Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Big Lebowski, by Giada Fried

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 American comedy film directed by the Coen brothers. The storyline contains elements of film noire but humor is the overall main driving theme. The shaggy, baggy, un-employed surfer-dude meets bowler looks were created by Mary Zophres, an acclaimed costume designer that has worked on almost all the Coen films (she has won a BAFTA award for O brother, where art thou?).

Jeff Bridges stars as Jeff Lebowski or as he refers to himself "The Dude" - an unemployed L.A. slacker and avid bowler who drinks gallons of White Russians all day long and gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. Throughout the film his look is laid back and embodies the typical casual leisure look. In the first scene we see him walking through a supermarket in his robe and boxers, completely indifferent about his life. Later on we see him in a hoody and striped, baggy pants and then with an oversized wool, old-school sweater. Lebowski's color palette is toned down to earthy, muted colors -perhaps to indicate his social status or maybe to evoke a past era, for the entire film has a bit of a 1970's feel. Another important costume aspect is the importance of bowling, which leads to very specific costume choices. Mary Zophres did a great job at creating the "Lebowski look" - a look that is contemporary yet vintage and that embodies the slacker, california feeling. Together with the film, this specific look has become a cult classic for many around the world.

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