Roth told the magazine that “she was inspired to create Marcus outfit — a tweed jacket, argyle sweater vest, button-down shirt and tie — after reading Philip Roth's The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography, in which the author describes a friend coming home from school wearing a similar look. "He thought that was the college uniform and he wanted what that guy had.”
“In a way, I guess he thought if he put on that jacket, that somehow magically he would become that character in a sense. That’s basically what I did for Marcus, in that I gave him a whole new costume in which to go to school and it wasn’t like the kicked-in, broken-down look. It was actually a very East Coast, Ivy League look at the time.”
While Olivia played by Sarah Gadon is surprisingly promiscuous, certainly by 1950's standards, Roth says “There's nothing about the way she dressed that would ever lead you to think she was about to do what she did. I think it was unexpected and that was the best part of it — that I dressed her like a good girl.’’
“I dressed her like her parents paid for her clothes’’ says Roth, adding that Olivia would have been the girl in school who would have gone shopping before each new school year. “I thought she would have fuller skirts like the New Look, even though it was just at that time coming into fashion. She would have certainly been the girl having the new skirt.’’
Among one of Olivia's most memorable outfits is the look she wears for her first date with Marcus: A white blouse (cut from a dress) paired with a rose-print skirt, which Roth says were both found in a barn in Pennsylvania. She also found pieces for Olivia at vintage costume shop Daybreak in Albany, NY.
Addicted to the fashion of film? This featurette goes behind the scenes of Indignation's costume design.