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Best Wardrobe change as shorthand for character development

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

what are the best examples of when the main character gets a complete makeover/new outfit that tells the viewer that shit just got real/the game done changed.

 

My choice:

Legeng of Billie Jean

On the run, facing the injustice of small town misogyny, Billie (Helen Slater-NO RELATION) chops her locks in an homage to Joan of Arc and dons a fucking wet suit as daily apparel. The wetsuit represents a conscious choice to insulate herself from the effects of a patriarchal society seeking to drown her. Pat Benetar ensues.

 

Your turn.


Edited by Alex Augustine - 4/25/13 at 12:05pm
post #2 of 44

post #3 of 44

Not mine, but in the Breaking Bad thread there was discussion about how much the color palette of Walter White's clothes have changed over the series. In the first season Walter is wearing very muted shades of green and brown as opposed to the more powerful shades of purple and yellow in the later seasons. I thought it was super fascinating. 

 

Great idea for a thread, by the way.

post #4 of 44

COMMANDO.

 

Matrix wears the same outfit for the first two acts of the film.  When he's ready for the assault, he gets a little montage  of him gearing up.  He transitions into COMBAT MODE, and you have no doubt that shit is about to get real.

 

PREDATOR

 

For the final battle, you have a long sequence of Dutch putting on camouflage: mud, sticks, leaves, all that shit.  Again, he's transitioning into a new mode: HUNTER MODE.

post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

COMMANDO.

 

Matrix wears the same outfit for the first two acts of the film.  When he's ready for the assault, he gets a little montage  of him gearing up.  He transitions into COMBAT MODE, and you have no doubt that shit is about to get real.

 

.

 

This was going to be my original post. Once the war paint goes on, you know Bennet's time is running out!

post #6 of 44

Wardrobe change is but a part of the textual shorthand used to develop not just Kim Novak's character, but Jimmy Stewart's as well.

 

http://berentzannacmp.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/kim-novak-as-judy-as-madeleine-in-vertigo.jpg

post #7 of 44

First thing that sprang to mind is Matthew Lillard in SLC Punk. The entire movie he's wearing a mohawk or blue spiked hair, along with the expected punk attire of leather jackets and ripped up jeans with pins and badges. At the end after a funeral he's cut his hair and let it go back to brunette, and is wearing a suit. 

 

Good idea for a thread.

post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomTastic View Post

Not mine, but in the Breaking Bad thread there was discussion about how much the color palette of Walter White's clothes have changed over the series. In the first season Walter is wearing very muted shades of green and brown as opposed to the more powerful shades of purple and yellow in the later seasons. I thought it was super fascinating. 

 

 

That too, but there are often times when Walt simply putting on the hat is played like a superhero transformation. His whole face and swagger changes, in hilarious fashion. He takes his Heisenberg persona very seriously indeed.

post #9 of 44

Bruce Banner 'suiting up'?  Hahahah

post #10 of 44

post #11 of 44

Bond (Daniel Craig) trying on a tuxedo for the first time at the Casino Royale.  Watching him admire himself in the mirror (hey, I DO look good in this!) was a good transitional moment for him.

post #12 of 44

Throughout The Shield, Vic Mackey is characteristically clad in a tight t-shirt, showcasing his powerful build and pointy man-nipples.  

 

 

 

In the finale, when he shows up at the ICE office, he is clad in a suit that is about two sizes too big for him, making him look both out of placed and thoroughly diminished in stature.

 

 


Edited by Schwartz - 4/25/13 at 1:01pm
post #13 of 44

 

 

In all seriousness, though, I'd say Luke turning up in that black cloak in Jedi.

post #14 of 44

Not a total wardrobe overhaul by any means, but I'd submit Vukovich's shades, popped collar, and general demeanor at the end of To Live and Die in L.A.

 

post #15 of 44

 

VS

 

post #16 of 44

DEAD RINGERS

 

post #17 of 44

Eddie Adams - Naive Dish Boy

 

 

Dirk Diggler - Successful Porn Star

 

 

Dirk Diggler - Coked out of his mind

 

 

Dirk Diggler - Back Again

 

post #18 of 44

Tell me about it, stud:

 

 

No one said it had to be a good development!

post #19 of 44

Kay-Em 14 (Jason X)

 

 

 

post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieFerguson View Post

In all seriousness, though, I'd say Luke turning up in that black cloak in Jedi.

 

That was my first thought, but applied to all three films.  In Star Wars, he's in white, representing his innocence and relative purity.  In Empire, he's mostly in neutral colors, highlighting his transitory nature.  And in Jedi, he's gone all black, a representation of having accepted his parentage and foreshadowing that he will indeed turn to the Dark Side, if only for a moment.

post #21 of 44
I Know What You Did Last Summer. Jennifer Love Hewitt's shirts get progressively tighter.

eXistenZ. Jennifer Jason Lee's hairstyles kind of point toward the final iteration of her character. If I remember correctly, the only two that look normal are her real character and her character at the deeper game level . . . I think the other styles are blends of the two. My wife's observation, not mine.
post #22 of 44

This is the first thing I thought of:

 

 

post #23 of 44
16aGcy5.jpg
post #24 of 44

Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club going from gothy weird girl to beauty who gets the wrestler simply by taking off her coat and putting makeup on.

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Winner.

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I fold.

post #34 of 44

 

The hat as a symbol of Indy's formative moment; the relic hunter gives him a template of how to dress and act, but also defines what he doesn't want to be on an ethical level. It's a talisman of the day he 'grew up' and learned that archaeology isn't always a pure faith, and represents the dichotomy within him between the cynical, grizzled worldview he adopted and the corruption to which that worldliness can lead.

 

EDIT: It just occurred to me that because Indy wears the hat constantly it may not be seen as a costume change - though I'd argue that that scene in Last Crusade is his single most formative costume change. Also, there is the running trope of him losing the hat and grabbing it back, which I'd argue to signify his refusal to compromise who he is - the films generally have a scene where his identity is questioned or outright forced off him (i.e. Belloq's 'shadowy reflection' speech, or the Thuggee possession ritual),and he's forced to reassert it or take it back - so you could see the hat-grabbing of foreshadowing of this and a reminder that he never lets go of who he is. And I'm pretty sure I'm not totally reaching with that one.

 

 

 

And then we have the Professor Indy costume, which tells us that underneath that boy scout never fully went away. he may be uncomfortable in the life of a professor, but when he's in these clothes there's an honest enthusiasm for learning that tells us he's no brute and informs his romantic centre. 

 

 

While these two aren't intended to denote any change in the character as we're meant to understand them, they're both put in the right places to understand Indy better.


Edited by Workyticket - 4/25/13 at 9:58pm
post #35 of 44
Anakin Skywalker
post #36 of 44

 to

 

 

post #37 of 44

Always liked the evolution of Max Fischer's wardrobe in Rushmore.

post #38 of 44

post #39 of 44

"What are you trying to tell me... That I can dodge bullets!?"

 

"I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin."

post #40 of 44

 

Harry Swanson's my name and excitement's my game!

post #41 of 44

Too obvious?

 

post #42 of 44

Nah, but I'd go with the first time you see the suit in the fortress of solitude.  Not just a costume change, but an actor change.

post #43 of 44

"evil" Parker in Spider-man 3 is a pretty good example of this.

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Dahlia View Post

Anakin Skywalker

 

 

 

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