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Creating The Costumes of Labor Day
When doing a period piece, another crucial element in placing the movie in a specific time is wardrobe and costume designer Danny Glicker tackled that challenge with vigor. "When you do an era like the 80's which is so close yet so far away you don't appreciate how different it was and nothing that you think is available today is the same as it was then. You cannot get a Polo shirt today that looks like a Polo shirt from the 80's. They might look similar as an idea of a Polo shirt but everything is different. The same is true for jeans and certainly the same is true for shorts as you will see in the movie because they are much shorter throughout the movie. One of the big thrills for me was not just researching the era but recreating the era and we really did recreate it. We got to research it, we got to use actual garments from the era, to research the aesthetic on it and the silhouettes on each of the actors and how that informs their characters," tells Glicker. Heavy use of fabrics such as polyester, rayon, and nylon were incorporated into the costumes of "Labor Day" so they had the look and feel of true 80's fashions.

Glicker worked very closely with Reitman, Winslet and Brolin prior to filming to create the exact pieces that would help bring the characters to life and tell the story through costume. Glicker had previously worked with Reitman before on "Thank You for Smoking" and "Up in the Air" as well as Brolin on "Milk" so getting to re-visit those past relationships made this collaboration even more exciting for Danny. "Even though it was our third time working together in many ways it was like a first for both of us because I really got to bring a whole different set of colors to the table and so in many ways that was an incredibly special experience for me because we already had been very close and we already had such a wonderful working relationship but to be able to work with Jason in that capacity, to be able to say, 'You know now let's go into my world a little bit; let's go into my world of period clothes' and to see what his observations were about that was a really special experience for me," says Glicker.

Winslet's interest and knowledge of the way her costumes would inform her character thrilled Glicker. "The thing that I loved about Kate was she had an understanding of the character all the way down to the slips from the 80's that I was putting on her. She understood why it was right, why it helped her connect to this woman and she always had impeccable insights and so it was a true collaboration where it was two people working together where their ideas together made something better than their ideas alone would have done. Almost everything that she wears is created for Adele based on something that existed in the world but then we imagined how the world was and then how Adele presented herself in it and we had a great time," recalls Glicker.

Adele's wardrobe often told more about her than she would ever say out loud and her clothes reflect her past and her changing present.

"With Adele, because she's agoraphobic, and has not left the house very much, she's also in a state of evaluating what her presence is, what her place is in the world so a lot of her clothes went all the way back to the 70's. It was even more fun to imagine what her life was like and how romantic it was and what the pieces were like when she first got them and why they were pretty and now why they're not as pretty anymore. We get to see the whole story of her, of her emotional awakening through her closet. We get to watch as the clothes reflect her state of being where she has things that are comfortable and that are safe and they're drab. Then there are certain items that Kate wears when she rediscovers her sensuality as Adele, that are very beautiful dresses that we created for her and really embrace, not just the visual, but also the way that she moves, as a former dancer and the way that she feels, sensually again," adds Glicker.

Almost all of Gattlin Griffith's clothes were custom built for him. Since the movie takes place over the course of a short period of time, multiple supplies of identical garments had to be on hand down to the same missing buttons or exact placement of small holes from wear. The collars on Henry's Polo shirts were softer than those of today, in keeping with the period. The shorts were much shorter and Gattlin Griffith would laugh at how they looked liked hand me downs from an older brother compared to the shorts he wears in real life.

Lastly, Frank's garb was simple and precise. "We worked really closely with the prison systems to accurately create the outfits exactly as they were in the prison system. We built all of his t-shirts so they were accurate t-shirts to the 80's and what would have been worn in the prison's. It was about this dialogue that Josh had with me where we were constantly taking these things, which were givens like the prison uniform, but then imagining how they could be part of a larger narrative and how they could support his sort of physical awareness of Frank and sometimes with tiniest details like tweaking the fit or tweaking the cut that allowed him to really feel connected to this other guy," tells Glicker.

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