American Hustle may have received lashings of praise for its dark humour, gripping premise and whip-cracking plot but none of that would have mattered had the seventies era scene not been set so perfectly with a mixture of big bouffants, gargantuan glasses and skimpy stylings.

American Hustle
The American Hustle gang look imperiously 70s in their getup

Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale each give storming performances in a movie that has already brought excited Oscars chatter but it must be said: the fashion is hilariously and unapologetically 70s bad-taste.

Whether it's Cooper's Richie DiMaso's tight curls he spends hours on every morning, Bale's Irv Rosenfeld's horrifying combover, ostentatious suits and big, brown-rimmed specs, or Sydney Prosser's (Adams) and Rosalyn Rosenfeld's (Lawrence) slinky, glittery disco dresses or over-styled clouds of hair; American Hustle's strength is transporting its audience back to the notorious era of these con-artists and the even more notorious period looks.

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Costume designer Michael Wilkinson told E!Online about his team's extensive research was extensive: "We watched every single movie from 1978," he said. "We really cast the net wide. We looked at high fashion - Halston, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent - and we also looked at cheesy advertising [and] Playboy spreads just so we could really get the pop culture references these characters would have been inspired by."

However, both leading ladies have revealed that wearing the glamorous outfits wasn't nearly as fun as it looks. "I would not wear most of those clothes in real life," Adams told E!News, explaining the functionality problems: "There's just not enough double-sided tape to take me through my life as a mom with those V-necks."

American Hustle Cooper Bale
Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale launch right into their 70s garb with no trepidation

Whereas Lawrence took issue with the lack of support underneath the outfits. "I normally wear bras," Lawrence revealed to MTV, recalling the lack of underwiring in their period-appropriate costumes. "I wouldn't say that it's ever exciting to see yourself without a bra in a dress that's three sizes too small for you."

American Hustle leads the Golden Globe nominations.

The movie follows the married Irv Rosenfeld, one of the world's most talented con-artists, who partners up with his mistress Sydney Prosser when they are recruited to work for FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) propelling them into the dangerous world of Jersey powerbrokers. However, as Irv's wife, Rosalyn, becomes more and more suspicious of her husband's extra-marital affairs, she is soon driven to extreme lengths to find out what's going on, and so threatens the stability of the entire operation.

American Hustle will be released on the 20th December.