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Entries in Three Fittings (5)

Friday
Apr142017

Three Fittings: Fantastic Beasts' Odd Costume Win

New Series! Three Fittings celebrates costume design in the movies. The number is necessary self-restraint for we love the art of costuming too much.

By Nathaniel R

Dear reader, I didn't think I'd ever need to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016). I thought, solid reasoning given the golden trajectory of most franchises, that Oscar would want to move on after a year of regular craft nominations for the series. I thought, surely they'd never hand one of them an actual Oscar if they hadn't done so by now. But in the interest of completism, after Colleen Atwood's generous fourth statue for costuming this particular movie and its bluray release, I caught up. 

I was both impressed and utterly perplexed by what I found.

While Atwood does unusually understated work (for her), there are far fewer costumes than you might expect (approximately one per man, two per woman). Sussing out why they voted for this confident minimalism within a fantasy over more traditional costume perfection in Jackie, the primary color bliss of then-frontrunner La La Land, the erotic glamour of Allied, and the flouncy Most-ness of Florence, proves nearly impossible.

Nevertheless, here are three key looks to discuss:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar092017

Three Fittings: Haute Couture Hallucinations in "The Pirate"

New Series! Three Fittings celebrates costume design in the movies.

The whitest Caribbean ladies of all time! And why is Judy wearing a kilt balled up on her head?

We kicked off with La La Land and Allied but after a break for Oscar madness we're back with an old classic. Or perhaps this movie is better described as a notorious curio though that doesn't have the same blurb power. Regardless, Vincent Minelli's The Pirate (1948) has to be seen to be believed.

You must watch it while sober for the movie is its own pharmaceutical enhancements. I'm still having sudden flashbacks. Which is all well and good since hallucinations and fever dreams are plotted right in. 

Stay with me through this elaborate but crucial plot point. When travelling actor Serafin (Gene Kelly) hypnotizes the newly-engaged Manuela (Judy Garland) he realizes that she romantically fantasizes about the infamous pirate Macoco and promptly pretends to be him...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb022017

Three Fittings: High Glamour and Low Spies in "Allied"

[New Series! Three Fittings will celebrate costume design in the movies. The number is necessary self-restraint for we love the art of costuming too much. We kicked off last week with La La Land icymi.]

Allied begins strongly with a weirdly lulling quiet parachute descent into the Moroccan dessert. Moments later the man from the sky is all wrapped up a stone blue headscarf, his face obscured, presumably to protect it from the sun and sand. This obscures the movie star within which is never a good thing so the scarf loses its functionality almost immediately. It's suddenly an accessory rather than a tool, just another texture and a complimentary color to the fetching earth tone ensemble on a ridiculously handsome man walking toward a car far off in the distance.

Who knew that an empty road in the desert could double as a runway?

Costume designer Joanna Johnston clues you in immediately that you're looking at a movie that's aiming for the glamorous illusion of Old Hollywood...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan262017

Three Fittings: Oscar Nominated "La La Land"

by Nathaniel R

Welcome to "Three Fittings" in which we will celebrate costume design in the movies weekly. The number is necessary self-restraint for we love the art of costuming too much. We'll choose three costumes from a chosen film to discuss. Otherwise each episode would be six thousands words and twenty-five images long. As with Daniel's series "The Furniture," which focuses on Production Design, I'll alternate between contemporary and older films.

Let's begin with one of this year's Best Costume Design Oscar nominees La La Land. Contemporary films rarely receive this honor. Out of the 85 films nominated this century thus far for costumes, only 4 have been contemporary films: The Devil Wears Prada, The Queen, I Am Love, and now La La Land. But let's state this clearly up front: La La Land deserved the nomination. 

While the guiding principle of La La Land's costume design by Mary Zophres is simplicity, this should not be confused for subtlety...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan172017

The Costumes are Coming

New Series!

T H R E E    F I T T I N G S
Thursdays • TFE •  Jan 26th

Consider it a companion series to "The Furniture" if you will. While Daniel continues to bring us Production Design pieces on Mondays, Nathaniel will be looking at the art of costume design each Thursday.