We’re Loving the Costumes in Wes Anderson’s New Film “Moonrise Kingdom”

Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom, premiered tonight at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival. The film is set in the summer of 1965 on an isolated New England island, and is the story of a young boy and girl who fall in love and run away together. Anderson is known for his distinct cinematic style, creating a whole new world with each project. This latest film brings together an all-star cast, including Anderson vets Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, as well as some new faces: Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, and Tilda Swinton. Having premiered only a few hours ago, it is already receiving rave reviews, “In the case of Moonrise Kingdom, I think he’s at his very best,” wrote HitFix critic Drew McWeeny. “[Anderson’s] energized by the subject matter and blessed with a cast that came ready to play.”

We’ve always been particularly intrigued by the costumes in Anderson’s films, from the track suits in The Royal Tenenbaums to the submariners’ uniforms in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and the ensembles in Moonrise were just as interesting and central to the story. Costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone worked with Anderson on the film, pouring over thousands of vintage photographs for inspiration. They would then create collages and rough sketches for each outfit, Anderson giving his feedback every step of the way.

In keeping with the creative track of the set and prop production, the majority of the costumes were handmade. “A lot of them had starting points in real vintage pieces or research,” Walicka Maimone reveals. “But then we would make it our own, while always adhering to Wes’ vision.” Particularly important to Anderson was that the costumes not only fit with the film aesthetically, they also needed to communicate on their own. “In the fittings, there would always be a moment of adjustment, “ Walicka Maimone explains. “Not just, ‘Do we need to change a color or a shape?’ but, ‘Does what we created resonate?’”

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The largest sartorial undertaking was the design and production of the Khaki Scouts uniforms. After carefully researching 1960s boy scout uniforms and consulting with Anderson, Walicka Maimone and her team created every single element of the costumes – from the socks to the badges and everything in between. In all, they manufactured 350 individual uniforms.

One of Walicka Maimone’s favorite costumes was the ensemble she designed for Tilda Swinton’s character, Social Services. Yes, you read that right, her name is Social Services. Swinton describes her character, “Social Services represents authority, force majeure; when mayhem erupts, she is called in to impose order.” Walicka Maimone turned to the Salvation Army for inspiration, as well as women-in-service uniforms. “Social Services’ uniform was the most structured, the most physically tailored piece we had,” she explained. Structure begetting structure, if you will.

The film is being released on May 25th, but we have a chance for you to attend a special advance screening on May 23rd! Head on over to our Facebook page, look for the Moonrise Kingdom pic, and answer this simple question, If you were going to run away – where would you go?

We’ll be picking four lucky winners who will each receive a pair of tickets to the advance screening, as well as one grand prize winner who will win two VIP tickets to the screening and a prize pack! The screening is on Wednesday, May 23rd, at 7:30 PM at Embarcadero Cinemas. All entries must be received by Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 PM. This contest open to Academy of Art University students only. Good luck!!