Just this week, actress Katie Holmes opened Kering’s women on the move talk, talking about the power of film. She mentioned that the costumes are one of the main aspects in the films because they bring the production to life, where she feels like an actress, that sometimes she doesn’t have to work as much because the costumes are crucial in the storytelling. Killers of the flower moon is a serious film set at the turn of the 20th centuryth century, and although it is not a film known for its fashion, costume designer Jacqueline West (who also designed the costumes for Returnee, Duneand Argo) had a key role that brings the film to life.
Apple Original Film, out October 6th in select theaters and worldwide streaming on Apple TV+ on October 20th. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons and a host of other talented actors, it describes how oil brought prosperity to the Osage Nation. As the oil money flowed quickly, so did the whites, who seized and robbed the Osages of their wealth before eventually turning to murder.
West was able to mark the story by having the actors wear 1920s fashions that fit the story. The story is true, told through the romance of DiCaprio’s character, Ernest Burkhart, and Gladstone’s character, Mollie Kyle. It’s a Western crime story in which, as Apple Original Films states, “true love intersects with unspeakable betrayal.” The screenplay by Eric Roth and Scorsese is based on the bestseller of the same name by David Grann.
We see a progression of costumes throughout the film. The Osage characters are more in Western American clothing than traditional clothing. And if the Osage characters wore anything traditional, it was styled in a Western fashion. But what stands out in Osage fashion is women’s use of blankets as protection from the elements. Colorful blankets are worn as Osage women go about their daily activities and bring richness to life in rural Oklahoma.
Another interesting addition to fashion was men’s ties during this era. DiCaprio’s character is seen wearing many ties, which were 2-inch wide cut cloth ties, usually of a heavier flannel material that sat 4-6 inches above the waist. Such details, which West put in the costumes, give authenticity to the film as a whole.
West is not only a costume designer, he is also an Academy Award-nominated costume designer for his work The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Returnee, Duneand Quills. She comes from a fashion heritage. Her mother was a famous avant-garde fashion designer in the 1940s and 1950s. She had her own fashion line from 1988 to 1997 called “Identikit by Jacqueline West.” When she did costumes for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt called her a “method user”.
She also did the costumes for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part II, out November 3rd. West is on the advisory board of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA, and lives between the town of Angles, her ranch in Deadwood, South Dakota, and Aix-en-Provence, France.
The DiCaprio-Scorsese affair
This is a film that, once again, DiCaprio brought the story to Scorsese to make. This is their sixth film together. DiCaprio won the rights to Grann’s manuscript in 2016 before its publication. The duo actor and director worked on films from Gangs of New Yorkthat The Departedand The Wolf of Wall Street– a story DiCaprio conveyed to Scorsese. “When I read David Grann’s book, I immediately began to see it – the people, the setting, the plot – and I knew I had to make a movie out of it. I was excited to team up with Leo again to bring this story to the screen,” Scorsese says in the liner notes. But Scorsese had to finish the work Silence and The Irishbefore starting this project.
Killers of the flower moon, is an unfortunately brutal blot on American history. It is not an easy watch in some places, but it is original, believable, and because of the injustice of the story, it makes the blood flow. It will even make you laugh in parts, because you can’t believe that the character will make the decision that he will. Jacqueline West brought the film to life through her sartorial storytelling, and that matched with the work put in by the actors, Scorsese’s direction, the producers, and other imperatives of the film make it a stunning success and a must-see.
Forbes – Lifestyle