The outfits in Nope, Jordan Peele’s latest film, tell their own complex, metaphor-filled story. It makes sense for a film that operates heavily through symbolism and references – telling the mind-bending story of an alien organism that’s reluctant to be seen or photographed. Another major plot point in the modern western involves the Haywood siblings, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, who fight to retain ownership of their horse ranch, kept afloat by Hollywood gigs. (Note: spoilers ahead). The film’s costume designer, Alex Bovaird, added poetic layers to Peele’s visual masterpiece with her praised and requested touch. (His past credits include The White Lotus, American honey and Bad Education.)
Bovaird points to the instantly recognizable red cowboy costume worn by Steven Yeun’s fame-hungry character, Jupe, during a pivotal and gruesome scene. The dazzling costume, which features flamboyant embroidery and fringed sleeves, is a direct nod to Elvis Presley. Bovaird says that Jupe and Elvis are both “examples of what fame does to people and being an attention junkie. Elvis was probably fame’s first victim, so there was a little reminder Biggest twist: The costume almost didn’t make the movie.In an alternate world, Jupe wore a standard hoodie while getting a little too otherworldly.
“The costumes are kind of littered with a lot of pop culture references,” the Emmy-nominated costume designer said. Other easter eggs include Daniel Kaluuya’s character, OJ, wearing a hoodie for the The Mummy spin-off movie Scorpio King (made by Universal Studios – the same studio behind Nope), and Emerald, Keke Palmer’s character, donning a T-shirt for her character’s high school, Canyon Creek. Emerald and OJ wear Angel’s (Brandon Perea) clothes after they run away to his apartment.
Bovaird casually delivers nuggets of insight like these while talking to vogue from Alaska, where she is currently preparing her next project, season four of real detective, which will star Jodie Foster. Bovaird says she uses “a methodical approach” to dressing the characters. “I really get under their skin and try to understand how they think,” she says. “I ask questions like, ‘What color suits them?’ », « Can they even get dressed? “, “Are they making great efforts? In many ways, her job is to channel the varied and complex factors that explain how and why we dress the way we do every day.
Below, Bovaird breaks down the costume design of Nope, relating to the influence of The Gooniesobscure rock bands and 90s sitcoms along the way.