Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence show off their assets in “American Hustle.” Credit: Columbia Pictures
Ah, the ’70s, an era where the clothes were as slinky as a John Travolta “Saturday Night Fever” dance move. Now, the big hair, men’s chest bush and plunging necklines are back in the Oscar-nominated “American Hustle.” Costume designer Michael Wilkinson tells us about the film’s most award-deserving performance: Amy Adams’ flash-proof cleavage.
Talk us through Amy Adams’ style.
Amy’s character Sydney goes through an amazing trajectory in the film. She tries to reinvent herself: She gets a job at Cosmo, looks at who she wants to be, what she wants to project to the world — and she falls in love. She gets access to these clothes through Christian Bale’s character and she starts dressing as the woman she has always wanted to be. She invents this amazing persona for herself as a sophisticated high-end woman wearing Halston, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Diane von Furstenberg.
What makes the ’70s such a defining era for women’s fashion?
It’s such a liberating time. It was a new style of sexy and glamorous clothes: less structure and tailoring and much more streamlined, dramatic lines.
Amy wears revealing clothes. What were you trying to portray?
She really enjoyed exploring the way these clothes made her feel and how they affected her performance. When her character wears revealing and provocative clothes it’s a sign of confidence, but there’s also a fragility and vulnerability because there’s not a lot between you and the world. She has to walk in a certain way that demands attention.
Were there any malfunctions?
[Laughs] Everything was kosher — nothing popped out. She had a dictum that helped her to survive those dramatic necklines. Three things she had to be aware of: Carry herself upright, be conscious how she stands and sits, and avoid strong winds and draughts. And Amy also had to make sure that she had the editor on her side, so there’s a lot of judicious cutting.