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April 16 2014

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2 posts tagged "Mark Bridges"

The Little Silent Film That Could

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Back in December, The Artist‘s costume designer Mark Bridges told Style.com, “When we wrapped, we had no idea how things would turn out. We thought, it could be the greatest thing since sliced cheese, or it could go direct to video.” As it turns out, Bridges and the cast of the silent film had created an Oscar winner. Last night, the film topped the winner’s list, along with Hugo, both films picking up five gold statuettes. Bridges took home one of them, beating out the likes of W.E.‘s Arianne Phillips for the gold. Catch our full interview with Bridges here. Also, you can catch a few of Bridges’ Artist costumes on display at the L.A. FIDM Museum through April 28 as part of the annual Motion Picture Costume exhibit highlighting costumes from this year’s Oscar films.

Photo: Mark Davis / WireImage

The Artist‘s Artist

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“When we wrapped, we had no idea how things would turn out,” says costume designer Mark Bridges of The Artist, the nostalgic silent film (in theaters now) about Hollywood’s golden era by Michel Hazanavicius, starring Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin. “We thought, it could be the greatest thing since sliced cheese, or it could go direct to video. There are no guarantees in this business.” (He would know, having costumed everything from Boogie Nights to Blow.) But after scoring five nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards, it looks like Bridges, Hazanavicius, and company have their answer.

The Jazz Age isn’t just enticing filmgoers at the moment; fashion audiences are eating it up, too. Coincidentally or not, the costumes Bridges created for Bejo echoed the twenties-inspired and Deco shapes on the Spring runways, at shows like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Etro. And though they’re currently hanging in Bejo’s closet in Paris, those costumes are also getting attention from museum curators, including those from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, and will be included in FIDM’s annual Motion Picture Exhibition this spring. Here, Bridges speaks with Style.com about re-creating the spirit of an era in crepe de chine.

How did you prepare for the movie?
I have an extensive library—every birthday when I was a kid my parents would ask what movie or book I wanted so I have built up a big collection over the years. I watched a lot of Turner Classic Movies—like, 24/7. There are people who don’t like to use other films as research but I love it. I looked at old silent film stars and pulled candids and press images of them. It was important to look at that era and notice what changed or didn’t change during those times. Even in the thirties, they kept the same hat shapes from the twenties. It was great that we were filming in Hollywood because I was set up to walk into Western Costume Company and go to the twenties section and I could just see what speaks to me.

Did you look to specific silent film stars or certain silhouettes they were wearing?
Yes, Bérénice and I both felt that [her character of] Peppy could be based on a young Joan Crawford, who hadn’t gotten very mannered yet. We looked at a lot of her early films and the dress Peppy wears for her first dance has the same DNA of the fringed one Joan wears in Our Dancing Daughters. Continue Reading “The Artist‘s Artist” »