The Two Faces of January (and the bottomless costume box)

Costume designer Steven Noble talks about the special role that his creations play in The Two Faces of January

For this latest project, Noble did bespoke for almost 3000 extras; sent an assistant in quest of a dry-cleaners at 2 o’ clock in the Cretan morning; duplicated numerous outfits; and prepared 27 suitcases for the bureaucratically arduous journey to Turkey.

It sounds like a crazy level of effort to go to but then The Two Faces of January is a film in which costumes have some very important roles to play. As Noble himself discussed, the outfits worn by the three leads must both parallel and help explain a drama of ever-shifting emotional dynamics.

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And, of course, their many sand-hued garments are central to that aura of wholesome luxury that keeps alive, as the film reels into grit, a myth of what Noble calls ‘the golden couple’.

The one thing costumes do not do here is situate us in the sixties and Noble explains that such was his intention.“I wanted to keep it minimal, contemporary, and chic”, he said; proposing that only when historical ties are loosened can viewers of today (or tomorrow) begin to identify with the characters on the screen.

In Cinemas 16th May

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