“I Saw the Light”
March 18, 2016
In side-by-side comparisons, actor Tom Hiddleston looks remarkably like the legendary country-western singer Hank Williams. That similarly wasn’t all that helped Costume Designer Lahly Poore create a convincing character for the Williams bio-pic “I Saw the Light,” which chronicles his rise to fame.
Poore and director Marc Abraham recreated the look of the 1940s and early ‘50s, but aimed for a subtle, authentic rendering. Poore visited the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame to see original costumes, read “Hank Williams: The Biography” and worked with descendants of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors, a contributor to Williams’ style.
Though the film portrays Williams’ beginnings as a poor singer in simple Western wear, his ascent to headlining turns to a life of custom suits, with one particular suit striking a balance. Moore designed a soft brown, double-breasted jacket that she embellished with cream piping on the yoke, pockets and sleeves.
The extra-large lacing on the jacket cuffs earned it the nickname “Frankenstein stitching,” said Poore. The look was inspired in part by period-correct clothes and those in the Nudie’s archives.
More crucially is the hat, which was custom made by Mike Moore at Buckaroo Hatters.
“I’ve done enough Westerns that I know you have to have the person try things on,” Poore said. “In Westerns, so much of the focus is from the chest up.”
“I Saw the Light” arrives in theaters on March 25.