Throughout his career, costume designer Mark Bridges has styled looks from diverse decades. For the 1970s-era "Boogie Nights," he outfitted Mark Wahlberg in denim bell bottoms. In "Blow," he found Johnny Depp '60s-inspired pocketed suits and turtlenecks to wear. And in last year's "Greenberg," he put Ben Stiller in a puffy vest and cable-knit sweater typical of a modern-day, middle-age slacker.
But approaching the late 1920s was especially daunting for Bridges. For one, he knew it would prove difficult to track down actual materials from the period. And he realized that the outfits he did select would be of particular importance in "The Artist," the black and white film that has virtually no dialogue.
"With the silent medium, I knew that the clothes would be an integral part of telling the story. The possibilities were just so fantastic," Bridges said via telephone from Philadelphia, where he was working on the set of "The Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
"The Artist," out Nov. 25, centers on a famous actor, George Valentin (played by Jean Dujardin), who is struggling to make the transition from silent films to "talkies." Just as his career begins to falter, he encounters a beautiful actress, Peppy Miller (played by Bérénice Bejo), whose star is on the rise.