Distracting Detail in ‘The Host’ — and Ryan Gosling’s Red Coat

Movie Talk
Diane Kruger in 'The Host'
Diane Kruger in 'The Host'

Two films out this weekend include attention-getting outerwear. And a single costume designer is responsible.

Erin Benach is a rising star behind the scenes in Hollywood, having dressed Ryan Gosling now in four films -- including his latest, "The Place Beyond the Pines." Yeah, kids, she's the woman behind Gosling's unforgettable scorpion-emblazoned white satin jacket in "Drive." "We're not going to top the scorpion jacket. Let's just quit while we're ahead," Benach tells Yahoo! Movies of the thinking behind Gosling's "Pines" look.

Benach also provided wardrobe for "The Host," in theaters now, making the alien invaders of the sci-fi romance decidedly fashion forward. The so-called Souls are bedecked in white from head to toe because, as Benach explains, they needed to be "perfect, happy, tailored, clean."

Erin Benach
Erin Benach

Led by Diane Kruger, who plays the Seeker, these souls like monochrome -- not to mention mirrored Lotuses, motorcycles, and helicopters -- a style so severe that it is, dare we say, dangerously chic. Benach was integral in changing the Souls' color palette from black (as Stephenie Meyer had written in the book) to white to better fit their serene nature.

The Souls "apparently figured out how to do laundry in the desert, because we only wear white," Kruger joked to Yahoo! Movies during a recent interview. And yeah, she even admitted that the shiny chrome cars "aren't very practical, but they look pretty cool."

Kruger, who wears a $3000 Armani jacket throughout much of the film, also sports some platform ankle boots. At one point, she kicks through a door with her trendy shoes while hunting down Saoirse Ronan's part-human, part-alien character (the Wanderer). Benach says the boots needed to "kick a little ass." And while "The Host" is supposed to take place in the future, when humans are at risk of becoming extinct, the Seeker's footwear seemed conspicuously accessible … in our current era. Admittedly distracted by curiosity about this after screening the film, we later found similar pairs at DSW and Target -- for under $100.

Much to our surprise, Benach confirms Kruger's shoes ARE actually from Target. She says they cost $19.99. You too can dress like an alien!

Watch 'The Host' Insider Access:

Hey, Girl, You Have Good Taste

Benach's track record includes a specialization: Ryan Gosling coats.

With the 32-year-old actor's input, Benach did indeed zero in on that iconic shiny "Drive" zip-up -- which she wound up creating from scratch. "I'm always facing the jacket question in films," Benach told GQ in 2011. "There's something about men and style and how the jacket is such a piece that they love."

Ryan Gosling in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'
Ryan Gosling in 'The Place Beyond the Pines'

Another Gosling coat she conceptualized: his red leather motorcycle jacket in "The Place Beyond the Pines," which is currently on auction for charity and on display at Hollywood's ArcLight Cinemas. In the film, Gosling plays Luke, a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who gets into some serious crime to provide for his newly discovered infant. "He has that rock 'n roll, a little bit of badass, trashy quality to him," Benach says of Gosling's character. As much as Benach and Gosling tried to avoid another iconic jacket moment, they found they couldn't avoid it, she says, and they decided on a red vintage-inspired number. "You can still find them on the Internet," Benach revealed, adding that she couldn't recall the brand. "It's something still being produced."

Benach first started devising Gosling gear during his 2006 indie drama "Half Nelson," when she carefully helped him select his ties. "We used the ties to kind of gauge his mood," she told GQ. She worked with Gosling again in 2010, making him look a little sleazy in the critically acclaimed "Blue Valentine." " "It's just one of those creative partnerships that has been really good," Benach told Yahoo!

As it turns out, the actor has turned to Benach for the fifth time. "I'm actually in Detroit right now on another Ryan Gosling movie," she revealed of Gosling's turn as writer-director with "How to Catch a Monster." It stars Saoirse Ronan, Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, and Ben Mendelsohn – all whom Benach has worked with on prior projects including "The Host" and "Pines." "It's like all my worlds colliding… it's six degrees in some weird world."

Watch 'The Place Beyond the Pines' Trailer:

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