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Clive Owen's Bowie style

Published 08/08/2014

Clive Owen
Clive Owen

Clive Owen fell in love with the costumes from new TV show The Knick, but sometimes questioned whether they were appropriate.

The Knick looks at the personal and professional lives of the staff at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital during the turn of the twentieth century, with Clive playing head surgeon Dr. John Thackery.

Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick set to work creating a more modern look, without it feeling too "old-timey".

“Clive looked at himself in the mirror and he fell in love. He said, ‘Can I really wear this?’ I would say, ‘John Thackery would wear anything.’ He would say, ‘But is it appropriate?’ And I would say, ‘John Thackery is the head of the hospital, he can wear whatever he wants.’" Ellen recalled to WWD.

"And then he said, ‘Can I be the David Bowie of the 1900s?’ We said, ‘Absolutely.’”

While Ellen and her team loved sourcing clothes from the early part of last century, they ran into problems.

Finding original pieces from more than 100 years ago wasn't the hard part, but most of these clothes had practically disintegrated and were not able to be featured.

“We had to build a lot of new stock. We manufactured the uniforms - suits for men, suitings for women. We had to figure it out and have enough clothing to fit 2,500 extras," Ellen revealed.

Different colours and materials were used to distinguish between different classes. The high-class gentleman and wealthy financers were decked out in lace, silk and velvets.

The hospital staff wore mainly white, though Owen's John would add hints of green as Ellen thought it contrasted nicely with the colour of blood.

"It’s urban, it’s gritty, it’s modern in a deconstructed way. We could not make anything seem precious. That was key," she smiled.

© Cover Media

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