If you love to scope out the fashion in films, your next must-see flick is the thriller The Two Faces of January, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith (she of The Talented Mr. Ripley fame) novel that opens on the big screen this weekend. Set in the 1960s, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen star as the uppity, high-class American couple, the MacFarlands, who travel to Europe on holiday and meet tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac). The three are all conning each other to get what they want and ultimately get tangled in a murder cover-up, which leaves them showing their innermost flaws to a fateful end.
But between the what's-gonna-happen-next moments, there's the fashion. Costume designer Steven Noble, whose work includes Wuthering Heights, Bridget Jones's Diary, and the forthcoming (and super buzzy) The Theory of Everything, was tasked with transforming the characters into '60s trendsetters. "I wanted to create the mood of 1962 and be true to it, but then also make it timeless and feel relevant to an audience, so it didn't feel like a costume drama," he told InStyle this week. "I wanted to bring it forward to a modern audience but still be true to the period."
To do so, he looked at fashion journals from the period to find out what people wore on vacations, as the movie travels from Greece to Turkey. "I immersed myself in the period," he said. "I watched a lot of films and looked at magazines, books, posters, and footage." And because he wanted such specific looks for the three principal characters, he and his team made the looks themselves.
The first look you see in the film, with Mortensen in a linen suit and Dunst in a lemon dress (above), was the most important, said Noble. "I wanted them to pop from the background when you first see them," he said. "It looked so beautiful next to the stonework in Greece. The director [Hossein Amini] wanted them to be an aspirational golden couple, and I felt like this is what I had to put them in."
Scroll down to find out the little intricacies behind just a few of the film's mesmerizing looks.
Colette's Cat-Eye Glasses
Getting the Colors Right
Rydal's One-of-a-Kind Hat
The Challenging Light Color Palette
The Two Faces of January opens in theaters Sept. 26. Watch the trailer below.
Plus, see how Kirsten Dunst's has transformed through the years in our gallery!