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X-Men: First Class Costumes

Some official images have surfaced for director Mathew Vaughn’s adaptation of Marvel comic X-Men: First Class. Plot details are still sketchy, but we do know that the story is set at some point during 1960s (mid?) and concentrates on the relationship between young Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr / mutant guise Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Their ‘civvie’ costumes by Sammy Sheldon (Kick-Ass, Stardust) are not excessively sixties in tone, however.

Only a handful of details give the film away as not set in the present day, most notably on January Jones as Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon’s ‘Hellfire Club’ leader Sebastian Shaw. A white, belted PVC catsuit channels the unforgettable legacy of The Avengers costume designer John Bates for Diana Rigg, while Shaw’s rather ‘decadent dandy’ look with silk cravat was a smart recurrence for gentlemen in the mid-sixties.

However, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert wearing a neat grey swing coat and slim black trousers (above) could easily be from 2011. This style of coat was most popular during the 1950s, when it was wider, longer and the Peter Pan collar more pronounced. McAvoy’s costume for Xavier is likewise somewhat period ambiguous. The double breasted reefer style raincoat was likewise prevalent in the fifties, although is a common enough sight now in heavy duty wool.

The flap pocket on Nicholas Hoult’s sports jacket as Hank McCoy is a definite sixties touch. At this time traditional male formal wear was being reworked by Pierre Cardin, a designer perhaps best known for inspiring The Beatles’ tube suits. Standing in the background is Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme. She wears a cropped leather double breasted trench coat as a dress with long matching boots. The suggestion of appearing ‘nude’ beneath outerwear is one that strikes an immediate period vibe, and yet is still acceptable, if risqué, today.

Two final points of note are Xavier’s chukka boots and Lehnsherr’s knitwear (above). Along with desert boots (that have a crepe sole), chukka boots were widely seen after World War II and eventually beloved by the Mod crowd. The idea of short, narrow trousers is partly one of display. These boots are intended to be seen. Lehnsherr wears a fitted rollneck, a style that also came to prominence after the Second World War. The sixties, however, was the time for male knitwear, either under slim suits or more casual with a zip fastening leather jacket.

UPDATE! About an hour after this post was published two more images were suddenly released. Check them out below:

So, James McAvoy’s Professor Xavier in what looks to be a reefer (pea coat), a wool one this time, chunky knitwear and fingerless gloves. At this tight angle it could even be a shot from Wanted (2008). Michael Fassbender is unquestionably Magneto, however. That trademark helmet is instantly recognisable. Judging by the strapping on the yellow and black, Kevlar-alike suit (Kevlar is naturally yellow) he may have just jumped out an airplane, but that is only a wild guess.

January Jones’ outfits will likely receive most coverage during the run up to X-Men: First Class’ release. Understandable, as she is instantly reflective of the sexy wow factor in the comic book. Moreover, Emma Frost is the most overtly sixties looking character in the group. Of course, cleavage revealing catsuits are still worn nowadays, but more as a throwback costume than a specific look. Shame really.

X-Men: First Class is due to hit major cities on 3rd June.

Source: LA Times and Slashfilm

© 2011 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.


  • Adilah

    I have to say that this is one of the most unique movie blogs ive come across in such a long time. Great stuff cool blog!

  • rexusdiablos

    I agree with Adilah. I enjoy the niche focus on something so fundamentally important that is oft overlooked. The descriptions offered really add an extra depth to the characters. I wouldn’t have expected a fashion aficionado to understand the undertones of subcultural characters such as CLU and Captain America. I furthermore enjoy the simplicity of the blog.

  • Cicely

    I stumbled upon this blog while doing a google search for Grace Kelly’s costumes in To Catch a Thief, but ended up reading several posts from the archives and now I’m hooked. Just wanted to say that this blog is fantastic!

  • Alex Gardner

    Would you be able to help me find the style of jacket that Erik wears during the Russian Operation scenes?

    Great blog by the way. I’ve had a chance to sort through some articles and they are so detailed….quite novel. 🙂


    • Chris Laverty

      Hi Alex,

      As soon as those publicity types get off their butts and put me in contact with Sammy Sheldon I’ll ask him. Planning a follow up article when I can.

  • makanimike

    If you coul also ask them about the other leather jacket that would be brilliant (the zippered leather jacket in the group photo in your blog) 🙂

  • Tyler

    Could anyone tell me about the out fit magneto wears in the Argentina bar scene where he beats those guys butts. thanks.

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