'70s fashion makes a huge comeback in new film, 'American Hustle'

American Hustle fashion
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'70s fashion makes a huge comeback in new film, 'American Hustle'
Illustration by Warren Manser for Amy Adams costume
Illustration by Warren Manser for Amy Adams costume
Illustration by Warren Manser for Jennifer Lawrence's costume
Amy Adams in 'American Hustle'
The leading cast of 'American Hustle'
Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in 'American Hustle'
Jennifer Lawrence in 'American Hustle'
Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Röhm, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner in 'American Hustle'
Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper in 'American Hustle'
Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper in 'American Hustle'
Amy Adams in 'American Hustle'
Amy Adams in 'American Hustle'

The buzz is building for one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the season, 'American Hustle,' starring A-listers Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and more. By buzz, we mean Oscar buzz, all eyes will be on the cast and their performances when the movie hits in select theaters on December 13th and nationwide on December 20th.

From perms to velour, costumes play an integral role in making 'American Hustle' come to life on the big screen. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson is responsible for doing just that. A veteran costume designer, Michael has worked on films like 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn I&II,' 'Man of Steel,' and 'Friends with Money.'

StyleList sat down with the 'American Hustle' costume designer to discuss the film, working with such an incredible cast, and all the preparation that went into creating the looks for these memorable characters.

The inspiration:
The film, set in the '70s, follows over-the-top characters like Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer Lawrence), the hot-tempered wife of con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale). And you can't have over-the-top characters without equally over-the-top costumes. Michael shared everything that went into finding the right looks:

"It was really important for my team and I to look at '70s fashion, and in particular the actors and actresses who were setting the trends. We looked at iconic women like Bianca Jagger and DVF for inspiration. I read a ton of books written in the time period, watched countless movies, and sought inspiration in really unusual places, like old thrift shops and photos."

The cast:
Working with such an incredible cast posed certain challenges for Michael, who was tasked with finding the perfect pieces to transform each actor into their character.

"For Amy and Jennifer, their characters exude confidence in the way they dress. We found stunning DVF wrap dresses, plunging (PLUNGING) necklines for Amy, and gorgeous fur collared coats on Jennifer. For the men in the film, you have Bradley's character who transforms from an FBI agent to con-man collaborator. His looks transforms with him from a black-and-white FBI kind of guy to polyester suits and garish ties. Christian Bale gained 40 pounds for the role, he truly transformed himself. There was no shortage of paisley ties, striped shirts and ascots for his character."

The costumes:
With a film like this, the pressure is on to create timely and iconic designs, which is why Michael and his team scoured the country (and world) for just the right pieces.

"We called every vintage store, costume house and person we could think of who could help us find the right designs. If we couldn't find what we were looking for, I'd take out my pencil and start drawing. I really had fun with this film. We got to use incredible designers and materials, and the final product speaks for itself."

All of Michael's hard-work paid off. The film -- which hits theaters in New York and LA on December 13th, and nationwide December 20th -- promises to be a serious box-office hit.

Check out more about the film here and watch the trailer below.

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