It’s clear that Gibbon has eye for these details, which is never more apparent than when Nina’s family comes tumbling onto the beach in a raucous crowd, disrupting Leda’s peaceful seaside ice-cream eating. While the palette of the film until that point had been soothing tones, including a lot of white and pastels, Nina’s family is dressed in dark colors and busy prints, indicating the disruptive events that are about to occur. “You’d think with less important characters their clothes would be less important, too, but they’re not,” says Gibbon. “It’s all lovely and organic and then suddenly that harsh, neon reality of the Greek family arrives. And it’s like, Ooh! It’s like a jolt, isn’t it? And it’s all deliberate, to immediately assess that contrast between Leda and that family.”

Speaking of less important characters, it would be impossible to write about the costumes in this film and not appreciate Paul Mescal’s shorts (they are the perfect length! Men: take note). “It was the 99th pair of shorts we tried, but there’s something about the length, isn’t there, that’s quite confident, quite odd. We didn’t want to see him like a Baywatch hunk rowing down the beach. So much of a gentler and calmer character, really,” explains Gibbon.

It is no easy feat to create costumes that feel as organic to their characters and as effortless as the ones in The Lost Daughter. Often, especially in films that draw on material as stylized as Ferrante’s novel, there is a sense of each look being curated and thought about that becomes almost a distraction to the viewer. With Gibbon’s work here, the audience is allowed to be swept away by the narrative, because the clothes and characters feel so visceral and real. “That’s always been my aim, and I think..it’s very hard to not be artificial because it is an artificial situation. I am dressing someone up, which is why it takes an awful lot of options to get these things. And it’s very much Maggie’s intention with the film, that kind of reality. She’s a brilliant director now, but she’s also a brilliant actor. And she fully understands the process of getting fully dressed,” says Gibbon.



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