Film’s look fit him to a T

Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network.’’ Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network.’’ (Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
December 16, 2010

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Mark Zuckerberg, who was revealed as Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2010, gave local costumers a big compliment in the publication. The Facebook creator says that although the movie “The Social Network’’ isn’t, in his opinion, an accurate portrayal of his story, the film did get his clothes right. “I found it funny what details they focused on getting right in [the movie]. I think I owned every single T-shirt that they had me wearing,’’ Zuckerberg says in the magazine. The film’s costume supervisor, Boston-based Virginia Johnson, told us yesterday that a lot of work went into planning the sloppy tees and ill-fitting pants worn by actor Jesse Eisenberg, who just scored a Golden Globe nomination for the role. Johnson was happy to hear that the real Zuckerberg approves of the wardrobe. “It was definitely a compliment to Jacqueline West, the costume designer, who had done an extensive amount of research,’’ she said. Johnson said she and West and their crew found many of Eisenberg’s rumpled T-shirts at local stores such as Garment District in Cambridge. The audience might not have considered that “The Social Network’’ is a period piece, Johnson said, set at Harvard in 2003 and 2004. Local seamstresses were hired to alter tops for Eisenberg so that they were emblazoned with the labels that college kids wore in the early 2000s. “We don’t wear giant branding across our chests as much as we used to,’’ Johnson said, referring to the Gap sweatshirt that Eisenberg wears in the film. Johnson said that when it came to extras, the costumers were in luck. Many of them still had clothes from their college years that fit right in. A note on Johnson — the costumer, who’s also worked on “Surrogates,’’ “The Box,’’ “The Women,’’ and is now costuming on a PBS “American Masters’’ special about Helen Keller, is opening a “stitch lounge’’ and craft studio in the old Black Ink space on Broadway in Cambridge.

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