Craig Green Is Behind the Uniforms in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant
His first encounter with aliens changed it all.Though it was quite scary, he enjoyed it.The designer found himself hand-sewing dozens of shirts to be worn on screen by Michael Fassbender and James Franco thanks to costume designer Janty Yates. “She had seen my Autumn/Winter 2015 collection in a store somewhere and she was trying to get in contact with me,” Green explains, adding that the Medieval-meets-futuristic references on his mood board that season seemed to exactly align with Yates’s vision for the film’s costumes. “She couldn’t get in contact with me, so she ended up turning up at the studio. It was a big surprise.” Once there, Yates explained that she was in progress on another Alien flick and wanted to bring some of Green’s work to Los Angeles. “We lent her the collection on loan, she took it to Ridley, and he really liked it,” Green says.
After receiving Scott’s sign off, Green worked with Yates to adapt pieces from his Fall 2015 collection for the film. The two main looks done by Green and his studio are the on-board sleepwear worn by the crew and their mercenary uniforms once they de-board and begin to fight the titular aliens. The former are comprised of hand-twisted and -sewn white bodysuits. “We had to make 10 to 15 sets per actor or actress. That was a kind of the eye-opener,” he deadpans. “Everyone in the studio was hand sewing a lot.”
The mercenary uniforms went a bit easier. Due to their internal structure of pull tabs and drawstrings, each piece can be adjusted easily, allowing Yates and her team to fit on actors as necessary. “We had a very small women’s frame and then a 6’4” rugby player frame, and they both wanted to wear the same thing. That’s not something we do in our normal collections,” Green says. Though the cast fittings took place thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, Green has kept in the loop thanks to some “embargoed” images from Yates during the making of the film.
In the end, there’s a happy irony to the project for Green, a consummate film fan who admits to going to the cinema every week, alone, to see the latest flicks. “What’s really weird about the collection that Janty saw was that was the one with the sweater with the hole in the stomach. We were joking when we did the collection that it looks like it’s ready for the alien to jump out from Aliens. A few months later when it went in the store, Janty contacted us to do the costumes for Alien: Covenant,” Green explains. “It’s really quite surreal. I feel like a film lasts forever—I think fashion lasts forever in some way, but there’s just something about the film that feels like it's timeless and it will always be a part of the Alien series,” he says. Even better? "It’s something I can take my mom to see, as well, and point out the tops and the pieces I made.”