Designing Eye-popping Costumes for the Black & White ‘Mank’

Costume designer Trish Summerville’s extraordinary designs bring classic Hollywood to vivid life in gorgeous black and white.

Clarence Moye
February 1, 2021
Awards Daily

When designing specific looks for Mank’s iconic characters, Summerville had ample research material available to her. For Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried), she used Davies’ book and publicity stills of the era to design her outfits. She mostly avoided mimicking historic photos directly, using them as a jumping off point instead.


There were two Marion Davies’ looks in the film directly pulled from historic photos: her famous circus party costume and her “going away” look as she leaves MGM.

“One of the items that I did mimic, besides the circus party costume was a picture of her in a coat with a fur collar, standing on the side of a car like she’s departing. That was an inspiration for me for the scene where she departs MGM,” Summerville revealed. “Mayer gives her the bouquet of flowers and sends her on her way. So I wanted to have this really beautiful coat where we used faux fur for the collar and had a big diamond brooch on her. There were a few areas that I did pull from her real life, and that I got inspired by.”

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