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Get on Up: Sharen Davis Shares Costume Design Sketches

As Get on Up, director Tate Taylor’s look at the life of singing legend James Brown, hits UK screens we have some fantastic sketches to share of the film’s costuming.

Costume designer for Get on Up is the one and only Sharen Davis, who previously worked with Taylor on The Help, although you may know her better for Devil in a Blue Dress, Dreamgirls, Ray and Django Unchained. Davis is absurdly talented and every single project she undertakes should be greeted with cheers by any costume fan. Get on Up with its collective of lowly, stage and civvie ensembles worn by Chadwick Boseman as adult James Joseph Brown (60+changes) is no exception.

Moreover, not only are Clothes on Film lucky enough to be publishing these sketches, we also have some exclusive snippets from Sharen Davis on her approach to the film. We would say ‘enjoy’, but that should be obvious:

Get on Up_Costume sketch_gold_Image credit Unversal-001

“The biggest creative challenge on Get on Up was how to design a ‘tribute’ to the ‘Hardest working man in Show Business’ instead of a biopic.”

Get on Up_Costume sketch_15_Image credit Unversal-001

“The film spans from the 1940s to the 1990s, but the script tells the story in ‘flashy vignettes’.”

Get on Up_Costume sketch_1993_Image credit Unversal-001

“Studying film clips from James Brown’s performances and personal life, I designed his performance costumes in the silhouettes, sometimes enhancing the fabric or colour of his performance clothing.”

Get on Up_Costume sketch_1992_Image credit Unversal-001

“I did, however, take some liberties with the band, background vocalists and dancers. I wanted the audience to be clear as to what time period each performance or scene was in.”

With thanks to Sharen Davis

© 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.