commented on her choices saying, “There was no other option. It reminded me of Empress Josephine... perfect for a scene in France.”
4. Squid Game
This South Korean series became an international hit in the blink of an eye mostly thanks to its unique aesthetics. Fans were especially impressed by the costume design. The green tracksuits and the pink uniforms that the guards wear have become 2 of the most recognizable elements. This shade of green was instantly recognizable for Korean audiences as it has its roots in the nostalgic tracksuits little kids wore for Field Days back in 1970s Korea. The colors also were chosen together for a reason that is part color science, part symbolism. That specific pink opposes the tracksuit green on the color wheel, showing that even at the most basic level — the players and guards are opponents.
The Front Man, who wears a full black look and a perfectly symmetrical mask, became one of the most mysterious characters. The director of the series shared that the mask of the Front Man is actually a tribute to the main villain in Star Wars, Darth Vader.
Moreover, this detail was supposed to distinguish the Front Man from the guards, players, and VIPs.
5. West Side Story
The new musical created by Steven Spielberg is based on the classic movie from 1961. Maria’s look turned out to be one of the most thought-through in both flicks. The white lace dress that she wears for the dances where she meets Tony outlines her innocence and youth. However, it has one important detail — a red belt. It hints that Maria will soon transition to adult life and serves as a symbol of Maria’s transformation into a woman.
Costume creators didn’t have it as their goal to fully copy the wardrobe of Princess Diana for this movie. They carefully studied the styles she stuck to from 1988 to 1992 to define the main set of clothing, color combinations, and style tricks. Eventually, the wardrobe almost became a separate character of the flick. For example, the outfits were supposed to convey the mood of the character — bright colors with gloomy backgrounds symbolized Diana’s depression. While her bright clothing and formal wear would contrast with the gloomy neutral hues of the other family members’ clothing which separated the Princess from the others.
By the way, Kristen Stewart didn’t fit the role of Diana when it came to her body shape. In order to visually enlarge the actress’ height, costume designers used some tricks. For example, they would raise the waistlines and change the proportions of her clothes. Of course, the perfect work of the cameramen greatly contributed to this as well.
7. House of Gucci
In order to create the wardrobe for the flick about one of the most stylish families in the fashion industry, costume designers had to select 400-500 outfits. Of course, some of the most spectacular ones were the looks of Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga. Her eccentric character was outlined not only by bright clothing but also by an abundance of jewelry. Lady Gaga wore huge earrings, and numerous bracelets and chains. A good example is in the scene where Patrizia and her husband are at a ski resort, she is wearing 4 golden necklaces.
The costumes also served as markers of the girl’s state of mind throughout the movie. Thus, at the beginning of the story, before her marriage to Maurizio Gucci, Patrizia looks quite cute and innocent. She wears romantic-looking polka-dot dresses and light trench coats. After their wedding, Patrizia changes her wardrobe drastically to include revealing outfits from luxury brands. Closer to their divorce and the end of the movie, she starts to wear jeans and a dark leather biker jacket
According to the costume designer, Patrizia slowly turns into quite an aggressive woman who is obsessed with revenge and doesn’t care about what she is wearing.
8. Death on the Nile
When the costume designer was creating the image of Linnet Doyle, the heiress of a millionaire, in Death on the Nile, he wanted to outline not only her wealth but also her vulnerability and fragility. For that, he chose flowing dresses in soft pastel shades.
The theft of a piece of jewelry connected with the main crime is an important element in the story too. In Agatha Christie’s novel, which is what the flick is based on, the thief stole a pearl necklace. The director of the movie upped the ante and replaced the pearls with a 128.54-carat Tiffany yellow diamond necklace. The company even created a high-quality copy of the jewelry for the film.
9. ASSEMBLED: The Making of Eternals
This flick can not only boast of impressive visual effects and a star cast but also some unusual costumes for the characters. According to the costume designer, it was important for her that the characters looked organic and that their costumes don’t look like uniforms. Moreover, each “Eternal” has their own color that precisely reflects their super skills depending on which element they control: Earth, Air, Water, etc. Also, different colors are there to enhance the individuality of each character.
10. Don’t Look Up
The character played by Meryl Streep became one of the most extravagant characters in the satirical comedy Don’t Look Up. She is the president of the United States in the story, but the director described her to the costume designer a little differently. He said, “Meryl Streep takes you on a journey through Hades.” That’s why the designer decided that Janie Orlean should be dressed fully red at the beginning and at the end of the movie. By the way, all of her outfits were designed by Armani, which outlined her wealth in the flick.
Her wristwatch deserves special attention. She is wearing the watch by Piaget called Extremely Lady. This is a real watch model, which was released back in the ’60s of the last century.
11. The Last Duel
Here, the costume designer had quite an uphill task — to transport viewers back to the 14th century. In order to make the clothes and decorations look organic, the director asked the designer to use neutral and even pale colors. The crew managed to end up with a spectacular result — some frames looked like truly classical canvases from the Renaissance epoch.
Jodie Comer, the actress who played the main role, outlined that she had to wear 17 layers of clothing as well as huge wooden shoes. The director liked the sound that they made when walking on cobblestones.
Which of the aforementioned costumes seemed the brightest to you?