Viewers may not have realized it, but there was a lot of thought that went into the design of Jennifer Lopez’s costumes in “Hustlers” — even though there wasn’t exactly much costume to design.
Mitchell Travers, who was in charge of costuming for the film, recently spoke with Vanity Fair about the surprising challenges he faced when designing the barely-there outfits Lopez’s character Ramona dons throughout the film — and especially in the first dance sequence.
“I knew it [had] to absolutely floor the audience, and let them know that this is not going to be like any movie that they’ve seen before,” Travers told Vanity Fair.
Ramona’s debut scene, during which the audience first sees her performing on stage, required Lopez, 50, to wear a bodysuit so tiny that Travers said he could ball the whole thing up and fit it in his fist. The sewing for the outfit had to be completed on Lopez to ensure that it would stretch and move with the actress, he said, adding that it was “tailored to within an inch of its life."
Upon first showing the design to Lopez, Travers said he was nervous she’d disapprove of the super-skimpy style, but he explained that he felt it was the right outfit to showcase her physique.
“I held it up, and I said, ‘I know that this is crazy, but I really believe in this.’ And she said, ‘Let’s go. I think I do too.’” Travers told Vanity Fair.
The designer also added that, when compiling costume ideas for the film, he looked to celebrities who were fashion icons back in 2007 — when the film takes place — and, naturally, Lopez’s picture kept popping up.
Even still, Lopez had said earlier this month that she found it “really scary” having to perform “practically naked” during the striptease scenes. Speaking with Evening Standard magazine, she admitted she also kind of enjoyed the process, which required her to perform in front of hundreds of extras.
“There’s something liberating and empowering about it,” she said, “but you’re really out there, physically, emotionally and psychologically.”
“Hustlers,” starring Lopez, Constance Wu and Julia Stiles, earned more than $33 million on its opening weekend, reported Variety. The film is loosely based on a 2015 New York Magazine article by Jessica Pressler.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio contributed to this report.