Tell Olivia Wilde Don’t worry, darling, starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan, is a visual treat would be an understatement. The color palette, visuals, and costumes bring out the best of the 50s and feel as real as possible for the storytelling. Costume designer Arianne Phillips is a household name in the industry for some of the finest work with iconic costumes in movies like The crow, Hedwig and angry thumb. She also scored one of her three Oscar nominations for her work in Once upon a time in… Hollywood. But, his work is not limited to films. For several years, she worked beyond the sets of a film and contributed to iconic photo shoots, theater and more.
EXCLUSIVE: Don’t Worry Darling costume designer Arianne Philips reveals secrets through costumes; make Harry Styles dress up in suave color palettes
Don’t worry darling, which opened in India on September 30, is a story about Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles) who are lucky enough to live in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town home to the men who work for the top -secret Project Victory and their families. The 1950s societal optimism embraced by their CEO, Frank (Pine) – both corporate visionary and motivational life coach – anchors every aspect of daily life in the tightly woven desert utopia. While the husbands spend each day inside the Victory Project headquarters, working on ‘progressive materials development’, their wives, including Frank’s stylish partner, Shelley (Chan), can spend their time enjoying beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. . Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs being met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and an unconditional commitment to the cause of Victory.
But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive facade, Alice can’t help but wonder exactly what they’re doing in Victory and why. How much is Alice willing to lose to expose what is really going on in this paradise? But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive facade, Alice can’t help but wonder exactly what they’re doing in Victory and why. How much is Alice willing to lose to expose what is really going on in this paradise?
Interestingly for the dystopian history of the period, Arianne Phillips apparently left secrets through the costumes that not only control the story arc, but also distract from what’s to come. The costumes set the tone for the scenes and also serve as character development. In an exclusive interview with bollywood hungamaArianna talks about working on this particular project.
Since the film is set in the 1950s, how do you make the era believable but not too realistic?
The wonderful thing about this script and the story and the direction that Olivia Wilde gave me was that we were going to create this world together, this world of Victory. One of the nice things about the way the story is written and the way Olivia directed it is that audiences get to experience Victory with Alice, who is played by Florence Pugh. We are in sympathy with Alice. So we learn victory; we know there is something wrong. We are also completely I think, I hope, seduced by this perfect world of ease and pleasure and, everything is beautiful. Women are always glamorous and men are always handsome. And there’s this construction of this position for American idealism, about the victory of coming together for this perfect world. Of course, we understand from this period that it is through a male gaze; a patriarchal look at how the culture was and was this veneer of perfection that the perfect wife, who is also the perfect mother, is also the perfect lover, at all times. It was really exciting to create, to work on a story that has many complex layers, and that is revealed to the audience as the story unfolds. So being able, as a costume designer, to create a character and help tell the story is what’s so exciting about my job, as well as the ability to bring out the tone and the feeling of the story. I had a lot of fun with it. I kind of have to help create a tone of victory that’s kind of like being in the garden of Eden – it’s beautiful, yet, you know, you can take the wrong step and, you’re not everything quite sure what it is. So there are a lot of discoveries that we made when we got together with Matthew Libatique, the director of photography, and Katie Byron, the production designer, as well as Olivia, to create this idea of the perfect place.
The color scheme changes with the costumes and type of character arc which seems like an obvious way to change the mood of the story. Was it intentional to make the costumes a certain way in order to navigate the story?
I knew that when I took this film, I would have the ability to use color almost like a character itself, and to be able to use print to help create energy, like in the way the film opens, where they really have fun, aperitif and they bounce the glasses on their head and I designed to dress this red with lots of prints and energy. Being able to have those kinds of moments in film, like being able to use heightened colors, also happens in Victory – we shot it in Palm Springs, California, with this beautiful Californian light – So it turned out really posed on the colors really worked in this environment. And yes, I absolutely use color and silhouette to help express and emphasize different points in the story.
Harry Styles is known for his style and fashion and he’s someone who goes with any style you put him in. So it was quite interesting to see him wear these kinds of color palettes that he might not have explored before. What was it like collaborating with him?
Harry, like every other actor in the film, was an excellent collaborator. He was open and very curious about the process and really open, a great collaborator. When someone walks into my dressing room, their celebrity personality has no bearing on the character they’re playing. So I didn’t consider Harry like Harry Styles for the performer; I was just thinking of him as an actor and took him very seriously as Jack. So, I’m well aware of Harry’s global stature, but he’s just a wonderful, collaborative, fun guy. And he looks great in clothes. He was really generous with the time we spent. We talked a lot about the character of Jack who he was, and his own evolution in Victory and it was just a dream to work with him. The entire cast was stellar – everyone from Florence to Harry to Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne and Kate Berlanti – all wonderful actors in our film. It was like, an embarrassment of riches, I guess.
Was there a particular scene or scenes where you found the costumes to be fun to work with or difficult in some way?
Each scene ties into the next, I thought the scene that would be the most difficult, but fun and challenging, I guess, would be the Alice nightmare sequences that we see recurring. And it was really interesting with the dancers. So it was really fun. And I was thrilled to see, you know, the way they shot it with the aerial camera was Maddie. And we referred to a lot of things like, basically Berkeley musicals. And that was really exciting for me. And, and just because it’s so incongruous with the story, and it’s kind of out of time and out of place. So that was really great. I love that and that his nightmare, and the scenes with the dancers really added, I think, an element of danger to this perfect world because it’s filmed and in black and white. And I was looking forward to that.
What was it like watching the film at the grand premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival?
It was a thrilling night. It was so great to be reunited with everyone and they were so happy to see each other. It’s like a big party. And it was great because we waited long enough for the movie to come out. We wanted to make sure it would hit theaters. So, you know, normally you were sort of moving out, it comes out a year later. In this case, we waited two years because of COVID. So that was really exciting.
I also received a special prize in Venice before the film. So I was nervous before going, but I’m super excited to celebrate afterwards. So it was like a dream and it passed too quickly.
(This interview has been edited and condensed).
READ ALSO: Don’t Worry Darling Crew Denies Screaming Matches Between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh on Film Sets
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