The new film Brooklyn is not only a beautiful love story, it’s also an ode to the beauty of ‘50s fashion. The plot, adapted from the novel by Colm Tóibín, follows young Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), who leaves her native country and her family behind to make a better life in America during the period in which European immigrants flooded the famed New York borough. She suffers a bout of debilitating homesickness when she first arrives, but then she starts to fall into her own rhythm, working as a shopgirl by day, taking evening accounting classes at Brooklyn College, and even meeting a soft-souled Italian-American plumber named Tony (Emory Cohen). Her journey is an emotional one that’s captured ever so perfectly by Ronan’s performance, as well as ever so subtly by the by the visuals of her costumes, created by Emmy-winning designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux.
“Eilis’s looks helped tell the story of a young lady who grows in confidence and embraces a world she had newly joined,” Dicks-Mireaux told InStyle. Therefore, her wardrobe is different from Ireland to New York. “They’re very different worlds,” said the costume designer, who sourced real vintage from shops in London and Montreal for Ronan to wear. “New York was not touched by the Second World War, whereas Europe was. Therefore, when she was in America, I wanted her to look bolder and stronger.”
The costumes tell the story as much as Ronan does, with her getting increasingly happier as it progresses. Suddenly her downtrodden wardrobe from Ireland transforms into a vibrant palette in America. She purchases sunglasses for the first time, which is a major turning point. In fact, there are a few pivotal looks that really stand out, says Dicks-Mireaux—six to be exact. Scroll down to find out what they are, and why Dicks-Mireaux considers them so darned important.