Friday, January 28, 2011

Costumes: Assuming the Character.



The Academy Awards will be here soon, and I will have something to say about them, no doubt. What I am certain of already is that the costumes for The Black Swan are the most extraordinary pieces of art we have seen in a long time. Below is a link to video clip about the designers behind the label, RODARTE, and how they found their vision for this amazing work.

Actors have a special connection to their costumes as part of assuming their character. Jack Nicholson has been known put special trinkets in his pocket to take him to that place, Johnny Depp works closely with his designers, Edith Head was legendary in developing costumes to fit both difficult actors and iconic visuals...the stories are out there. In this film, Natalie Portman was responsible for introducing these brilliant designers to the director, and the beautifully dark viewpoint they brought to it absolutely confirmed the tone of the film.

These tutus look very much to me like the glorious Degas' bronze ballerina sculptures, with the cotton mesh skirts and real satin ribbons still in them. I am always awestruck when I look at them closely. (In Los Angeles, you can get close to them at the Norton Simon museum in Pasadena. I go there every so often to get a fix.)