The Story of the Dallas Buyers Club Costumes

The Story of the Dallas Buyers Club Costumes


Kurt: WE’RE WORKING TOGETHER
ON A TRIAL BASIS, AND IT’S BEEN GOING ON
FOR 27 YEARS. Bart: IT’S INCREDIBLE TO WORK
WITH ACTORS AND HELP THEM REALIZE
A CHARACTER. A LOT OF TIMES, ACTORS REALLY HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT
A CHARACTER UNTIL THEY MEET US. Kurt: I THINK A LOT OF TIMES, WE’RE THE FIRST CONTACT
THEY HAVE WITH THE MATERIAL. WE’RE ALREADY PRETTY DEEP
INTO OUR RESEARCH AND OUR DESIGN AT THAT POINT. Bart: IT’S INCREDIBLE TO HAVE
AN ACTOR WALK OUT OF A FITTING AND THANK YOU AND SAY, YOU KNOW, “I DIDN’T KNOW
WHO THIS CHARACTER WAS UNTIL WE DID THIS.” THE PRODUCER OF IT,
ROBBIE BRENNER, CALLED US. I THINK IT WAS KIND OF
PERSONAL FOR BOTH OF US JUST BECAUSE IT DEALT WITH AIDS. WE MOVED FROM DENVER AROUND
THE SAME TIME TO NEW YORK. SO, I FEEL LIKE
WE HAD KIND OF A GRASP OF THAT PART OF THE COUNTRY. EVERYBODY PUTS THE ’80s
KIND OF IN THIS CLICHÈD, YOU KNOW, BIG HAIR,
SHOULDER PADS, ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. BUT I REMEMBER IN DENVER,
SEEING COWBOYS THAT I STILL SEE
WHEN I GO HOME TO DENVER, AND THEY’RE STILL DRESSED
THE SAME WAY. Kurt:
FOR MIDWEST, IT’S STILL — THERE’S A LOT OF THE ’70s
LEFT OVER, AND THEN THERE’S ALSO JUST
A LOT OF RURAL AMERICANA — YOU KNOW, JUST WORKWEAR CLOTHES. Bart: FINANCIALLY, IT WAS VERY
HARD TO DO WHAT WE HAD TO DO. BUT IT ALSO KIND OF PLAYED INTO EXACTLY WHAT THE CHARACTERS
WERE. Kurt: WE DROVE FROM NEW ORLEANS
TO TEXAS. AND WE PROBABLY HIT EVERY SINGLE
THRIFT STORE ON THE WAY THERE. AND THEN IN HOUSTON,
WE DUG THROUGH OLD RAG HOUSES TO FIND ALL THAT STUFF THAT
STILL EXISTS THERE, YOU KNOW? Bart: I THINK WE WOULD HAVE
APPROACHED IT THE SAME WAY WHETHER WE HAD A LOT OF MONEY
OR NO MONEY, LIKE WE HAD. RAYON WAS REALLY INSPIRING
FOR US. IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US
TO HELP TELL HER STORY AND MAKE SURE THAT SHE HAD
A LOT OF DIGNITY IN HER. Kurt: THE CLOTHES FOR RAYON
WERE REAL CLOTHES. THEY WEREN’T CLOTHES
THAT WERE BUILT. AND ALSO,
THEY WEREN’T STAGE CLOTHES. AND I HOPE IT JUST REINFORCES
THE AUTHENTICITY OF IT AND THE LACK OF THEATRICALITY, YOU KNOW, FOR THE CHARACTER
AND FOR THE CLOTHES. WHEN JARED FIRST GOT CAST,
WE SENT HIM SOME PICTURES THAT FRIENDS LIKE NAN GOLDIN
HAD PHOTOGRAPHED FROM THE SAME TIME PERIOD. I THINK THOSE RESONATED
WITH JARED. AND THAT WAS KIND OF, LIKE,
THE STARTING POINT. Bart: JARED CAME IN. WE GOT A CALL
HE WAS AT HIS HOTEL. HE WANTED TO SEE US. HE WANTED US TO BRING CLOTHES. NOBODY HAD MET HIM YET. WE THREW A BUNCH OF STUFF
IN DUFFEL BAGS. WE WENT TO HIS ROOM. JARED CAME OUT WITH A WIG,
HEELS, AND LIPSTICK ON, AND SAID HELLO. AND WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT
RAYON, AND THE CLOTHES FLEW OUT. AND WE WENT THROUGH EVERYTHING. BUT IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT
FOR HIM TO KIND OF FIGURE OUT
WHO RAYON WAS, SOMEWHAT, THERE. AND THEN WE GOT IN A CAR, AND WE WENT BACK
TO THE PRODUCTION OFFICE, AND HE MET JEAN-MARC
FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR A REASON. SO, AND JEAN-MARC HAS SAID
THE SAME THING. HE SAID, YOU KNOW, I MET RAYON,
AND I DIDN’T MEET JARED, I DON’T THINK,
UNTIL AFTER THE MOVIE WAS OVER. Bathke: AS A CONSERVATOR,
MY MAIN DUTIES ARE TO GET THE OBJECTS READY
FOR EXHIBITION DISPLAY. Kurt: THE DRESS CAME FROM A SECOND-HAND SHOP THAT WAS
OUTSIDE OF BATON ROUGE. IT WAS GREAT FABRIC,
GREAT COLOR. Bart: ’70s. Kurt: IT FIT HIM FANTASTIC. IT WAS STILL LEFT OVER
FROM THE ’70s. Bathke: ONCE THE OBJECT ENTERS
THE ACADEMY MUSEUM, WE TREAT IT AS A MUSEUM OBJECT, AND THEREFORE HANDLE IT
WITH THE SAME CARE THAT WE’D GIVE ANY OTHER OBJECT
IN A MUSEUM. FOR RAYON’S COSTUME, IT CONSISTS OF
A FLORAL-PRINT MINI DRESS AND A FUR JACKET. Kurt: WHERE IT WAS FITTING
IN THE STORY IS LIKE, WELL,
RAYON’S FEELING REALLY GOOD AND LOOKING REALLY GOOD. I THINK IT’S KIND OF HER
AT HER BRIGHTEST. IT’S GREAT THAT THESE CLOTHES
ARE GONNA BE, YOU KNOW, PRESERVED AND ARCHIVED
AND EXHIBITED. Bart: WHICH IS A LOT OF WORK. YOU KNOW, ARCHIVING
AND PRESERVING IS A LOT OF WORK, AND WE’RE VERY THANKFUL
THE ACADEMY IS DOING THIS.

One Reply to “The Story of the Dallas Buyers Club Costumes”

  1. how magical is that, wear some kinds of costumes, and you can experience a totally different life. love the video, thanks for doing it purely. 

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