{ Costuming A Caper }

CostumeCaper1I always say that fashion gives us each the opportunity to choose our own adventures, to sculpt the shape our days ~ and ultimately, lives ~ will take. Dress for the story you want to live out! In that same vein, my job as a stylist is to tell stories with clothes. This was as true as ever when Jamie asked me to outfit a video she and Kevin were recently directing. The piece would be wordless, so the wardrobe needed to communicate the personalities and motives of the characters in a really clear (but never heavy-handed) way. Our female lead had trouble on her mind, so for her that meant a ridiculously sexy, skintight, stretch-leather dress by Robert Rodriguez ~ the kind of dress that causes a man to lose focus, that unmasks his vulnerabilities. In choosing this seductive little number, I was thinking about Faye Dunaway in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, specifically that pivotal scene where she lays waste to Steve McQueen over a game of chess in a delirium-inducing nude dress. CostumeCaper2Besides furthering the story, the wardrobe must also make a strong visual statement. The clothes are more than mere scenery, they are an opportunity to paint an iconic image. For an important chase scene, I gave our anti-heroine a lipstick-red coat by Orla Kiely, which recalled Audrey Hepburn in ‘Charade’ and which appropriately accented the glossy soles of her man-eater Christian Louboutin heels. CostumeCaper3 CostumeCaper4 CostumeCaper5I liked to imagine that perhaps this wasn’t the character’s first con, and thus loaded her up with diamond baubles by Phillips House and Plukka. Understated bling, appropriate to an expert in deception. CostumeCaper6 CostumeCaper7If she was a naughty Audrey, then he was a guileless Carey Grant. Communicating this meant finding the right suit, then tailoring is just so. We tried on dozens, finally settling for a fantastically cut number by Club Monaco. His character was a designer, so it needed to denote an aesthetic confidence, while still maintaining an underlying personal innocence. I found the way to do that was by eschewing a tie in favor of suspenders and and a geek chic set of specs by Warby Parker. CostumeCaper8 CostumeCaper9 CostumeCaper10 CostumeCaper11Once our shoot day rolled around, Ana Sicat, our talented hair & makeup artist, stepped in to administer the final touches: bewitching cat eyes and a red lip for her, sheepishly disheveled hair for him. Meanwhile, I worked up to the final minute, stitching hems and adding leather buttons with which to attach his suspenders. CostumeCaper12 CostumeCaper13 CostumeCaper14 CostumeCaper15Bunny stopped by set for final approval, of course. CostumeCaper16In the end, the characters’ wardrobes happily added the extra dose of magic to Jamie and Kevin’s vision that I’d hoped they would. Click over to their site to watch the finished film! CostumeCaper17|PHOTOGRAPHY| by Carly Piersol for Ann Street Studio