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LEGALLY BLONDE 2

The Fashion
As costume designer for the original Legally Blonde, Sophie de Rakoff Carbonell put together a fabulous collection of clothing for fashion-forward Elle Woods – and people loved it. When it came time to make the sequel, there was no question the filmmakers would bring Carbonell back to design and style Elle for her new adventures in Washington, D.C. With a new locale and storyline – but the same signature color – Carbonell worked closely with Witherspoon and Herman-Wurmfeld to update Elle Woods' closet and bring fresh style to the nation's capital. 

"I don't think any of us realized how big of a hit Legally Blonde was going to be,” says Carbonell. "Coming back to it after that – well, I felt the pressure. The brilliant part is that a lot of the groundwork was already done. You know the actors, you know the characters, a lot of the crew is the same – it was quite a comfortable environment to work in.” 

Witherspoon loved the chance to play in Elle's closet again. "We went in and found an entirely new wardrobe,” she says. "We did a lot with the hair, the make-up, and certainly the clothes. I was totally transformed. I arrived in the morning in my sweat suit, they put on fake nails and hair, and then I stepped into a totally fabulous outfit as a totally different person. I felt like Elle.” 

In putting together the wardrobe, Carbonell and Witherspoon looked at where Elle had been and where she was going. "She's still the same person,” says Carbonell, "but she's more adult and has a professional job. She's older and more sophisticated.” Though her style has evolved, Elle is as colorful and individual as ever. "She's definitely in her own element wherever she is. 

"Because it was based in Washington,” Carbonell continues, "we took Jackie O. as our starting point and went from there – tweeds and sixties-looking Chanel and pieces like that for when she's at work in the Congressional offices.” For other parts of the film, there's "a seventies grassroots activist look.” Though the Legally Blonde 2 costumes are distinctive and original, Carbonell did gain inspiration from different time periods and famous fashion statements. "A lot of the outfits have nicknames,” Carbonell continues. "There's the Gloria Steinem outfit, the revolutionary outfit – references to political and social figures.” 

One of the reasons Reese Witherspoon is so effective as Elle is that she knows the character inside and out. She was an invaluable help in keeping the character and her clothing "distinctly Elle.” Carbonell says, "Reese is very aware of the character. She personally wouldn't wear many of the outfits, but she knows Elle would wear them.” The film is a comedy, so they made sure to keep the costumes as fun and colorful – and often outrageous – as possible, but they always remained true to Elle. 

While Carbonell created many of Elle's new looks from scratch, several of the world's top fashion designers helped Carbonell complete Elle's outfits, from fabulous hats to colorful purses and around 50 incredible pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes and boots. Versace, Nanette Lepore, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Tocca, Louis Vuitton, Hogan, Anya Hindmarch, H. Stern, Mikimoto, Oscar de la Renta, Chloe, Juicy Couture, Miss Sixty, Emmanuel Ungaro, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, and William B. are just some of the designers and labels whose clothing, jewelry, and accessories are seen in the movie. 

Hair and makeup are also integral parts of a character's overall look. Witherspoon, Carbonell, and Herman-Wurmfeld collaborated with hairstylist Anne Morgan and makeup artist Brad Wilder to complete the total Elle package. It was a team effort, and everyone involved was delighted with the result. 

Then, again, there's Bruiser. Having become one of the most popular dogs in filmdom, his role is expanded in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, which gave Car

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