Oscar snub: Her should have also been nominated for Best Costume design.

Jan 19 2014 by
Categories : Culture

Her Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix in Her. Photo courtesy of Her.

Last week our executive editor,
Laura deCarufel, blogged about her disappointment at
Blue Jasmine not being nominated for Best Costume design at this year’s Oscars. “There’s nothing safe or predictable about the costume design in 
Blue Jasmine,” she wrote. “It’s not just that the clothes are beautiful—although it is a joy to see
Cate Blanchett strut around in custom Roger Vivier shoes, carrying a 35 cm
Hermès Birkin, and wearing a custom wool bouclé jacket designed especially for the film by Karl Lagerfeld. But what really elevates the costume design is that Suzy Benzinger, Woody Allen’s longtime costume designer, is able to depict Jasmine’s downfall simply through her wardrobe.” Continuing on with the theme of “films-that-were-snubbed-in-this-category," I’ll add
Her. Like
Blue Jasmine, the retro-futuristic fashions in this sci-fi romance about a man (Joaquin Phoenix), who falls in love with his operating system (
Scarlett Johansson), contributed to our understanding of the movie’s larger message.
How did high-waisted pants, no belts, no ties or lapels and small or non-existent collars manage to do that?

 OC Her 2The costume designer, Casey Storm, and director, Spike Jonze, joined up with Opening Ceremony to create a collection inspired by the film, which includes safety pinned pockets where you can store your digital date. Photo courtesy of Opening Ceremony.

How fashion contributed to the story line… The retro-futuristic clothes reflected one of the underlying themes in the movie, which was that the relationships we have in the future should still be rooted in the past. When the humans in the film fell for their OS it was the ultimate long-distance—and inherently disconnected—relationship imaginable. In other words: a union that was ultimately lonely and unsatisfying. Because the clothes weren’t clichéd sci-fi garb, they also helped to create this feeling that the characters lived in a world that was like ours—but not exactly as it is today. In fact, most of the looks had a vintage bespoke feel, rather than an impersonal high-tech, mass-produced style. The fabrics were made from natural fibers rather than highly engineered synthetic materials. Even the colours—burnt oranges, warm golden yellows and pinkish hues—helped to create a slightly off-kilter mood and time reference. (Blue tones had all been removed from the film—even from the sky—to create this sepia-tinged emotional ambiance. The only time you see a shock of blue sky is when the first crack in their online love affair appears.)
Will the looks influence today’s fashions? Yes, the hipster set has already gravitated toward this rustic, chic-nerd look. You can even buy a line from Opening Ceremony that was inspired by the film. (The owner of OC, Humberto Leon, is friends with Spike Jonze and it’s the second time he’s designed a collection based on one of Jonze’s films. The first collaboration came after
Where the Wild Things Are.
What’s with the high-waisted pants?
In an interview on the OC blog, the costume designer, Casey Storm, sheds some sartorial light on the subject… “I don’t know exactly how we arrived at the high-waisted pants, but I think when Spike wrote the character, he had Theodore Roosevelt in mind. Joaquin’s pants throughout the film also have a really tapered leg, based on late 1800s pants for riding horses. The vintage pants I found [as inspiration] were from a costume house, and when I tried them on Joaquin, it just looked right. It looked interesting and weird, but it felt comfortable and casual and a little sloppy. Joaquin is kind of amazing in that you can put anything on him, and it looks great––with color too. He wears really bright colors in the movie. The palette of the film is orange, yellow, and red––it adds to that warmth and emotion, and creates this nice environment that he lives in.”
Read more of our Oscar-related coverage:
Five reasons why Gravity should win for best picture
Five reasons why Her should win for best picture
Five reasons why Philomena should win for best picture
Five reasons why 12 Years a Slave should win for best picture
Five reasons why Captain Phillips should win for best picture    

Categories: Culture