ew elements communicate more about a movie character than the design of their costume. Details as seemingly small as a scuff in a character’s jeans, or a designer tag hanging from their jacket can say volumes about their class, gender, and personal identity. There are so many different life experiences that clothing can communicate, and it’s the power of these details that first attracted Serenity costume designer Danny Glicker towards the art form.
While Glicker has a good deal of movies under his belt, he is perhaps best known for his work on 2006’s Transamerica , for which he received a Costume Designer’s Guild Award for Excellence in Costume Design for a Contemporary Film, as well as his work on 2009’s Milk, which received an Oscar nomination for costume design.
This past year, Glicker has been hard at work piecing together the costumes for Serenity , a thriller centered around a fishing captain (played by Matthew McConaughey) whose private island life is toppled when he gets tracked down by his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway), who wants help escaping an abusive partner. The psychological drama all unfolds among a few core characters in a tight-knit tropical setting, which makes for a visually intense narrative.
We chatted with Glicker about the artistic process of costume design, the way a color story forms, and how the script for Serenity informed the clothing in the film.
HelloGiggles: How did you first get into costume design?
HG: What are some movies and television shows you saw early in life that exemplified the ways costume design can be transformative?
DG: I would see re-run of All in the Family as a kid, and I remember thinking about how the show was shot in one of the most glamorous parts of Hollywood, and yet, here these glamorous actors were wearing clothing in the service of expressing people who are modest and struggling. That was a touching experience for me to imagine, taking these glamorous people and turning them into relatable people. The way the costume design looked effortless, and yet was created through a very specific effort was really powerful to me.
Danny Glicker: When I was younger, I was working as a fabric shopper in my teens for Broadway shows. I always knew I wanted to be in the world of costume design. I really responded to the idea of clothes expressing the world of a character, and I loved the idea of clothes translating a character’s experience and perspective to a larger audience. I saw it as a transformative process, and I always knew I wanted to be part of that. So, it seemed like a natural progression when I started doing the actual designing.