Beads and embellishments were perhaps mankind’s first indulgent luxury…
In a 1995 interview with Wired magazine, Steve Jobs likened creativity to a game of connect-the-dots, with truly innovative design happening when the dots are culled from the far, the wide, and the unexpected.
One thing we wanted to do through his looks was to break down his personality in multiple facets and show his vulnerability. The turtleneck added a bit of softness to that moment, and it worked for the atmosphere he was in. His costumes went through a natural progression and encapsulated his various moods and vibes.
Most jobs require costume designers to hit the ground running, but Kym Barrett’s work often needs a backflip, some somersaults, and a few spinning kicks before the race even starts. Barrett mints icons like Apple cranks out iPhones. She hit the scene with the shockingly modern Shakespeare adaptation, Romeo + Juliet, and has not stopped sprinting since. In The Matrix series, she reimagined the superhero as an antihero with the unforgettable sweep of a black, floor-length coat and impenetrable mirrored sunglasses…
What do Beyoncé, cowboys, and Godzilla have in common? Other than whopping box office returns, the answer is the distinctive and innovative costumes of Sharen Davis. Her costume design moves seamlessly between genres, from Westerns to science fiction, and every decade of the 20th century. Davis deals in hyperbole like it’s an everyday language. She took Django (Jamie Foxx) from chains and rags to Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) burgundy suit in a move so brash that the movie itself stops to take a moment and appreciate it. Beyoncé time traveled right into her glittering gowns in Dreamgirls. She took Westworld from cowboys to samurai to the not-too-distant future.
The Star Wars universe quickly became part of the collective landscape. In the decades since many people have written themselves into Joseph Campbell’s monomyth—the broad concept that myths, folk tales, and religious stories from all over the world share unifying themes. Her own hero’s journey brought costume designer Suttirat Larlarb to the project after having honed her craft on projects like American Gods and the latest Bond film, No Time to Die.
In an industry plagued by pay inequity and gender bias, it’s no surprise that costume designers are victims of the same issues. “The majority of costume designers are women, and they are ignored,” says Perez, who’s worked as a costume designer on shows like The Mindy Project. “[The industry] thinking is, ‘Well, it’s just shopping, my wife can do that.’”