What They Wore to Work: The OSCARS Pt.2

Workwear as Costume

Dressing for work is always a bit of a challenge for everyone (unless you work from home in your pajamas). Even more so for some professions, such as actors. They sometimes get beautiful gowns, or fantastic formal and casual wear to show off a lifestyle; but they are just as often sentenced to make-up and wardrobe like Jim Carry in The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch or The Mask and  Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy or Na'vi in Avatar. So with the Academy Awards  just a few weeks away, (Feb. 28)  we thought we'd take a look at how some of Hollywood's best had to Dress Right for work this year.

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What They Wore to Work -- Part 2.

 

BROOKLYN -- Department store 'uniform'

Brooklyn1aEilis Lacey (played by Saoirse Ronan)

Eilis Lacey comes to America from a small town in Ireland in the hard years following World War II. She lands in Brooklyn, finding work in a department store where she finds love. But she is a woman of limited means, and like most of us, needs to wear her few simple outfits multiple times. She did not have the resources for a wide wardrobe; she was just a working girl in a department store.

Veteran costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux had to make a decision on whether the employees there would wear a uniform or not. "I remember working in a similar kind of shop myself where you're asked to wear a certain kind of costume," said Odile. "So we decided black was a good way of doing that in the store. So they all wore black and even Jessica Paré [Miss Fortini, Eilis' store manager] wore a black suit. We thought it would make it easy for the audience to understand the shop assistant role."

What goes around comes around. Brooklyn is a hot spot for immigrants once again, and tea-length skirts are back.

 

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SPOTLIGHT -- Casual Workwear

spotlight-movie

L to R: Michael Keaton (as Boston Globe editor Walter V. Robinson), Liev Schreiber (as Boston Globe editor Marty Baron), and Mark Ruffalo (as investigative reporter Michael Rezendes).

Spotlight is a film about The Boston Globe’s reporting on the sexual abuse of children in the Roman Catholic Church. It's a story about hunters chasing predators. The reporters at the heart of the story wear casual everyday clothing; comfortable, without much concern about how one appears.

The costumes are based on the actual wardrobes of the journalists; each was interviewed and some even offered pictures of or items from their wardrobes at the time the movie portrays. The costumes do a great job of capturing the 90s; it's authentic - an un-uniform that mirrors what we all used to call school clothes.

These folks have better things to worry about than the clothes they wear. These clothes say they are comfortable, but nobody is going to be able to read much into them.

Some of the outfits were made, and some came from thrift stores, and then there were some trips to Brook Brothers, too.

Costume designer for the film Wendy Chuck said "You do it really with fit and color....It was always important to me to underscore the story itself and be authentic. When I read that script, it was not about the clothes. I thought if I can just get out of of the way and be invisible, I’ve done my job."

Do your job: Work Hard Dress Right

 

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MAD MAX: FURY ROAD -- Women in White

MadMax

An actual Oscar nominee for best costume design, the clothing for Fury Road easily exceeds its dystopian predecessors in audacity and breadth.

Yahoo editor Meriah Doty recognized the "massive effort to create the post-apocalyptic, dirt-chic apparel

The movie's singular look is more costly than any of our workwear budgets. In fact, spending on costuming exceeded the combined costume costs of the other 3 Mad Max films.

The Wives in White have attracted much attention and plenty of discussion. Five healthy women (a rarity in this time and place) are kept to bring forth healthy children -- at the pleasure of course of the prime antagonist, Immortan Joe, desperate for a healthy heir. Their look is ethereal, and virginal, betraying their true purpose and use. They wear little clothing, but are wound in white a look modeled after a ballet Director George Miller had  seen with dancers lightly wrapped, bandaged, as if damaged; yet strong, healing.

Fury Road does not let these 'Wives' blend together in one pretty blur. They are individuals. Each Wife is a woman, carrying the horrors of the life she endures.

According to the film's costume designer, Jenny Beavan (who already won an Oscar for A Room with a View in 1985), "Every costume, mask, piece of footwear and accessory was thought out, concept-drawn, reworked, tried out in model form, in prototype. Nothing came easily."

Just like any of us, getting dressed on a Monday.
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