He’s been dubbed by some as “the next Ryan Gosling,” but The Fault in Our Stars costume designer Mary Claire Hannan originally saw Ansel Elgort in a much more old Hollywood light.
“When I was reading the script, it said he puts a cigarette in his mouth and he’s standing there with his gorgeous self, I immediately saw this James Dean guy,” she told OSS in a phone interview. “I wanted him to look like the dream guy, and I saw a jacket. You know, James Dean wore the red one that wasn’t leather but it was that shape. Marlon Brando had the motorcycle jacket. Tom Cruise in Top Gun had the aviator leather jacket.”
On top of that iconic-movie-star appeal of a sleek jacket, it also help the costume designer establish Augustus Waters’ persona. “He was supposed to look a little more entitled,” she explained. “So I didn’t want to put him in a denim jacket or a sweatshirt for his opening. I wanted him to look cool.”
The only problem? The perfect piece of cool outerwear just didn’t exist anywhere. “I had an old jacket I found at a thrift store, it looked like it almost came from the 80s. I put that on him, and it was too raggedy. The shoulders were too weird. It wasn’t fitting well.”
So, Mary Claire did what any one in the fashion world would do: Buy a brand new jacket from a high-end London label and basically destroy it.
“I got a Burberry jacket, and it fit better because it was new, it had the right structure,” she recalled. “They make them very small now, and I didn’t want that chic, West Hollywood jacket. I didn’t want hipster. I wanted almost vintage. So I got two sizes up from the size he really is. I put shoulder pads in it, and then I stripped the entire color and repainted it.”
Yes, you read that right. She single-handedly stripped a designer jacket of its dark chocolate brown shade. “I took the thrift store jacket that had a distressed, mid-tone brown color, and I matched it. So I got the shape of the Burberry with an old leather look,” Mary Claire said before laughing about her costume design trade, “We get involved!”
The end result, however, seems to have been worth the effort — Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) was left swooning, and so was every single teen girl across America.
GUS’ BROWN LEATHER JACKET :
The original Burberry Airforce Leather Blouson that the costume designer used as a base for Ansel’s jacket — that is before she altered the brown tone to make it the perfect muted, vintage-y shade — is no longer available, but you can see this season’s version here
GET THE LOOK:Cripple Creek Coated Jacket
Scully Antique Lamb JacketCole Haan Lambskin Leather Jacket
WANT MORE ON THE FAULT IN OUR STARS? DON’T MISS:
–FAULT IN OUR STARS MOVIE FASHION: HAZEL’S BLUE AMSTERDAM DRESS
–FAULT IN OUR STARS MOVIE FASHION: HAZEL’S WHITE DRESS
Got an item you want to track down? A set you want deconstructed? Email me (email@example.com), send me note via the contact page, or send me a Tweet