Framing the Scene: Costume Designer Trish Summerville on Designing for Black and White
December 4, 2020
When it came to designing the costumes of David Fincher’s “Mank,” both costume designer Trish Summerville and production designer Donald Graham Burt used the noir and monochromatic filters on their iPhones to see how color would convert for Fincher’s black and white film.
The film, which tells the story of Herman J. Mankiewicz and how he developed the script for Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” was shot on digital and filmed in black and white, rather than converted after shooting. That meant Summerville had to use wardrobe colors that would pop onscreen.
In looking at photos from the ‘30s, Summerville says she found that the Hollywood executives and glamorous actresses dressed in salmon hues, greens and aubergine, which she used to build texture when it came to dressing Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman.
“We wanted to show the varying degrees and levels of socioeconomic status in Hollywood at the time,” says Summerville, who breaks down key costumes from “Mank,” now streaming on Netflix.