By comparison, Honest Abe’s attire was far more muted and understated. While maintaining historical accuracy throughout the ensembles, Johnston veered off course for one element: color. Men’s formal coats in 1865 were solely black, however the dark hue doesn’t fare well on camera so the designer opted to dress the cast in varying shades of off-black, with Honest Abe often in deep brown.
Since the color black often appears too dense on camera, Johnston played with varying shades for Lincoln’s frock coat. Originally, she considered dark green.
Creating the right look for her eighth collaboration with director Steven Spielberg came as no easy feat for English costumer Joanna Johnston, who scoured countless museums to research Civil War-era Washington. The Lincolns, the first-time Oscar nominee learned, were complete opposites when it came to their style: Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) was a man who couldn’t be bothered by fashion, whereas his wife Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Field) couldn’t get enough of it. Combining the look of…
A costume designed by Joanna Johnston for "Far and Away". is displayed during the AMPAS hosts "Period Costumes for the Screen" party at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on October 19, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (October 19, 2007 - Source: None/Getty Images North America)
Concept art and costume illustration by Joanna Johnston for "Lincoln" (2012). Many of the outfits worn by actress Sally Field for the production were copies of surviving outfits worn by Mrs. Lincoln which were made anew for filming.
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