top of page

The Designer Behind Poor Things Reveals the Inspiration Behind a Fashion Fantasy of Liberation

In the film Poor Things, a surreal period science fiction creation directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the costumes worn by Emma Stone to portray Bella Baxter are as extravagant and provocative as the work itself and follow a more steampunk-oriented aesthetic. But what is this, Evely? Steampunk is a fictional genre that emerged in the 1980s, and although it may not have as much impact as cyberpunk, it still has a significant influence on works of fiction, occupying a space between Victorian and futuristic aesthetics.

From the outset, Bella's costumes suggest a unique blend of infantilization and liberating sexuality. Inspired by the evolving nature of children, the costume designer chose to keep her subtly stripped down, even when dressed. The chosen fabrics, such as quilts and ruffles, evoke a sense of childlike innocence, while references to female anatomy, such as blouses with suggestive cuts, add a layer of subversion to the look.

The reinvention of basic Victorian elements is a striking characteristic of the costumes, providing a fun and modern approach to the period's aesthetics. A favorite piece is a peculiar cage, reminiscent of a mermaid's tail, constructed with tissue paper and even inspired by a contemporary jacket from the Moncler brand. This fusion of historical and contemporary influences results in a unique and visually captivating aesthetic.

As Bella embarks on her journey, her costumes become even more wild, reflecting her gradual liberation from restrictive social norms. An example is her casual and bold approach to dressing in Lisbon, where she embraces the idea of wearing Victorian pieces in an unusual and provocative manner. The scene is a vivid representation of her transition to a freer and more authentic life.

In contrast, the costumes worn during her stay in Parisian brothels are designed to challenge traditional expectations associated with these environments. Avoiding clichés such as black lingerie and corsets, the costumes feature oversized wool jackets with latex overlays, creating a color palette that diverges from typical brothel conventions. The choice of colors and materials stands out especially in a scene where Bella is depicted wearing a latex cloak in a tone similar to that of a condom, a visually striking representation of her journey.

As Bella becomes more deeply involved in her academic studies and socialist activities, her look evolves to reflect her new identity and ambitions. Trading exuberance for a more sober and academic style, she adopts a proper suit but still maintains her characteristic irreverence by pairing the piece with Victorian boots and leaving her legs exposed. This visual transformation suggests her progression into a more serious and committed phase in her life.

"Poor Things" won four awards: Best Actress, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design.

And it's with this spectacular work of art that I conclude here! I hope you've enjoyed.



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page