You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How ‘Ocean’s 8’s’ Costume Designer Crafted Unique Looks for Each Character

The polished fashion sense of the “Ocean’s” franchise is at the heart of Gary Ross’ opulently costumed “Ocean’s 8.” The film, to be released by Warner Bros. on June 8, follows a jewelry heist pulled off by an all-female crew on fashion’s grandest night: the Costume Institute’s notoriously exclusive Met Gala.

Costume designer Sarah Edwards infused each member of the star-studded cast with a distinct identity. “Cate Blanchett had 40 changes; Sandra Bullock had 65. It was a mixture of everything,” she says of her diverse designs, noting that she custom-made some garments (like the looks of a fictional runway show featured in the film), while others were discovered off the rack and in thrift stores — or in the case of the characters’ gala gowns, made by top designers.

Ex-convict Debbie Ocean (Bullock) is paired with minimalist, practical lines — with bold coats and cutout dresses in the mix — and a single-shoulder Alberta Ferretti gown featuring underwater-themed sequins. Debbie’s nightclub-owner friend Lou (Blanchett) echoes the previous films’ Rat Pack-like tailoring with colorful custom Burberry suits; ’70s menswear served as an inspiration, enriched by leather, vintage pieces and layered accessories. Complementing Lou’s “obvious rock ’n’ roll past” is the shimmering green jumpsuit she wears to the gala, an archival Givenchy piece in the ’70s glam spirit.

For Anne Hathaway’s impish movie star Daphne Kluger, Edwards went with classic curve-hugging, off-the-shoulder dresses. A bright pink, strapless Valentino gown with a cape showcases her Cartier necklace — the crew’s object of desire. Meanwhile Helena Bonham Carter’s idiosyncratic, past-her-prime fashion designer Rose Weil exudes a sense of eccentricity in a Marie Antoinette-ish Alta Moda gown by Dolce & Gabbana. “It was important she didn’t feel too contemporary, [with clothes] she’s been wearing since the ’80s,” explains Edwards, adding that Rose mixes a little Vivienne Westwood with Japanese influences.

Sarah Paulson as Tammy, a prim suburbanite turned Vogue employee, stands out in strong-shaped knits, mimicked later by the puffy shoulders of her navy Prada gown. “We looked at a lot of different employees at Vogue. There’s a little Tory Burch in her — the real woman. That shoulder silhouette felt right for her,” says Edwards. “Rihanna’s character [Rastafarian computer hacker Nine Ball] wears oversized men’s clothing, things from thrift stores. So her Met Gala look was a Cinderella transformation with that beautiful, completely body-conscious red gown [by Zac Posen]. It was an important reveal.” Playing the utilitarian street con Constance, Awkwafina owns a similarly transformative scene, when she appears with an Old Hollywood hairdo in her embroidered Jonathan Simkhai gown.

As the jeweler Amita, Mindy Kaling wears a caped gown by Naeem Khan, with head-to-toe gold beading from nearly 150 bead factories in India. “They worked around the clock to finish it,” Edwards says. “Designers often have a year to work on a Gala dress. In our case, they had weeks. The cast didn’t see the dresses until days before wearing them.”

More Artisans

  • Jeff Goldblum performs in a sketch

    Inside the High-Pressure World of Late-Night Talk-Show Prop Demands

    Television production is an area where “Hurry up and wait” is a common refrain. However, for the prop teams that work on late-night talk shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” that’s not an option. They typically have only a matter of hours to deliver what’s necessary. Lou A. [...]

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Why 'Missing Link's' Title Character Was One of Laika's Biggest Challenges

    Stop-motion studio Laika pushes design boundaries in every film it makes, and the lead character in “Missing Link” is no exception. “It became pretty apparent that [the character] Link was going to be the cornerstone,” says director and writer Chris Butler. “I did this rough drawing many years ago, and it was basically like a [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    New 3D-Printing Technology Was 'Missing Link' for Laika's Latest Stop-Motion Project

    For the upcoming animated comedy adventure “Missing Link,” stop-motion studio Laika set the bar very high. To execute the designs created by director and writer Chris Butler, artists would have to speed up their 3D printing of character faces — and those faces would have to be the most complex they’d ever created. “Missing Link” [...]

  • The Old Man and the Gun

    Ohio’s Midwest Locations and Flexible Tax Credit Lure Producers

    With its small towns, rolling farmlands and industrial cities, Ohio embodies the American Midwest. Other location lures for filmmakers include the shore along Lake Erie, the campus of Ohio State University, the striking skyline of Cincinnati and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Buckeye State also provides producers with a 30% [...]

  • Nancy Schreiber Mapplethorpe Cinematographer

    DP Nancy Schreiber Captures Life of Artist Robert Mapplethorpe in Grimy Gotham

    Don’t tell cinematographer Nancy Schreiber that she’s having a renaissance. That would imply there’ve been slumps in her long career, and she won’t have any of that, even if for a time she was taking smaller jobs as the gaps widened between larger gigs. “It’s never been about the money, for me,” says Schreiber over [...]

  • What Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga Share:

    LeRoy Bennett Keeps Top Acts Like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande in the Spotlight

    You might say that LeRoy Bennett is a shining light among lighting and production designers for pop music. Doing double duty creating both touring sets and their illumination, he started out with a 14-year run as Prince’s collaborator, went on to work with Nine Inch Nails and Madonna and has counted Beyoncé’s and Bruno Mars’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content