SHADES OF GREY: E.L. James’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” may be centered on an S&M-fueled love story, but its highly anticipated film, which hits theaters Friday will still feature plenty of clothing—courtesy of Academy Award-winning costume designer Mark Bridges.
“It’s very much our own world—that’s the only thing I can say about its aesthetic,” he said, adding that he personally designed most of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson)’s dresses and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan)’s suits, shirts and ties in an effort to avoid branding and to “keep it all about the characters.”
Bridges is best known for period-based projects like “The Artist,” “Blow,” “Boogie Nights” and this year’s “Inherent Vice”—for which he is Oscar nominated—but said that Grey’s modern-day setting is what provided its greatest appeal.
“I’m constantly trying to challenge myself and I wanted to see if I could tell a story with contemporary clothes,” he said.
“I thought the story was interesting. How do you tell that story and not be cliché? … The way [characters] express themselves with their clothes indicates something that’s going on inside of them. I think that was a challenge with this film. I was happy with how it turned out.”
Diehard fans of the book might be surprised to learn that he didn’t reference it.
“I just dealt with the script that I was given and with the director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Luckily, we had the writer there.
It was great fun to try to tell a story through clothing in the contemporary world.
I’m sure, once we open, everyone will have something to say and I can’t wait.”
Meanwhile, Bridges will make an appearance Tuesday in Beverly Hills at the 17th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards, for which he is nominated for his work on P.T. Anderson’s “Inherent Vice.”