10+ Movie Costumes That Required a Lot of Effort and Creativity

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We don’t always notice the work of costume designers while watching a movie. But good costumes create the proper atmosphere and sometimes even reveal the meaning behind a story. Costume designers have to keep a lot of things in mind when designing outfits for movie characters. For example, they sometimes have to dye fabric several times to get the necessary shade or make dozens of copies of the same dress.

At Now I’ve Seen Everything, we decided to tell you more about some costumes from famous movies.

Anya Taylor-Joy’s peach dress in the movie, Last Night in Soho

Odile Dicks-Mireaux is a costume designer who created a real masterpiece in the shape of a peach flowing dress for Anya Taylor-Joy’s character in the movie, Last Night in Soho. According to Dicks-Mireaux, this task wasn’t the easiest one — she had to design a dress that would not be too big or too tight at the same time.

The dress also had its own meaning in terms of the story. In the scene where Taylor-Joy is dancing, the dress is supposed to reflect Sandy’s innocence but draw Jack’s attention at the same time. Additionally, Ellie gets inspired by this dress and continues to work on its copy throughout the entire movie. Dicks-Mireaux revealed that she was inspired by photos of Twiggy when choosing the color for the dress because a peach color would go with Taylor-Joy’s skin and her hair. It’s worth mentioning that the designer dyed the fabric herself and managed to get the right shade only on the fourth attempt.

The hooded capes from The Handmaid’s Tale

The traditional clothes that the women of the Azores islands used to wear up until the 1930s always included a cape with a huge hood. The origin of this style is not fully known. However, researchers suggest that the women of this archipelago tried to avoid the glances of men with the help of these capes.

It’s believed that these capes became an inspiration for the costume designers who worked on the series, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Kate Winslet’s dress in Titanic

Before filming started, director James Cameron gave costume designer Deborah Lynn Scott a difficult task — he wanted the costumes to convey the style of the 1910s and, at the same time, withstand the constant exposure to water in which the actors found themselves. Eventually, Scott had to design a few copies of certain costumes. For example, 24 versions of Kate Winslet’s lilac dress were created for the final scene because it would quickly lose its shape in the salt water.

The Great Gatsby costumes

Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is a rather modern interpretation of the 1920s than a precise recreation of that era. However, the moviemakers approached the creation of the men’s costumes (including Gatsby’s outfits) very scrupulously. They involved Brooks Brothers which, were mentioned by F. Scott Fitzgerald himself in his novels.

As for the women’s costumes, designer Catherine Martin involved 2 fashion brands — Prada and Miu Miu. Their owner, Miuccia Prada, personally took part in the creation of the dresses. Together, Prada and Martin chose 40 dresses and altered them in accordance with the movie’s needs.

Little Women costumes

Many costumes that appear in the latest screen adaptation of Little Women were inspired by paintings. According to costume designer Jacqueline Durran, Winslow Homer’s painting with 2 boys inspired the creation of the costumes the main characters donned in one of the movie’s scenes.

Homer’s other paintings were also used as a source of inspiration.

Angelina Jolie’s ear cuffs in Alexander

In antiquity, women used to wear ear cuffs — special earrings that didn’t require earlobes to be pierced. They often adorned the entire ear. Sometimes, costume designers who work on the movies about ancient civilizations neglect this accessory, even though it was widespread in that era. But the costume designers who worked on Alexander found this detail very important. This is why Angelina Jolie, who played the main character’s mother, wore ear cuffs, not regular earrings.

Kate Hudson’s dress in the movie, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

This delicate dress was created by costume designer Karen Patch. It was made yellow to underline the beauty of the Isadora diamond necklace that was borrowed for the shoot.

After the movie’s release, yellow evening dresses suddenly became very popular, including backless ones with criss-cross straps.

Lily James’ dress in Cinderella

Cinderella’s gorgeous dress created by the famous costume designer, Sandy Powell, left no one indifferent. But very few people know how hard it was for the actress to wear this masterpiece. Though it looks airy and light, this gown was incredibly heavy, as its corset and crinoline were made out of steel. It took Lily James 20 minutes to get the dress on.

Additionally, there were 8 versions of this gown. One was made shorter for the times when James had to run.

Emily Blunt’s dress in The Young Victoria

The dress Emily Blunt wears for her first meeting with the council is a copy of the actual dress Queen Victoria wore on this occasion. It survived and is on display at Kensington Palace. However, the dress has since faded to brown, as the black dye at the time was not stable.

Hannibal Lecter’s white costume in The Silence of the Lambs

A good costume is not always a product of a costume designer’s work. Sometimes, actors themselves choose the clothes after having carefully studied their character. And it was Anthony Hopkins’ idea to have Hannibal Lecter dressed all in white because people already have a fear of dentists and doctors who are usually dressed in this color.

The ring from the movie, Spencer

© Spencer / IMDb, LFI / Photoshot / REPORTER / East News

The makers of Spencer took the risk to change the design of one of the most famous pieces of jewelry in the world. But we have to give them credit — they didn’t make cheap replicas. They worked with the renowned jewelry manufacturer, Mouawad, instead. All the pieces of jewelry were selected from their catalog, which is symbolic because Diana also chose her engagement ring from their catalog. Mouawad’s recreation of the ring was not an exact replica. While it also features a sapphire, this one weighs 7.25 carats and is surrounded by 1.82 carats of white diamonds.

Even though each costume mentioned in this article was praised by critics and audiences, we understand that tastes may differ. The author of this article, for example, is a great fan of the costumes from the movie, Last Night in Soho. Which costume did you like most? Tell us in the comments below.

Preview photo credit Last Night in Soho / IMDb


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