THE "ELVIS" FILM: WHAT WENT INTO THE AWARD-NOMINATED COSTUMES?
Elvis Presley, often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll," was not only known for his music and charismatic performances but also for his iconic fashion sense. Throughout his career in the 1950s and 1960s, Elvis revolutionized the world of fashion, creating a unique style that became synonymous with his name and left a lasting impact on popular culture.
In the “Elvis” film, which was a biographical drama of the singer's life, costume designer Catherine Martin had the challenge of capturing the looks that Elvis was so famously known for. She did this so well that the costumes for the film have been nominated for many awards. She earned a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination for the work as well as landing an Oscar nomination.
Martin built over 9000 costumes for the film overall, including 90 for Austin Butler’s Elvis. She decided to conquer a mix of re-creations of Elvis’s iconic looks, as well as fictionalized outfits she felt would fit in his legendary wardrobe. She also got the help of BK Enterprises, who worked with Elvis on embellishing his jumpsuits and collars and have since been reproducing Elvis’s iconic looks.
Elvis often wore tight-fitting, flamboyant outfits that accentuated his physique. His stage costumes, which included vibrant jumpsuits adorned with sequins, rhinestones, and elaborate embroidery, became legendary. Martin made sure to tribute the historical accuracy of these looks as well as tailoring them to Austin Butler’s interpretation of the “King of Rock and Roll.” She didn’t simply copy the looks, she reimagined them while also keeping them historically accurate to Elvis.
Martin even captured the details Elvis made when he styled himself, down to his jacket buttons. To allow fluidity in his upper body movements while dancing, Elvis only buttoned the bottom button while most men would button the top. Details like this made the film so believable.
Elvis's fashion choices also showcased his ability to blend different genres and styles. He incorporated elements of traditional Southern attire, such as Western-style shirts, cowboy boots, and bolo ties, with the slickness of tailored suits and the glitz of flashy accessories. This fusion of different fashion influences made him a style icon and helped popularize the concept of mixing and matching different aesthetics.
Martin made sure to be mindful and pay close tribute to the look that Elvis made for himself. There is no one like Elvis, he came up with his own iconic style and Martin paid tribute to it that carefully.