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About The Costumes...And The Red Dress
Since she first appeared in comic strips over 80 years ago, Annie has worn the red dress with the white collar. However iconic the image is, it's simply not a dress that today's 11-year-old street-smart New Yorker would be caught dead in. So, costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus, working with director Will Gluck, took a more realistic approach, dressing Quvenzhane Wallis' Annie in the clothing that a contemporary kid in today's New York City might wear.

"Annie doesn't have much - all of her belongings fit into a backpack," says Kalfus. "She's a clever city kid who knows her way around. She expresses herself with the same cleverness in her clothes. She's like a magpie; she'll find something she likes, and sew it on a jacket."

"When you have four or five foster kids together, everyone's trying to claim their own style," Kalfus continues. "Clothing is how they identify themselves as separate characters. To achieve this, they fight to make their own clothing personal."

Kalfus avoided the color red in Annie's wardrobe palette - until the film pays homage to that red dress at a very specific moment. Once Annie has become ensconced in Stacks' home, he gives her the red dress to wear at a black tie event at the Guggenheim Museum. Kalfus designed that very special dress, in Annie's iconic red, for the transitional moment, when Annie takes center stage and sings a new song, "Opportunity," in front of an audience of well-heeled New Yorkers.

"I spent some time figuring out the best red and the best satin fabric that would be good on camera," she says. "I feel I gave a nod to old Hollywood glamour and made a couture piece that a contemporary young girl might long for." Kalfus's design is classic, with a full knee-length skirt, a crinoline underskirt and a large satin bow at the left waist.


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