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RUSH

Dressing the Times: Gucci, Ferragamo and Nomex
Much of Rush takes place off the track, and Howard and his costume de signer, Julian Day, wanted to celebrate the era. To accomplish, the production utilized two fashion houses: Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo. Gucci provided the clothes for Hemsworth and Wilde and Ferragamo provided the clothing for Bruhl and Lara.

Explains Day, who gained much attention for his work on Nowhere Boy: "Both houses were extremely helpful, and I'm grateful to them. I went to Florence and met with the creative head of Ferragamo [Massimiliano Giornetti], and we talked about the characters. I designed some clothes with their help from their archival collections. I went to Rome and did the same with Gucci and met with Frida Giannini. In some ways, Gucci is more flamboyant, which suits James' character, whereas Ferragamo is slightly more conservative, in a beautiful way. That suited Niki."

As the style of the '70s was unique and colorful on and off the track, historical verisimilitude had to be achieved by the wardrobe department as well. "If you take 1976, the year most featured, and look at Niki's race suits, the advertising is all over the place," shares Day. "That's because he would be sponsored by such-and- such at one race, then that patch would come off and be replaced by another one for another race. To avoid confusing the audience, I had to keep the suits basic and consistent, and as Niki became more successful, we put more advertising on him. I did the same with all the drivers, certainly also for James."

Day -- who used to spend time on the Formula 1 circuit as a kid -- also had the challenge of capturing '70s couture without falling into cliche. It was important for the designer to honor F1, as his father used to reproduce models of the racing cars. In fact, a John Day model car is featured in Rush. "When you look at footage or photographs from the racetracks, you see a lot of primary colors," Day says. "Ron and I felt these colors would work well for the race aspect of the film. Off-track, I've gone for more muted, smoky colors to reflect an idea of seeing life through a haze of cigarette smoke because it seemed like everyone smoked in the '70s."

Form followed function when it came to the F1 races and safety. Driver safety (as much as possible) was everything. The original race suits were very heavy, with three layers of Nomex and fireproof underwear serving as the foundation of the uniform. To achieve that look, Day went to a company called OMP Racing -- which has been producing race wear for almost three decades -- and created all of the film's race suits, gloves and balaclavas. That, naturally, had to be adjusted for filming, Day shares: "Because the suits back then were so heavy, and the suits nowadays are the weight of a shirt, we came up with a look that was authentic but not as heavy as the original uniforms."

Competition wasn't only fierce among the racers, but between the houses financing them. Explains Day: "At the time, Ferrari and McLaren were the top teams, so McLaren would see what the Ferrari team was looking like...then they went out and got new uniforms and would have new adidas trainers for each race."

Day worked on differentiating the fashions at different Grand Prix races and circuits. He went from two extremes: Fuji, where it rained, had a crowd that needed to be dressed in muted blacks, browns, grays, blues and wet-weather gear; in contrast, the fashion at Brazil, where samba dancers and grid girls wore bikini tops and shorts and high heels, showed fashion that was much more colorful. He provides: "The crowd is just as important as the principals; they're the backdrop to everything. The idea was that you go to a Grand Prix and it would be all day. You'd take your picnic hamper, bag, a wet-weather coat, and over the process of the day if it got warmer, you'd start taking it off. Of course, people would tie it around their waist. That idea of making people look as real as possible was important to both me and Ron."

While it would have been easy to devolve into stereotypical '70s clothing, Day is quick to remind the reader that the era had something for all. He muses: "Everyone has their own opinion of how '70s fashion looked. There were a lot of big collars and paisley patterns, but when you actually look at pictures from that time there was also a very normal side to the fashion. I wanted to create a good brushstroke across everything, so there's depth to it and not everyone looks the same. When you've got 5,000 extras, you want everyone to look like an individual...not a huge block of '70s-looking people."

For Rhind-Tutt, this '70s sartorial flashback was an added thrill. "It was like being at those long family parties when I was a little kid with the sister's boyfriend in flares," Rhind-Tutt recalls. "At that time, I was looking up to all the fashions. In Rush, I get to wear all those clothes that the grown-ups were wearing then. It was quite cool."

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