What an actor wears onscreen is about so much more than surface-level aesthetics. Costumes can help to set a scene and transport viewers to a particular time and place in history, or even a whole other universe. After all, how could a film like Barry Lyndon work if the cast were clad in modern garb? And how would audiences react if The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Doctor Frank-N-Furter dressed in jeans and a polo shirt?
Costumes can also say a lot about the inner workings of a character, as well as the society in which they live. After all, without the coordinated outfits of Mean Girls, wouldn't the true extent of clique-culture in the film be less clear? The inclusion of this detail elevates the film's central message and comments on the culture that influences the behaviour of its protagonists.
Overall, costumes have the power to make or break a film, and this is why costume designers put so much painstaking work into their conceptualisation and creation. On this note, let's take a look at ten unusual and innovative examples of costume design in some of the most iconic films of all time...
10. It Took Eight Hours For Jennifer Lawrence To Get Into Costume For X-Men
Jennifer Lawrence was initiated into the X-Men universe in 2011 when she took on the role of Mystique in X-Men: First Class. As the shape-shifting mutant boasting scaly blue skin, crimson hair and yellow eyes, the actress went through a rigorous process in the dressing room each day in order to look the part.
Speaking to Jimmy Fallon, Lawrence claimed that her physical transformation took up to eight hours per day. She would either stand up or sit on a bicycle while a team of six make-up artists painted her entire body. Her scales would be applied first, followed by three layers of aquamarine body paint and five layers of splattering effect.
In later X-Men films, Lawrence decided to swap blue paint for a skintight bodysuit. While this new outfit allowed her to spend less time in the dressing room, the nature of the constrictive garb meant that she was unable to sit down to use the toilet. Armed with a funnel, Lawrence took it all in her stride, but using the implement was made rather difficult by her co-star James McEvoy, who once broke into her bathroom and shot her with a BB gun as she performed the delicate task.