'It was a love letter to Hollywood': Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges on the wardrobe for The Artist
Artful: Mark Bridges with his award for best achievement in costume design for The Artist
It cleaned up at the Oscars, landing five of the prized awards: The Artist may have been black-and-white and largely silent, but it was more than full of its own colour and story-telling.
The monochrome format gave The Artist's costumer director an added challenge, with accent and flourishes delivered through texture rather then traditional colour.
Mark Bridges said that while the film was a 'love letter to Hollywood' its costumes were inspired by a host of 1920s movies, including Our Dancing Daughters, City Girl and Sunrise, which provided 'emotional touchstones' for the wardrobe department.
But there was one film in particular that set the tone for the costumes.
After collecting his Oscar, the winner revealed that he was inspired by the 'a great film called Show People starring Marion Davies, which was all shot on the back lot of MGM at the end of the Twenties' and said that the film provided 'great research.'
While the picture was filmed in colour, Mr Bridges said that the key to the sensationalism of black-and-white was making sure actors stood out from their surroundings.
'You know, it really comes down to different values and I was very concerned about the graphics, whether the actors would separate from the backgrounds that they're standing in front of,' explained Mr Bridges. 'Once we got the textures down, we knew textures read beautifully, I could tell a story with textures.'
Artists at work: Berenice Bejo's costumes were cleverly brought to life with textures in place of colour
The team cleverly infused George's costume with character by tailoring the size of his outfits to reflect the plot.
'Once the character George has his fall, [Jean Dujardin] wanted the costumes just a little bigger to reflect that somehow George is less of a man than he was. And so we did that, hopefully, subtly through the tailoring.'
Elsewhere, Meryl Streep, winner of the Best Actress gong lauded the efforts of her longtime make-up collaborator, J Roy Helland.
No stranger to working with Meryl Streep, Mr Roy Helland has led make-up departments for films including Sophie's Choice, Devil Wears Prada and Julie & Julia.
Meryl on Maggie: Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her role in Iron Lady and attributed her success to her longtime make-up collaborator, Mr Bridges
Their working relationship is so close that the Oscar winner thanked him second only to her husband, attributing much of her success to their 37 years of making films together.
He said that he has 'a really good time' working with the leading lady – despite having a small budget. 'I was allowed to have five wigs made,' he explained. 'And they were rented. And that was it. Covering over 40 years.'
Her transformation was brilliantly convincing, the Hollywood star all but morphing into one of the world's most famous political figures for the Iron Lady.
Masters of disguise: Mark Coulier, left, and J Roy Helland won Oscars for hair and make-up in The Iron Lady
Backstage at the world-famous Kodak Theatre, fellow Oscar winner Mark Coulier revealed the secrets behind the makeover.
The trick behind Streep's take on Margaret Thatcher, he said, 'was not covering [her] up completely, and trying too hard to make her look like Margaret Thatcher.
'It was just picking out elements of Margaret Thatcher and transposing them on to Meryl Streep and leaving her with freedom to move, and still express and emote, and act.'
The actress had to sit stock still for three hours every day while the award-winning team created the Conservative Party leader's uncannily realistic look.