THE HORSE WHISPERER
About The Costumes
Costume designer Judy L. Ruskin also seasoned her designs with
the flavor of the authenticity of the Double Divide environment.
"The approach was in how to represent an American ranch in
the contemporary West," says Ruskin. "The ranchers wear
predominantly Americanmade clothing from Levis, Wrangler,
Woolrich and Carhart, with Justin Boots and hats by Bailey. I
believe that people working on ranches try to support American
products, so that credibility is seen through the wardrobe."
"Don Edwards plays ranch hand Smokey and his clothing is
very similar to everyone else's, but his style is very much his
own," Ruskin notes. "He makes his own ranchhand
crease, the way he's been wearing it for years. And the way he
buttons up his shirts is very proper and oldfashioned and
Ruskin worked in conjunction with Calvin Klein and his top designers
such as Tim Gardiner to create a custommade wardrobe for
Annie MacLean, Kristin Scott Thomas' character. "For the
New York sequences that begin the story we used a different color
palette with somber winter colors to express the tone of the story.
Scarlett Johansson's character, Grace, dresses in clothes that
reflect the evolution she goes through. Initially you see her
expressing her individuality and her spirit for life, and then
she protects and covers herself as she is adjusting. As she gains
more confidence, she begins to express herself again."
Bernie Pollack has designed Robert Redford's wardrobe for over
20 films since 1965, including the westerns "Jeremiah Johnson"
and "The Electric Horseman." "In 'The Horse Whisperer,'
Tom Booker is pure, a man of the soil, but he's got another dimension
to him in that he's a real healer," says Pollack. "For
Tom Booker, I wanted to incorporate some distinctive style, but
I was also careful to stay true to the essence of Booker's code
as a rancher, a healer, and an intentionally simple man."
Pollack had much of Tom Booker's horsework clothing tailored
to the style he defined for the character and had most of the
accessories custommade. Redford's hats were made by physicist
turned hatmaker John Morris of the Rocky Mountain Hat Company
in Bozeman. Morris also makes hats for technical advisor Buck
Master saddlemaker Chas. Weldon of Billings, Montana, created
saddles, chaps and hand-tooled belts finished with sterling silver
buckles from the historic studio of Edward H. Bohlin. Weldon has
been making tack, custom saddles and chaps for Buck Brannaman
for 17 years.
"When Buck became involved in the movie and the need for
custom tack arose, he had the production company contact me,"
says Weldon. "I don't usually have time to make chaps much,
but for this movie I ended up doing a lot of zippered shotgun
chaps, tooled belts and tooled spur straps." Weldon's shop
is a oneman operation, and the usual waiting list for a
Weldon saddle is three to five years. He and Brannaman designed
a special saddle tree that is the foundation of the unique Vaquerostyle
roping saddle that Redford uses in "The Horse Whisperer."
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