Cinema: Designing Woman

Sometimes clothes really do make the man. Or woman. At least they do when costumer Sandy Powell creates them

Moviedom is filled with memorable fashion imagery--Vivien Leigh's Gone With the Wind green velvet, Audrey Hepburn's Sabrina cocktail sheath, Jean Seberg's T shirts in Breathless, almost anything Mike Myers wore in Austin Powers--but how often can articles of clothing be credited with having a performance-enhancing power akin to, say, a film's director? It happened, it seems, during the shooting of Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine, an homage to the David Bowie '70s and the world of men in makeup. According to Toni Collette, who played a rock-star wife, all the leopard print and lame she wore in the film coaxed the hidden...

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