Poor things, when fashion becomes a character – Aurore de Grenier – go out!

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new cinematographic creation can clearly be described as a big screen UFO. In this story, carried magnificently by Emma Stone as we’ve never seen her before, the laws of nature and probabilities disappear. A film that surprises you and leaves you speechless, where the story is also served and supported by an accessory with many symbols: the costumes. A unique and extravagant aesthetic, mixing time periods and cumulative styles, the film’s costume designer Holly Waddington imagined a world of fabric at the frontiers of fashion from a parallel universe. While the film is attracting huge audiences in cinemas across the world, we wanted to take a look at the outfits that punctuate this exciting and surprising story. Decryption of an extraordinary dressing room.

It is difficult to describe the new cinematographic creation of Yorgos Lanthimos in a few words. Unrelatable comedy, overage? A story of the life of a child created by a scientist, against a free woman, Poor Things invites the viewer to observe the character of Bella in search of the horrors and joys that mark her existence. Poor Things has garnered a lot of attention since its release on the big screen. Emma Stone’s performance was more than praised by critics, which was awarded during the ceremonies at the beginning of the year, at the same time this cinematographic creation was placed in the films that will mark its history.

Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos © DR

If the madcap story is at the center of all conversation, one aspect of the film can’t help but catch everyone’s eye: the costumes. Designed and imagined by Holly Waddington, they serve the story of Bella’s character, marking the evolution she is also going through, through her body and her mind. In an interview with an American publication, the costume designer summarized the director’s instructions as follows: “The only instruction was not to limit the wardrobe to the requirements of a period film set in the 1880s, or to go too far. A science fiction aesthetic. Yorgos gave me a The young designer gave as the only reference image the creation of inflatable pants that created this shape with exaggerated curves. The clothes then had to do much more than cover the main character’s body. The clothes she wore were meant to represent her evolution, her discovery of the world since childhood. Until, on a grand tour across Europe, where Bella also sees the birth of her sexuality. “She had to change clothes with her,” added the costume designer. At the heart of his inspiration, we find cuts drawn from period fashion notebooks, but also 1930s pieces, 60s space age shoes designed by André Courages, patterns reminiscent of Elsa Schiaparelli or even Pierre Cardin creations.

Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos © DR

On screen, the evolution of Bella’s wardrobe becomes evident, with childish outfits transformed through her experiences into clothes that show great femininity. A leitmotif runs throughout the film: sleeves. Always exaggerated, they remind us of the past without allowing us to assimilate them into a specific period. The climax of this satirical epic is undoubtedly reached by the wedding dress, which is imagined in a cage up to her neck. But the chosen fabric, transparent and revealing, allows to maintain a certain lightness, speaking of Bella’s journey, while the shape of the model especially recalls the notion of the bond of marriage at that time. A reminder that even fashion carries more than one message, and tells the story of those who wear it.

Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos © DR

Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos, in cinemas from January 17, 2024

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