10 Costume Details In The Movie That Are As Important As The Screenplay

The way we dress is one of the major ways we show our identity. It communicates to the world who you are, whether were’s stylish or not, modest or flamboyant. Sometimes, it alludes to our character, religion, and much more. This is the same in the cinema world: the way characters dress also affects how the viewers perceive them.
Thinks of Eniola Ajasco and company, or Black Panther’s iconic black suit. These characters’ costumes help to set up the kind of characters they would be or grow to be before they even utter a word or the narrative gradually unfurls them. Understandably, costume designers have to make the overall production a success or even a movie classic, like some of the movies on this list. Let’s check them out!

 #1 Dune (2021)

Source: © Duna / Warner Bros.

The growth of Lady Jessica’s character was logically reflected in her wardrobe. Therefore, in the early of the movie, she wore a black dress that helps us comprehend her role in court: to remain hidden and read emotions. Later, the veils she wore illustrate her position as a concubine and not a noblewoman, she is chained, and there is a hierarchical distinction that her clothes display very clearly.

#2 Atonement (2007)

Costume Details Source: © Atonement / Universal Pictures

Keira Knightley wore a classic dress that later became iconic. Followed by the director’s requests, the costumes needed to be long, light, and green. The color was taken to represent jealousy and to remind the viewers that it was the hottest day of the year. Everything, from the lighting to the photography was created around the dress, contributing to the success of the movie.

#3 Devil Wear Prada (2006)

Costume Details Source: 20thCentFox / Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

It was a big challenge for a costume designer to create the looks for fashion magazine editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly, portrayed by Meryl Streep, was the white hair that the actress herself demanded. They needed to show couture clothes, so a creative way to work on a shoestring budget was to collaborate with fashion houses like Chanel.

#4 Cinderella (2015)

Source: © Cinderella / Allison Shearmur Productions

In Cinderella, the costume team provided the glass slippers but Lily James didn’t put them on. It was impossible because they were made of real glass, each weighing more than 2 pounds. Instead, she wore leather shoes, later replaced with CGI to be similar to the classic glass slippers that were mentioned.

#5 Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Costume Details Source: © Beauty and the Beast / Mandeville Films© Beauty and the Beast / Mandeville Films

We all know Emma Watson portrayed a modern Belle. That’s why the costume team and the actress devised a closet with clothes that would reflect that. For example. her cape is eco-sustainable and organic. Moreover, they preferred to have her wear boots instead of the ballerinas that the Disney character wore in the classic animated version.

#6 Titanic (1997)

Costume Details Source: © Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo© Titanic / Twentieth Century Fox

On the set of Titanic, every actor had wetsuits under their costumes to let them stay longer in the water tanks. Still. Kate Winslet was one of the few who decided not to were it.

#7 Black Panther (2018)

Source: © Black Panther / Marvel Studios and co-producers

Black Panther’s costume contains a triangular-shaped necklace that looks imposing on his neck. Still, it was made of light rubber instead of metal so that the actor could carry it effortlessly. Thanks to that application, it was easier for him to wear it in other scenes and remove it as required.

#8 Pirates of the Caribbean — The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Costume Details Source: © Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl / Walt Disney Pictures© Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

We can see that Jack’s hat looks like leather. Still, because it needed to be replaced every time it was lost overboard, the costume crew decided to create one that could float and resist water. Therefore, the hats were made of rubber instead.

#9 Cruella (2021)

Source: © Cruella / Walt Disney Pictures© Cruella / Walt Disney Pictures

Designers did create around 47 outfits for Cruella. The script mentioned, for instance, that the villain would wear a white cape that would catch fire (to reveal a red dress), which was eventually acquired by operating special effects, although they considered choosing special fabrics to work without CGI.
Another challenge was to make a red skirt that was weighty enough to cover a car yet light enough to be wearable. And the solution was to hand-sew 5060 petals with the help of costume design students.

#10 The Fifth Element (1997)

Costume Details Source: © The Fifth Element / Gaumont

For the birth scene of the character Leelo, portrayed by Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element, the costume designers were motivated by hospital gowns and bandages utilized to cover wounds. As the actress said, they assumed that, as if she were in a health center, she should “have as little as possible, but for the sake of modesty, you have to cover up....”
If you've ever dressed up, we’d love to know how you did it and what it looked like. If not, which character would you choose and why?
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