Movie Costumes

Costumes inspired by pop culture constitute some of the greatest challenges for today’s fantasy community. More and more, those beloved worlds from movies, TV shows and video games compel fans to express their enthusiasm through Cosplay or LARP costumes, while the growing number of artists within the fandom is spawning an ever larger pool of ideas for movie production teams and game designers, thus leading to powerful synergies that allow the community to grow even years after the release of a particular movie or game.

What do movie costumes reveal about their wearers?

Clothes are certainly an important factor for the first impression through which we subconsciously seize up a movie character—or our interlocutor in the real world.

Movie costumes, in particular, are more than mere clothes, though. Costumes project emotions, and constitute a crucial component in storytelling—defining and strengthening the role of the character in the narrative, just as the color, pattern, and material of clothing reveal the status and attitude of the character wearing it. When the characters change within the narrative, their clothes change in tandem—when moving to the dark side, for instance, they will often swap their light garments for darker colors. The costume becomes the visible symbol of their transformation and unveils their inner selves to the audience. At the same time, the costume assists the actors in getting a better feel for the role, allowing them to wear it like a second skin. So if clothes make people, then costumes certainly make characters.

Historical movie costumes at LARP events and Renaissance fairs

While in most fantasy-oriented LARP settings, costumes from historical movies are usually unobjectionable, such is not always the case at more historically oriented events—such as reenactment or living history—since the movie adaptation of medieval costumes often diverges from their actual historical antecedent. The primary reasons include poor research by the production team, budgetary limitations, artistic license, and marketing considerations. Costume designers are often asked to follow contemporary trends—and in this way, we end up with Vikings who are portrayed with sheepskins draped over their shoulders, or even modern side-cut hairstyles or eyeliner.

31 Item(s)

per page

31 Item(s)

per page