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Kenneth Branagh

'Carol's' costume designer outfitted Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara for the 1950s' strict social order

The first image in the film "Carol" is a lingering shot on the intertwined, repeating pattern in a decorative fence. It's a sly, elegant symbol of the complex and contained social roles expected of the main characters, two women in love, yet locked in conscripted 1950s lives.

In the new drama from director Todd Haynes, costume designer Sandy Powell created the film's striking period costumes. She deftly contrasted the immaculately tailored wardrobe of Cate Blanchett's Carol Aird, a wealthy wife and mother locked in a loveless marriage of convenience, and the plain, girlish attire of her love interest, Rooney Mara's young department store clerk, Therese...