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AEON FLUX

The Costumes
Peter Chung's animated series "Aeon Flux” was as notable for how he dressed his characters — especially his leading lady — as anything they did. Preferring the provocative to the plain, Aeon is not shy about using her sexuality as just one weapon in her arsenal.

Beatrix Aruna Pasztor was handed the enviable (and some might say easy) job of making Charlize Theron sexy. The veteran costume designer, who previously provided the stylish and striking threads for such diverse films as "Alfie,” "Vanity Fair,” "Good Will Hunting,” and "To Die For” (among many others), says that Theron had many ideas about how to bring the character's unique costumes to the screen. "Charlize has very good taste; she's very fashion- conscious and she knows what looks good on her,” said the costume designer. "She needed to do a lot of running and excessive movements, so we had to think about comfort and practicality. She had a lot of input on her look.”

Fans of the animated series will find one costume that particularly represents the Aeon Flux of the animated series: the revealing costume that Aeon sleeps in early in the film.

"I think that might be the sexiest costume ever,” says Gale Anne Hurd, the producer. Which is not to say that Aeon's other costumes — in particular, the black ensemble that she wears during her invasion of the government complex —don't make the star look drop-dead gorgeous.

In keeping with the director's vision of an organic future, the costume designer shunned synthetic materials in favor of natural fibers. "Cotton is still around,” says Pasztor. "It makes sense — people would rather wear cotton than vinyl.”

Pasztor designed a total of five outfits for Aeon, including a white body suit and a long, flowing costume with a cowl. Another stands out for Pasztor: "I love the unique costume Aeon wears in the marketplace,” says Pasztor. "The chest plate on that costume is leather, hand painted... It's gorgeous.”

In addition to her striking costumes, Aeon Flux's other notable physical feature is her hair. In the animated series, Peter Chung drew her locks in ram-like, gravity-defying curls. Those curls were impractical for live action, but the filmmakers did their best to give Aeon an exclusive ‘do. The task of transforming Theron's long blond hair to a short, brunette bob fell to hair artist Enzo Angileri, who designed and colored Theron's own hair for the film. "We left some strands of longer hair framing her face, which is a nod to those ramrod curls, which never moved,” Angileri said. "We knew the character would be in motion and we knew we wanted the hair to be in motion as well, not stiff and strange looking, so we had to change it a bit.”

In designing the looks for Trevor, Oren and other members of his government, Pasztor found herself turning her ideas inside out. At an early fitting with Csokas, Pasztor turned a ‘40s-style coat inside out to show Kusama some ideas about cut and structure. Both Kusama and Pasztor were struck by the inside-out look and Kusama encouraged her designer to start with the 1940s look and mix it up with modern stretch fabrics and unusual proportions.

"It was basically a combination of a ‘40s coat with 18th century cuts and distinctive stitching,” said Pasztor. "With Marton, we also made a shorter jacket, which is a little bit more modern design. We didn't want to go with big shoulders, so we found that this cut had a militant look, which sits very tight with the body.”

The overall effect Kusama sought was that very slick silhouette: "The costumes have an Old World elegance and sophistication,” says Csokas. "The attention to detail is remarkable, whether it be through the embroidery or the cut of the cloth.”

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