American Hustle is the new drama from director David O. Russell, a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation. With the film set in the 1970s, costume designer, Michael Wilkinson, had a chance to express the decade’s distinctive design through the film’s fashion. His designs further expressed the film’s theme: the characters are remaking themselves – transforming themselves, in a positive way, into the people they aspire to be. Michael’s costumes – part of the film directed by David O. Russell, produced by Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, and Jonathan Gordon, and written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell – take audiences back in time and reminds them that what people wear reflects a lot about their personalities and aspirations. American Hustle opens in theaters in LA and NY on December 13, 2013 and nationwide on December 18, 2013.
HOW FASHION DEFINES EACH CHARACTER
As Wilkinson began his designs for the characters, Russell encouraged him to think about every detail. Wilkinson explains, “David’s characters are wholly unique and wildly imaginative. Their costumes require a cliché-free, thorough approach. With David’s script, there were a lot of opportunities to explore different social backgrounds, from the vibrant, racially diverse world of blue-collar New Jersey to ultra-fashionable Upper East Side Manhattan to the sprawling suburbs of Long Island. 1978 – the year the film takes place – is a fascinating year, because it marks the beginning of a transition away from a truly flamboyant, exaggerated lines of the 1970s and into a more streamlined, early 80s vibe.”
Michael Wilkinson’s designs include the hit films 300 and Tron: Legacy. He was nominated for a Costume Designers Guild Award and a Saturn Award for both projects. Previously, Wilkinson won the Saturn Award for Zack Snyder’s action thriller Watchmen, and was nominated for the CDG Award for his contemporary designs seen in the international ensemble drama Babel. He is currently designing the costumes for the new Batman vs. Superman film. Wilkinson’s most recent work includes the costumes for Man of Steel and Darren Aronofsky’s epic re-imagining of the biblical tale Noah. Wilkinson’s additional film credits include Sucker Punch, Terminator Salvation, Jonah Hex, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Party Monster, American Splendor, and Garden State. For television, Wilkinson designed the pilot for the HBO project “Luck,” directed by Michael Mann. Beyond film, Wilkinson’s theater work includes award-winning costume designs for the Sydney Theater Company, Opera Australia, the Australian Dance Theater, Radio City Hall, and the Ensemble Theatre. He has also worked in special events, having created hundreds of designs for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso(Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell’s previous films, American Hustle defies genre, hinging on raw emotion, and life and death stakes.
AMERICAN HUSTLE opened in theatres in New York and Los Angeles on December 13th, nationwide on December 18.
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