December 19, 2013 |
Based on a 19th century autobiography, "12 Years a Slave" is the true story of a free black man, Solomon Northup, abducted and sold into slavery in the emotionally vicious yet visually beautiful world of the antebellum South. Director Steve McQueen wanted the film to be "very real," says longtime costume designer Patricia Norris, and yet little documentation of slave clothing exists. With her five decades of experience, Norris created the look for Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Patsey (newcomer Lupita Nyong'o)
December 5, 2013 |
Long before Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" arrived in theaters in 1964, the studio chief was wooing the story's author, P.L. Travers, trying to nab the rights to the famed books that eventually became his blockbuster film. It was a bumpy ride, as we see depicted in the Dec. 13 release "Saving Mr. Banks," that pitted the cranky, obstinate English author (played by Emma Thompson) against the agreeable but resolute Southern California mogul (Tom Hanks). Travers was tough, and veteran costume designer Daniel Orlandi, who had access to both the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Disney Studio archives, wanted to make sure that aspect came across quickly.
December 4, 2013 |
When set decorator Claudette Didul needed to decorate Sally Draper's bedroom with 1960s-era clothing for an episode of "Mad Men" last season, she knew just the place. Didul went to Playclothes, a vintage clothing and furnishing store in Burbank, to buy an assortment of blouses, dresses, sweaters, pants and shoes to decorate the scene. "It's like a one-stop shop," Didul said. "It's really important for us to have stores like Playclothes. Their inventory is always changing, and I know I can get things I need the next day and that they will stay open for me if I have an emergency.
November 17, 2013 |
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards - or as Martin Short called them, the "highest honor an actor can receive ... in mid-November" - were presented Saturday evening in Hollywood. And Short's joking comment aside, the evening made for a heartfelt tribute to three movie legends - Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and Italian costume designer Piero Tosi - picking up honorary awards for their body of work, as well as Angelina Jolie, winner of the academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
November 14, 2013 |
Veteran costume designer Ruth Carter had her hands full with her latest feature film, "Lee Daniels' The Butler. " In it, she tackled eight tumultuous decades of U.S. political and social history - and changing fashions - filled with dozens of national figures (including LBJ, JFK and Jackie O) and had to factor in an equally daunting number of celebrities in the cast: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Oprah Winfrey and, of course, Forest Whitaker in the lead role, among them. Carter says her focus had to be stout, and she ignored the shine of the 24-karat celebrities who surrounded her, on film and in her fitting rooms.
October 26, 2013 |
To fashion the costumes for Summit Entertainment's military sci-fi film "Ender's Game," designer Christine Bieselin Clark used not only patterns and sewing machines but also lasers and magnets. Crafting futuristic threads and helmets for the film, which opens Nov. 1, was "sci-fi just in its process," she said. Bieselin Clark, 41, began her career in a much lower-tech space: the theater. She grew up on Long Island, a stone's throw from Broadway, earned a degree in theater arts from Stony Brook University and went on to design costumes for regional theater productions all over the East Coast.