Not only is it important to dress actors in accurate clothing for the time period, but costumes give unspoken information for the audience about the characters in the films. In Jojo Rabbit they used colorful patterns on Scarlett Johansson’s character, Rosie, to show that she’s the hope in the movie. Even if someone didn’t notice her colorful clothes, it’s subconsciously noticed and giving the audience exposition to who Rosie is as a person.
“We didn’t want it to be muted and depressing that I feel like is a very traditional way of going into these World War II Films, whereas if you look at the actual fashion of the time, there’s a lot of color.”Director – Taika Waititi
Costumes are extremely important to bring your world to life in your film. Even if it’s a film set in present day about a typical town in the U.S. of A., it’s still important to put thought into how each character is dressed. The viewers subconsciously draw conclusions about characters based on their clothes. Say the costumes in Jojo Rabbit were reversed, everyone except Rosie was dressed colorfully, it just wouldn’t add up in our brains when we find out she represented hope and life in the movie.
If you’ve ever seen a movie that was trying to recreate a world, and you thought something was off about it, but you couldn’t quite tell what was wrong with it, it was probably the character’s clothes. A great costume designer will understand the world the director is trying to build, and create costumes for the actors that match the director’s vision effortlessly, watch this video for more.