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Black Swan Images = Costume Heaven

As Clothes on Film has it on good authority that Black Swan is ‘spectacular’ and because we have an interview with director Darren Aronofsky upcoming closer to the UK release date, here are some striking images to get you in ‘that place’.

Black Swan tells the story of two ballerinas (played by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis) on a New York production of Swan Lake. As rehearsals for the show intensify, their apparently transparent personalities diverge with both an intense rivalry and unusual friendship developing.

Amy Westcott is costume designer for Black Swan, while the overall costume look of the film was very much a collaborative process with Darren Aronofsky, cinematographer Matthew Libatique and production designer Thérèse DePrez. Evoking feeling was considered more important than style.

Selected ballet costumes were made by sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy, founders of clothing brand Rodarte, who worked closely with Wescott, Aronofsky and American Ballet Theater designer Zack Brown.

The Mulleavy sisters were primarily approached due to their recent ‘vulture’ collection (2010). Many of their ideas were reworked under the guidance of Westcott and Aronofsky for Black Swan.

Realism was a key factor for all off-stage wear. Most of the ensembles were sourced from professional dancewear brand Yumiko.

Rehearsal costumes were a intentional four colour mix, mainly blacks, greys and blues for Lilly (Kunis); pinks and white for Nina (Portman). These colour schemes gradually blend together towards the end of the story.

Black Swan is due for release on 3rd December in the U.S. and 21st January in the UK (originally 11th February). Look out for more coverage, including that all important interview with Darren Aronofsky about the themes of gender and identity in the film nearer the time.

© 2010 – 2017, Lord Christopher Laverty.


    • Chris Laverty

      Thanks guys. That’s a fascinating interview. I’ll give you a shout when the Darren Aronofsky piece goes live. Lovely site by the way.

  • Tinka

    Costumewise it can’t get any better than with ballerinas on and off stage.


  • BalletTeacher

    Could you tell me how designed her rehearsal shrugs, bootcut legwarmers, and the white pinch-front camisole leotard that Portman wears in that one rehearsal scene. I was sure that the leo was Mirella’s M210L, but I was wrong. The Black Swan version appears to have adjustable straps and a ruched scoop back that M210L does not have. Please let us know and thanks!!

  • BalletTeacher

    Sorry to post twice – I should have mentioned: It doesn’t appear that these are Yumiko products, since the leo seems to be cotton/lycra and I don’t think they have ever sold knit warmups. Thanks again!

    • Chris Laverty

      Hmm, I’m not sure about the exact origins of these garments though I will try to find out for you (hopefully have some interviews upcoming). However, it is worthwhile noting that most costumes are adapted in some way for use in film, even so-called ‘off the peg’ items. It is rare that a costume is available to buy in the exact same state it is seen on screen.

  • Fiona

    Can anyone tell me where the scarves/pashminas that feature in the film are from? Thank you!

  • Ainsley

    Can someone please tell me what brand Mila Kunis’ (Lily) black bag is in this film? The over-shoulder black leather one she has at rehersals.

  • Jillian Oravsky

    Can someone tell me what the make of the 3 tiered shiny skirt Lily (mila kunis) wears in the Rave scene as well as the sweater she wears it looks like there’s leather around the neck this is in the scene where Nina is crying in the workout room all alone and Lily comes over and gives her a cigarette. I have searched all over please let me know if you know either of the makes! Thanks so much!

    • Chris Laverty

      I don’t know offhand, though imagine whatever make it was you’ll be unlikely to find one exactly the same. Most of the clothing was customised by costume designer Amy Westcott. That said, if I ever get chance to ask her, I certainly will.

  • Sara Rocha

    Hi! Congratulations for the website, amazing!
    Can you tell if the long white dress Natalie wears at the gala is somewhere available to buy?
    Amazing movie by the way…
    Thank you!
    Whish you the best *

  • Michelle

    I remember seeing Mila Kunis in the most beautiful black dress during the ball scene where they were introducing Natalie Portman as the Black Swan. I cant seem to findout anything about it. Do you know who designed it. I am looking for one just like it for a ball I am going to.

  • Alliciyia G

    I was wondering were can I get the white dress Natile Portman wore during the party scene in Black Swan.

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