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True Grit: Exclusive Costume Featurette

This is a really interesting bit of video, exclusive to Clothes on Film (for about five minutes). It is a snapshot look at the costume design work of wonderful Mary Zophres for the Coen Brothers’ version of True Grit. Well worth a watch.

Zophres’ contribution to the film is up for an Oscar, BAFTA, CDG and no doubt a few other hefty acronyms. For those who have not yet seen True Grit, it is a late 19th century western clothes fest (Greatcoat! Buckskin! Angora chaps!), even though the main characters only undertake scant costume changes. The muted colour palette, in particular, effectively and subtly evokes the setting, weather and overall mood of the piece. Not bright and cheery, but dull and pungent. Go see it as soon as you can.

True Grit starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld is released on 11th February in the UK.

© 2011 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.


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  • Mike

    Oscar pick? Bear Man for the win.

    Thanks for this video. It’s great to hear a designer’s ideas straight from the source.

  • the gorgeous

    wooould love to work on a film like this as a stylist! and daaamn work with those genious brothers cohen!
    anyway, LOVE you blog, mean it!

  • Leucadia

    The men’s costumes in True Grit are great, but the female extras (in town scenes) are HORRIBLE. The film is set in the 1880s. Yet the women are all wearing hoopskirts! And not enough petticoats, so you can see the hoopskirt “bones.” Even if you consider the townspeople “provincials,” behind the fashions, still they would not be wearing a20-year-old silhouette. I am baffled how the designer didn’t seem to notice that the 1880s were NOT a hoop-skirt decade, not by a long shot. It’s one thing if she (or the Coens) consciously decided to skip accuracy, but I don’t think she is even aware of it based on the featurette.

  • Bear Man Fan

    Hello, just wondering if anyone knows whether the bearskin worn by bear man was from a real bear or created from synthetic materials? Either way it was the best costume in the film by far!

    • Chris Laverty

      It’s was real. Ed Lee Corbin who played The Bear Man was so big that Mary could not find one bear skin large enough to cover him, so four (purchased from a taxidermist) were sewn together instead.

    • hunter

      Who was the taxidermist that made the Bear Man Head piece and where were they located?

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