When I first saw ‘The Greatest Showman’ advertised, I knew it was a film I had to see. My all time favourite film is ‘Moulin Rouge!’, and the trailer alone gave the same sort of surreal magic as Baz Luhrmann’s film does. After seeing it I can confirm (whilst not on the same level as ‘Moulin Rouge!’), ‘The Greatest Showman’ is my must see movie of 2018. Directed by Michael Gracey, the film focuses on P. T. Barnum, a real life showman who championed the circus and the ‘unusual’ people that made them so special. The real Barnum wasn’t necessarily as good as the film portrays, abusing animals in his circus and exploiting the performers for his own gain, but the message of ‘The Greatsest Showman’ doesn’t include this. Instead it’s a story of empowering the outsiders, and how what makes you different is what makes you special.
Being an avid fashion lover, besides the story line, one of my favourite aspects of the film was the costumes the performers wore. Ellen Mirojnick, who was also a costume designer for ‘Behind the Candelabra’, is the lady who was in charge of the clothes worn in Gracey’s film.
In my opinion Zendaya’s character, Anne Wheeler, a trapeze artist, wears some of the most gorgeous costumes throughout the film. In an interview Mirojnick describes how Zendaya’s outfits were created, ‘We found a gorgeous orchid-purple rip satin that was quite beautiful on her skin, and we took a fabulous Swarovski crystal that has an orange-y, purple-y, graphite color. We started with the pink wig, went to the crystals and found the orchid stretch satin and her accessories, meaning her gloves and the tights — all of that is accented with Swarovski crystal.‘
Mirojnick also disclosed Gracey’s magical vision for the film, ‘ He wanted it to be a film that was fashionable, accessible, modern, and, at his biggest wish, if it was in a magazine — let’s say, like Vogue — it would be a fashion editorial.‘.
Another one of my favourite characters is the bearded lady, played by Keala Settle, who was an empowering and inspirational character, with an amazing voice (though I was quite disappointed when I found out her beard wasn’t real!). She wore extravagant gowns throughout, making her look feminine and powerful though at first she did not feel it, shown when she later leads the song “This Is Me” all about being yourself, and ignoring what others say.
Overall ‘The Greatest Showman’ (with the real-life Barnum’s controversial money making schemes aside) is a heart warming tale of love and self-acceptance, something that is needed more and more nowadays. If you want to watch a feel good film this year, this one would be my number one recommendation. It’s full of beautiful costumes and catchy songs, what’s not to love?!
Until next time,
Images source from Vogue.com, WWD.com and hollywoodreporter.com