‘Last Night In Soho’’s Costumes Are a Sinister Ode to the Swinging Sixties

Think chiffon tent dresses, icy-white trenches, and acres of black lace.

Edgar Wright’s psychedelic fever dream of a horror movie, Last Night in Soho, has divided critics and audiences, but there’s one thing that everyone can agree on: The costumes are sensational, not to mention crucial to the narrative. The story follows Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring designer who moves from England’s Cornish countryside to the capital to attend the London College of Fashion. After being mocked by her roommate Jocasta (Synnøve Karlsen) and her crew of snobby friends, she retreats to a studio near Soho owned by a mysterious elderly woman (Diana Rigg) and finds that every night when she falls asleep, she’s transported back to the 1960s—a period that has always fascinated her.

There she meets Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a vivacious singer who’s eager to move up in the world, and watches her as she dominates the dance floor at the Café de Paris, auditions at nightclubs, and falls for a Teddy boy (Matt Smith). Inspired by her visions, Eloise creates ’60s-inflected pieces at college, begins dressing like Sandie, and even dyes her hair. But, as Sandie’s tale takes a turn for the worse, Eloise’s does too. The costumes are swoon-worthy throughout, from the homemade newspaper dress Eloise wears at the start to Sandie’s floaty peach frock when we first meet her and the outfits worn by revelers at a raucous Halloween party.

They’re the work of British costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux, who is no stranger to meticulously-crafted period pieces, having previously won an Emmy for The Lost Prince and dressed Carey Mulligan in ’60s shifts for An Education and Saoirse Ronan in ’50s tea dresses for Brooklyn. Following Last Night in Soho’s release in theaters, she speaks to us about her favorite looks, working with designer Phoebe English to create a fictional student fashion show, and her ’60s muses, from Julie Christie and Jean Shrimpton to Brigitte Bardot.

Vogue: Is it true that Edgar Wright gave you a list of films to watch before production began? Was that your starting point when it came to designing the costumes?

It’s brilliant when a director does that, because you really get to know what they want from their film. I watched [the 1965 Julie Christie film] Darling, [the 1960 cult classic] Beat Girl, all of these documentaries, and then films from the ’70s that I’d never seen before because I don’t really watch horror movies. I’m too frightened [laughs]. So, initially, I was asked to read the script, had an interview with Edgar—we discovered that we both lived in Soho and could walk to work—and started doing the research. Edgar really likes detail and he puts little clues [into his films]. I was looking for things that would reflect back onto each other.

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Radhika Seth

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