Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family fleeing disaster in zombie-apocalypse blockbuster "World War Z." Costume Design by Mayes Rubeo. Photo credit: Paramount Pictures.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Thiery Umutoni (actor Fana Mokoena) and Pitt as Gerry Lane in "World War Z." Photo credit: Paramount Pictures.

“World War Z”

June 21, 2013

Trailer footage of “World War Z” leading man Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane (an ex-U.N. field investigator turned stay at home Philadelphia dad) fleeing throngs of zombies with his frightened wife Karin (actress Mireille Enos) and daughters, has left a haunting impression on audiences everywhere. Paramount Pictures’ just-opened zombie-apocalypse flick, loosely based on author Max Brooks’ novel, chronicles full-blown global panic as an epidemic sweeps populations worldwide and transforms its victims into flesh-eating drones. Everyone is susceptible to falling ill or becoming prey.

Costume Designer Mayes Rubeo was tasked with producing “well over 12,000” costumes for the film, which shot on-location in London, Malta (acting as Israel and Palestine), several Scottish cities (acting as Philadelphia) and Budapest. “It’s a big, big movie and the logistics were crazy,” she says, pointing to the Malta shoot as a particularly challenging success. “You really felt like you were in Israel—we had to dress all of the civilians, [which included] specific religious [factions] of people, so a true mix.” Among Rubeo’s main design objectives was keeping the Lane family in “non-gloomy colors, to represent a sense of hope and their try for survival—without distracting from the action.”

Once Gerry is briefed on the escalating zombie threat by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Thiery Umutoni (played by actor Fana Mokoena), he is inescapably recruited to resume his old work and aid in the search for the epidemic’s origins—so it follows that the character’s simple-yet-resilient wardrobe allows for movement amid the elements. “It happens fast—he [basically only] has time to change in the helicopter,” Rubeo says. A cornerstone of the character’s strictly-utilitarian wardrobe is an ever-present watch (designed by Italian company Terra Cielo Mare, which provided Rubeo with seven for the character’s use). Rubeo credits Niccolo’ Lattuada of Terra Cielo Mare, Larissa Griers of Costume National, Rob Nowill with C.P. Company in Italy, and her massive crew for their help in executing her “World War Z” vision.

“World War Z” is now playing in theaters nationwide.

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