Início Tech The Story Behind the Costumes of ‘The Bikeriders’ With Austin Butler

The Story Behind the Costumes of ‘The Bikeriders’ With Austin Butler


LONDON — On the set of the film “The Bikeriders,” costume designer Erin Benach put every crew member, their sons and daughters, as well as the students from University of Cincinnati to work making clothes.

“They were coming to my wardrobe space, and I told them that they [had to] make a vest. We had this huge C-shaped table, so they would take some denim, a few patches, jewelry pieces and leather whangs to start whipping it in. They couldn’t leave without making five a day, everybody had to,” she said in an interview.

The plot of the film centers around a midwestern motorcycle club, the Vandals, as they navigate becoming larger than just a group of local outcasts and choose whether to sacrifice their personal lives, and loyalty, to the club.

Norman Reedus as Funny Sonny in director Jeff Nichols' THE BIKERIDERS, a Focus Features release. Credit: Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features. © 2024 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.

Norman Reedus as Funny Sonny in “The Bikeriders.”

Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features

The film is based on the photo book by Danny Lyon, who joined the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the late Sixties and documented the members’ lives. The author is played by Mike Faist as part of an A-list cast starring Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy and Michael Shannon.

Benach used Lyon’s book as a point of reference for setting up the scenes and getting a gist of what the characters would have worn in real life, but there was much research to be done to fill in the blanks, including “the silhouette of the pants, their jeans and shoes, things that aren’t captured [very well] in the book,” she said.

Benach also turned to the book, “Portraits of American Bikers,” and a Life magazine article about the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

(L to R) Jodie Comer as Kathy and Austin Butler as Benny in director Jeff Nichols' THE BIKERIDERS, a Focus Features release. Credit: Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features. © 2024 Focus Features. All Rights Reserved.

Jodie Comer as Kathy and Austin Butler as Benny in director Jeff Nichols’ “The Bikeriders.”

Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features

Because many of the symbols and language associated with Outlaws Motorcycle Club are copyrighted, she had to create her own interpretation for the film. Benach sourced the jackets from vintage markets, online stores, and even made new ones. She used brands such as Levi’s, Lee, Runabout Goods, and Schott NYC.

She made two denim and leather jackets featuring the number 13 on the pocket, a middle finger by the shoulder, a bald eagle with the American flag on the pocket, and a skull on the pocket flap. One was for Butler, and the other was for his stunt double.

Jodie Comer stars as Kathy in director Jeff Nichols' THE BIKERIDERS, a Focus Features release. Credit: Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features. © 2024 Focus Features, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jodie Comer stars as Kathy in “The Bikeriders.”

Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features

“We basically studied the patches and the energy of it. A lot of the things were just about anarchy and counterculture. One of my favorite [findings] was that evil spelled backward is live,” she said.

Every piece, from the leather jackets and denim jeans to the T-shirts, went through a rigorous process to look weathered. They were dyed in a green and blue tint, spun in the tumble dryer, and then roughed up using sandpaper. After that, they were spray-painted using road dust. Then, for the final layer, they had mud painted on them.

Much of the focus is on the Sixties, but the Fifties plays a role, too, particularly for Hardy’s character, who is significantly older.

Tom Hardy stars as Johhny in director Jeff Nichols' THE BIKERIDERS, a Focus Features release. Credit: Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features. © 2024 Focus Features, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tom Hardy stars as Johhny in “The Bikeriders.”

Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features

His silhouette is different, and takes its cues from Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” with the super-fitted leather jackets. “We wanted him to have a connection to history and for everything to hit at his waist at a certain place,” Benach said.

Color was an important factor and the costume designer found herself attached to some shades in particular.

Benach put Hardy in a red, button-down shirt after seeing a reference imagery that stuck with her. For Comer, she envisioned the color purple after reading part of the script where the character walks into a watering hole called the Stop Light Bar.

(L to R) Jodie Comer as Kathy and Austin Butler as Benny in director Jeff Nichols' THE BIKERIDERS, a Focus Features release. 
Credit: Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features. © 2024 Focus Features, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jodie Comer as Kathy and Austin Butler as Benny in “The Bikeriders.”

Kyle Kaplan/Focus Features

“The purple is so different and feminine than all the bikers around. She stepped into this subculture, but she didn’t just take it on and change herself to become one of them. She maintained who she was,” she said.

Benach leaned heavily into knitwear for the character to give her “softness,” but still kept it clean with a tight silhouette.

erin Benach

Costume designer Erin Benach

Courtesy of Erin Benach

The way Comer’s character dresses is central in signifying the time period in which the film is set, according to Benach. By contrast, “with biker gangs you can’t necessarily say what time period they’re in because [their style] is so timeless with the leather and denim,” she said.



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