March 29, 2013 at 06:37 PM EDT

To create the wardrobe for the characters — human and alien — in the sci-fi flick The Host (in theaters today), costume designer Erin Benach looked to fashion runways, the Middle East and the Sahara desert, and even author Stephenie Meyer for inspiration.

“The really fun part about this movie was that we had these distinct fractions of people,” Benach tells EW. “You never got bored with the costumes.”

Click on to see how the costume designer  worked wardrobe magic for the body-snatching love story.

Melanie/Wanda (Saoirse Ronan) 

When it came to the lead character, Melanie/Wanda (Saoirse Ronan), Benach was tasked with outfitting dual personalities, each with a different fashion sense. “She has these two extremes, [but] she actually has three generations of looks: the freedom fighter look when she’s one the run is a little survivalist, her flashback look, and her Soul look.” Inspired by “deconstructed fashion and simple pieces with obscure elements,” Benach used sheer materials and softer, more airy pieces to dress the character during scenes depicting pre-invasion times, then transitioned her into clothes made of heavier, more durable materials as is forced to become stronger and braver. “The idea [for Wanda’s Soul look] was that it was this uniform. She has the exact same shirt in different colors.”

Next: The Souls

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