Dressing the Stars of “American Hustle”


As the assistant costume designer on “American Hustle,” J.R. Hawbaker (THE ’05) helped conceptualize the fabulously decadent outfits worn by Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. “The storyline was all about people reinventing themselves and controlling the way their image was projected in the world,” Hawbaker says. “That ability to transform or project is the essence of costume design, which is partly why the script was so special.”

In the film, Adams’ character wears a memorable cream-colored cashmere coat with an elaborate white fur collar. “That’s actually my own coat, and I acquired it while attending The Theatre School,” Hawbaker says. “I’ve had that coat in my personal collection ever since my DePaul days but never found the perfect place for it until I met Amy [Adams]. Sometimes the perfect piece stays in hibernation for years and then finds its home once its aligned with the right character.”

View the mosaic below (click each image to enlarge it) to see how Hawbaker and costume designer Michael Wilkinson brought the fun and funky ’70s vividly to life—and garnered an Academy Award nomination in costume design in the process.

Read more about Hawbaker, one of DePaul’s 14 Under 40 outstanding alumni for 2015, in the fall issue of DePaul Magazine. >>

All images courtesy of the “American Hustle” Pinterest page.

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