Pop Style Opinionfest: Exploring and Explaining the Costumes of WEST SIDE STORY

Posted on March 04, 2022

“Hey,” Tom said to Lorenzo during their frantic, Friday morning ritual known as What The Hell Are We Going To Podcast About This Week, “Why don’t we talk about the costumes of West Side Story?”

“That makes sense,” Lorenzo replied, “Since you’ve played the gym scene about 500 times since Wednesday.”

That might be a weensy exaggeration, but we figured now that Steven Spielberg’s masterful reimagining of West Side Story is readily available (on HBO Max and Disney Plus as of this week), it might be fun for us to dive deep on the incredible Oscar-nominated work of costume designer Paul Tazewell.

We talk about his inspirations, how the costumes differ from the original 1961 film, what Spielberg specifically asked for, how he interpreted the different characters and communities through color and shape, and how Spielberg utilized color grading, high-definition cinematography, modern camera design and even sound design to make the costumes come to life on screen in a way they never could have sixty years ago.


You know how it is with us, darlings. Once we get started on costume design, it’s hard for us to shut up about it. Especially when Tazewell gave us so much to talk about.



But we also manage to work in brief reviews of Pieces of Her, Severance, and Star Trek: Picard because we’re what? OPINIONATED. And chatty as hell. Thank you for listening, darlings!


[Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 20th Century Studios]

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