Magazine article Variety

Davis' Duds Spiff 'Up'

Magazine article Variety

Davis' Duds Spiff 'Up'

Article excerpt

When It comes to re-creating the world of '60-'70s chart-toppers, Sharen Davis is the guru of sartorial splendor.

For "Dreamgirls," inspired by the rise of the Suprêmes, Davis' costumes struck a fanciful note. In "Ray," the Ray Charles biopic, they strove for picture-perfect accuracy. But for the James Brown movie "Get on Up," her approach landed somewhere in between.

"On 'Ray,' even though it was the same time period, I really stayed correct," explains the two-time Oscar nominee, who reteamed with "The Help" director Tate Taylor on the Brown film. "But, for 'Get on Up,' the script is so wildly nonlinear, I told Tate, T think I need to take a few liberties when he's not onstage.'"

Even in performance, she spruced up Brown's duds, altering the color and the silhouette to "snap it up in places just a little bit, or bring it down where we need to bring it down." For the Godfather of Soul's epochal appearance on 1964's "The TAMI Show," her short-waisted checked coat and matching double-breasted vest are updated facsimiles, employing a nifty tuxedo tie instead of the knotted number Brown actually wore. …

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