CDG - The Costume Designer

Summer 2019

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58 The Costume Designer Summer 2019 SCRAPBOOK The 1990s blockbuster Pretty Woman is a tale of transformation told through costume. Designer Marilyn Vance had almost every piece built in order to demon- strate the development of the characters. By the pivotal opera scene, Vivian (Julia Roberts) has shed all the accoutrement of her previous lifeā€”the Rudi Gernreich- inspired minidress and over-the-knee patent boots. Vance designed a red gown for falling in love. The dress is such an embodiment of feminine beauty that 30 years later, copies are still for sale. Originally, the studio insisted on a black dress, but Vance felt it should be red and did not capitulate. Inspired by the silhouette of John Singer Sargent's painting Madame X, she created a softly ruched, gently corseted bodice for Roberts to accentuate her delicate shoulders. What began as a back bustle detail in early iterations, moved to the front and resolved into a graceful knot of fabric. Vance eschews trends, focusing on depicting the psyche of the character in the moment. The result, an unforgettable terrestrial goddess, has had a lasting impact. On July 20, 2019, the film Pretty Woman was screened at CDG Movie Night with a Q&A following with Marilyn Vance and Editor in Chief Anna Wyckoff. Pretty Woman Marilyn Vance Photo: Touchstone Pictures Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) and Vivan Ward (Julia Roberts) in Pretty Woman.

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