How the Costumes of ‘Allied’ Helped Spin a WWII Spy Craft Yarn

Kristopher Tapley

We’ll be diving into the Academy’s below-the-line races soon enough, but consider this an appetizer in the meantime.

Robert Zemeckis’ “Allied,” starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, is a film that could penetrate in a number of those areas, including production design, cinematography and even visual effects (many tricks were employed to put the audience in 1940s Europe).

Costumer Joanna Johnston’s work stands out considerably, however. She has been a collaborator of Zemeckis’ (and Steven Spielberg’s) for years, but has only managed one Oscar nomination to date, for 2012’s “Lincoln.” It’s hard not to see how well her work here speaks not just to the era, but to character as well.

“When I read the script, I saw it as a sort of glamorous piece, in that sort of old-fashioned Hollywood style,” Johnston says of the “Allied” threads in a new featurette for the film (which you can watch above). And indeed, as laid out in this week’s Oscar column, “Allied” is one of a handful of films drawing on inspiration from the past, both in style and substance.

For more, including an interview with Johnston, head over to Variety‘s sister publication Women’s Wear Daily.

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