• Fashion

“The Gray Man”: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans – Costume Design

The Gray Man: Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Regé-Jean Page, costume design, Judianna Makovsky

Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Regé-Jean Page come together in The Gray Man, (Netflix), an action-packed movie whose costume design telegraphs the talent of Judianna Makovsky. This is a film about no-fuss people – assassins. They have big things on their brains – murder, staying alive – so their clothes reflect a minimalism. They are supposed to operate in the gray, outside the lines of legal, but their fashion statements are anything but gray.


Ryan Gosling is Sierra Six recruited from jail, he operates beyond borders, in a web of co-conspirators and competitors. He has to blend in. Noted Gosling on the role: “It gives you larger-than-life action sequences and set pieces, but at the same time you get to follow these characters. Six is relatable because he’s an analog hero in a digital world.” That analysis is visible in the costume choices Makovsky created for The Gray Man.

Ryan Gosling

You wouldn’t think a red suit would be a good choice for an assassin. But in a world of high glamor, ‘unfashionable’ stands out. If you want to be ‘gray’ at a luxury event, you have to be audacious. It’s an oxymoron at first glance but makes total sense on the second consideration. Gosling’s suit sports the Dior-inspired trend for men of a high-closure, deeper fasten jacket. The material blends in with the neon and flash of froth. The hair is slick, like his suit. The white tee paired with a suit is a look more men should embrace.

The Gray Man: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas - anything but The Gray Man

Regé-Jean Page is that scary man, the one that seems so reasonable, so affable, so trustworthy. Still, he is actually ruthlessly gambling with people as disposable players in his own endgame. Makovsky’s pedigree is on display in her choice of fabric and power dressing: dark colors, a luxe V-neck sweater vest, and a textured tie.  Everything says ‘quality’, everything is more profound than the surface. The beard is perfectly groomed, the glasses – standard, but you know they cost a massive penny or two. He is gray in the ‘uniform’ of his ilk, but the stand-out shirt, a little personality and contrast against the solid blues, may not so blend in after all.

Ana de Armas, The Gray Man - Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Rege-Jean Page,  - anything but The Gray ManAna de Armas

At the same event at which Gosling sports his bright suit, Ana de Armas is in her designer suit. The pattern is spectacular. You need the confidence to wear it. The tie is a power statement. It has double ‘tie-pins’. The eyes are outlined dramatically, and the hair is a robust helmet—no time for fuss.


The second photo supports the brilliance of choice, by the former child performer of the Metropolitan Opera ballet and children’s chorus, Makovsky. The background palette demonstrates a costume designer at ease with spectacle. Brights proliferate as one ‘look-at-me’ guest, clashes with another ‘look-at-me’ guest. One could easily imagine viewing an opera scene unfolding – and without a spoiler – it so does, but not in the way of the Met.

The Gray Man, Chris Evans, Jessica Henwick Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas - Anything but The Gray Man

Chris Evans is perfection in his fashionable knits, statement retro-watch, and superbly tailored trousers. Nothing about this man is accidental. Note the button closure. A little too tight, so the top button is open, not, please note, undone. The knit looks like it have been tapered to fit a honed physique. The hair and mustache say everything. Evan took delight in the visual of his characters, admitting, “My mustache! Certain characters come to life through something simple, whether a wardrobe or a prop. The second that we cut that mustache I was like ‘Oh there he is, there’s this psycho.’”


His female ‘handler’ is the ultimate gray participant. Blending in, in ‘I am not a woman’ garb adopted by many professional women, sporting concealment of anything that hints at their gender. Hair is usually clipped or short and tight. Make-up – minimal. Shoulders – padded to add power. The watch is low at the wrist – power move.


Brilliant! Dhanush is an assassin with a twist. His suit is an inspiration. The pattern is exotic, and the hue is blend-in. The hair, facial hair, and ‘boots’ show flair. Masculine but not tightly wound. The footwear, is practical and unique. This is a man that cares.

Ana de Armas

Fascinating. Regé-Jean Page is true to the character description earlier. Powersuit contrasting with a blue shirt, but let’s turn our focus on her. Ana de Armas is the epitome of contrasts. Soft white blouse – with frills – so not hiding who she is. The top button is undone as is the bow. Again, this isn’t accidental. This is a character choice revealing her flouting of dictates. The waistcoat follows protocol. Strong, asexual in comparison to the blouse. Structured and solidly neutral.  But the top button and undone bow of the blouse, tells the tale of what is really going on in this scene.

Ryan GoslingRyan Gosling

No surprise to discover that Judianna Makovsky is the creative behind the Hunger Games costume designs. She knows how to be flamboyant and to create functional stylish ‘killer’ outfits. With a special twist on a killer.


Remove the bulletproof vest and gloves, and recognize this look amongst the wealthy with taste, at any throbbing event at desired capitals of the globe.


Upon review, each costume lends itself to the development of character. Judianna Makovsky has taken the script and fed the undercurrents of story, desire, and obstacle, creating reference points for each actor.


That she worked for Jane Greenwood, the English designer, and Milena Canonero on The Cotton Club and Dick Tracy, traces her ability to evoke glamor and simplicity. Other credits include Seabiscuit, Big, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – to mention a few, a tribute to her versatility across genres.