Jenny Beavan is a designer known for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road and A Room with a View. In an interview with Collider, she discusses the process of costume design for Disney's upcoming prequel, 'Cruella' starring Emma Stone.
When asked about what inspired the design of the costumes, Beavan said, "Obviously, it was a massive undertaking because it is about fashion and it is about clothes. It’s quite a dense script, and you see a complete arc of her journey from being a young kid who’s rebellious and enjoys clothes to a fully-fledged, very individual type of fashion designer. We were in the ‘70s, and I was around in the ‘70s and remember it well. I didn’t have a lot of money then because I was still working in legitimate theater, but I certainly remember what people were wearing and the various influences that were around. When I started on it, I really looked at old magazines of the period. Vogue is very available online, so that was very useful for high fashion for the Baroness, to see what people were wearing. And for Cruella herself, Estella Cruella, there were a lot of wonderful Vivienne Westwood and Galliano type of looks. People were doing individual and interesting things, plus there was what I actually remembered of us all going to Portobello Vintage Market, buying bits and pieces, and putting them together. Military bits were very popular at the time, which you wore with jeans or a frilly skirt. It was about putting things together in an interesting way. We came out of the ‘50s, which were very straight-laced, to the ‘60s, which had an explosion of freedom, in every way, so the ‘70s were really an interesting period of making the freedom come into focus. That’s really where I looked for finding my way with her."
When asked about the process of creating 47 looks for Emma Stone's character, Beavan said, "I went to fit her in her home in Los Angeles. I took with me about ten suitcases of pieces of clothing that were fun or might be right for something. It was a very random collection. It was more about just seeing how it worked. So, we arrived in the morning and we set up in the garage, and then we fitted her in her kitchen. Out of that first fitting came a huge number of the basis of the looks. We didn’t use many of the actual vintage pieces, but we used them as inspirations. That whole dress up day was one of the most rewarding bit of work. That’s when you really find out what will and won’t work, and you get input. Craig [Gillespie] came over and we all had a very jolly lunch. Emma’s lovely. Set costumer, Laura [Wolford], was there. We had a really, really great session. Out of all that, was the red dress. We bought a very cheap red dress in a shop in Beverly Hills to see what worked, but it was a really great color and she looked marvelous in it. At one point, I thought almost, “This could almost work, she looks so good.” But in the script and in the story, that dress has been created out of one of the Baroness’ dresses that she has seen a vintage store in Portobello, so it had to have credibility. The color was chosen because it’s a black and white ball, so it has to be the most standout color you can get, which for me was always going to be red and seems a very suitable Cruella color. The dress, itself, was a deconstruction of the Baroness’ dress. Over the bust, you can see the line that is taken from the Baroness’ original design, and then we cut it into strips and the amazing maker, Ian Wallace, actually put it together. The idea was that there was enough fabric in this dress, because it also had a massive stole that went with it, that you could just about believe that she made it from this original work that she found."
Information originally sourced from Collider.