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    • Ryan and I watched Solo finally, now that it's out for home viewing. It was entertaining. But that's not important right now. What is important now is THESE LASER-HOT LOOKS:

      Some movies have adequate costuming, some have good costuming, but this movie's costuming was witty, gorgeous, and expanded the universe while feeling at home in it. That Hawai'ian shirt under Lando's cape up there? They used Ralph McQuarrie concept art to design the sailboat-like skiff on it. This outfit of Qi'ra's would go gunfight to evening (or vice versa) with consummate ease, and the way the wrap-pants flare when she runs in it is amazing! The designers,  Glyn Dillon and David Crossman, also did Rogue One.

      Some more of my favorite movies for costumes: the 1991 French Madame Bovary, Oscar-nominated for its costumes by Corinne Jorry. It's a pretty faithful adaptation, which means all the depressing plot with none of the beautiful, compassionate prose, but the costumes are lovely and help tell the story at every turn. There was a pair of black lace mitts that made me clutch my (figurative) pearls. There's moral turpitude, and then there's those black lace mitts!

      Also, recently I pressed Ryan to watch the Francis Ford Coppola Dracula. I will not try to estimate how much of my interest was based on a single dress I've seen on Pinterest, but, well. That red dress! There's a reason Eiko Ishioka won an Oscar for these costumes. Should Mina Murray, penny-scrimping teacher at a girl's school, be dressed so well? Probably not. Is that the film's chief sin? Oh no, and what a lovely sin it is!

      What other movies shine for (or are outshone by!) their costumes, for you? Which are gorgeous but aren't helping the movie tell its tale?

    • I've been hoping to see people jump in this conversation because I thought it was amazing and I feel like a poser compared to you.

      My story is I'm completely drawn to the cinematography, sometimes to the point I miss important elements of a film. And usually inseparable from the lighting, effects, camera motion, etc., is the set—and to me the costumes are part of the set.

      One film that swept me away with the visuals was Hugo, and I remember even back then looking up who designed the period wear which jumped out even to me. I think this is the article I read and then I had to research Sandy Powell even more:

    • I have...so much to say, haha. I shouldn't do more than one movie a day because I have homework and other projects to work on, but I guess I'll start with the first movie where the costumes rocked me to my core - 2002's Hero, aka Yīngxióng. I'm not a Chinese movie expert, but I believe it was seeing a trailer for this film, and seeing the costumes, that made me want to watch it.

      And it's not even so much the design of the costumes, but the art direction of the entire movie. I was maybe 14-15 years old, and what was there not to love about billowing, vibrant silk telling a specific color story in each segment of the movie? And the composition of the shots...a feast for the eyes.

      From the beginning of the movie at the Imperial Palace, monochromatic with black and shades of grey:

      And then the red scenes at the calligraphy school:

      And then one of the most ICONIC scenes from the movie:

      And other color scenes such as the blue:

      Green:

      And white (which is a death color in Asia):

      Yes, I actually went and did screenshots of the movie because I actually own it in iTunes. I wish there was a 4k version of this movie! My eyes need MORE color!

      Bonus shout-out to the bamboo scene in House of Flying Daggers, by the same director, Zhang Yimou:

      And speaking of Zhang Yimou, he also did The Great Wall movie with Matt Damon, which was a fairly silly movie I watched while on a long flight, but again, the costumes were fantastic, as seen in this incredible action figure that I now have to resist buying after just finding it for this post:

      So, in summary, it wasn't so much the specific design of the costumes, but the color coordination with the scenes that was the true power in this movie. Still, it was one of the first movies I can remember actually stopping and marveling at the costumes. What I'd give for all that silk to play with...

      I'll try to think of a more design-specific examples for my next post. Are we allowed to include series as well? Because Game of Thrones costuming is a whole other wonderland!

    You've been invited!