Friday, April 22, 2011

Film Costume: Black Swan (2010)

By Bianca Murillo

In Black Swan Natalie Portman plays psychologically troubled ballerina, Nina, who is chosen as the lead for a New York City presentation of Swan Lake. This black swan costume, designed by the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte, conveys Nina's personality and inner struggle. The combination of heavy eye make up, paint on her arms and the dark feathery ensemble all add to the illusion of swan-ness. When you look at her in this outfit you really do see a black swan before you. This dark image coupled with the red eyes result in an accurate depiction of Nina's psychologically troubled character and the duality of her personality. The pink tights maintain the sense of innocence that Natalie Portman herself adds to the character of Nina who is infantilized by her mother throughout the movie. I feel that the tiara itself is also a reflection of this innocence, reminiscent of Nina's girly pink room, music boxes and her mother's lullabys. This innocence is juxtaposed by the rest of the costume; the dark colors, the eery red eyes and the sensual red lipstick. Overall, this costume communicates effectively Nina's character in Black Swan.

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