DVF, Halston and Charles Jourdan disco shoes are just some of the amazing vintage pieces Michael Wilkinson sourced to sit alongside his sexy 70s designs in American Hustle.
First, a little something for the die-hard vintage fans: allow me to inform you that everything you’ve heard about the vintage fashion in American Hustle is true. It is real and it is glorious, especially when it comes to Amy Adams’s wardrobe – think Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, Halston dresses and blouses, Christian Dior oversized sunnies, Charles Jourdan disco shoes and a selection of Gucci accessories like the signature python Bamboo Lady Lock Handbag and some high-heeled loafers.
Even if brand names don’t set your heart a-flutter, Adams’ phenomenal post-baby bod in a revealing swimsuit or a hunky Bradley Cooper channelling Saturday Night Fever on the dance floor definitely will. Especially when you start throwing in the hair and make-up: sexy 1970s flicks for Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, and slick blow-waves (Jeremy Renner), comb-overs (Christian Bale) and curls (Cooper) for the men. Wowsers.
Despite the vintage finds, Australian costume designer Michael Wilkinson told The Hollywood Reporter about the need to build costumes from scratch. For instance, it was Wilkinson who designed and created key items such as Adams’ white monokini in the pool party scene and her sequinned gunmetal grey halter-neck dress.
“Sometimes when you use clothes solely from a period, and these are all almost 40 years old now, it’s hard to get the freshness and the right feel,” Wilkinson told WWD.
“Although we tried to use as many authentic pieces as possible, we also used a few more contemporary pieces and built quite a few from scratch.”
For Lawrence, that meant jumbo-printed caftans, muumuus and house dresses for scenes at home, or clingy revealing numbers (to make her husband jealous) for nights on the town. Some good examples are the vintage leopard-print chiffon halter-neck frock from I. Magnin and the white metallic rhinestone-strap showstopper in the casino party scene, also designed by Wilkinson.
As for the boys? Cooper and co were decked out mostly in no-name vintage garb says Wilkinson, whose work on American Hustle has him competing against fellow Australian costume designer Catherine Martin (The Great Gatsby) for Best Costume Design at this year’s Academy Awards. Fingers crossed one of them takes home Oscar gold!