CDG - The Costume Designer

Winter 2019

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66 The Costume Designer Winter 2019 SCRAPBOOK Nostalgia and authenticity weave seamlessly together in the seminal film Almost Famous. Costume Designer Betsy Heimann confides that the biggest challenge was not summoning the epic '70s rock scene detail by detail, but recreating the sentimentality of a memory. The movie was director Cameron Crowe's Remembrance of Things Past and he was deeply invested in every character. Drawing upon photographs by Joel Bernstein and Neal Preston for inspiration and copious research, Heimann designed and built every costume except for the blue jeans to populate Crowe's coming-of-age tale. Ageing and dyeing were essential to add a timeworn nonchalance to the garments. Looking at the film, it is difficult to believe the clothes aren't vintage. The effect on fashion and costume has been lasting, and perhaps no piece has been more influential than Penny Lane's three-quarter- length coat. With a rug from Urban Outfitters and a bit of upholstery fabric, Heimann culled together a garment which simultaneously suggests armor and vulnerability. She worked with the cinematographer John Toll to have the white fur collar frame Kate Hudson's face with ethereal effervescence. Decades later, the compelling combination of rock-n-roll with boho can be found in the closets of cool girls everywhere. Almost Famous was screened on January 14, 2018, at the Costume Designers Guild Movie Night. A Q&A followed with Heimann. Almost Famous Betsy Heimann Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

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