For someone, like myself, who doesn’t know the full scape of everything that goes into making a costume, can you just give us a rundown of things that you have to check off your list in order to have a perfect costume?
Things I keep in mind are, “Does it does it tell the story?”, “Does it fit the form of the actor?”, “Does it transform us to the place where our setting is?”, “Is it a part of the film’s composition?”, and “Does it make sense?” Those are the main ingredients. Is it pretty? Is it effective? Does it tell a story, have composition, and is it true to form? Those are the main boxes to check.
That immediately makes me think of Dolemite Is My Name. The costumes were so beautiful and so vibrant, and they definitely told a story. What kind of research went into bringing those costumes to life.
Oh, that was easy, because I was a teenager in the ’70s. I remember a lot about it. You know, I remember marshmallows [shoes], patchwork denim, double-knit polyester, jellies, Gumby, and I remember Nik Nik shirts. The guys looked in those clothes — those that were fit to form — and they’d have heels, like they were wearing platform shoes. So, I wanted to present the ’70s that I knew and loved. That feeling was very much a part of the Black community, because there were several different genres happening in the ’70s. You had the hippies, the conservatives with the big, wide ties, the streetwear of the urban community that was highly influenced by a lot of the movies that were out, like Super Fly. The Black community was into maxi coats, knit dresses, boots, and bird collars, so how could you not embrace all that? My main goal was to make you like it, because I liked it.