Now, I do tend to have a bit of a Marmite relationship with film costume but I was literally gobsmacked (in a pleasant kind of way) by the offerings on show in Terry Gilliam’s whimsical flight of fancy ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.’
Okay, so the story isn’t great, and it will probably be best remembered as the swan-song of the gorgeously charismatic Mr. Ledger, but it is good (okay, more than good, less than great) and does provide the opportunity and the milieu for some gratuitous eye-glutting frippery. Leave your logic at the door and revel in the blurred shifts between grimy reality and vaudevillian fantasy. The sartorial wonderland of a wardrobe (brainchild of Canadian costumer Monique Prudhomme) provides the picture perfect example of a dressing-up box aesthetic plucked straight from an epic dream-scape. (And it’s one dressing-up box I wouldn’t mind a rifle through).
An anachronistic fusion of Renaissance opulence, dramatic styling and overwrought beauty with an undercurrent of faded glory, the references are endless and create a timelessness and depth which is often bizarre, sometimes disorientating and always utterly covetable.
**I know…the screencaps aren’t the best, I simply couldn’t find (find the time to find!) any that do the clothes real justice, so you’ll just have to get your mits on a copy and give it a good old-fashioned watching.