SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE
Playing Dress Up
While the sets were
being dressed around them, the stars were being dressed for style and comfort
with the same minute attention to detail. "Nancy and I went through the
script scene-by-scene," recalls costume designer Suzanne McCabe, "and
we talked about the various needs of each character and the dramatic arc of each
scene. We initially went through the broad strokes of everything, and then as we
shot, did everything through a magnifying glass."
"Harry Sanborn is
an entrepreneurial but offbeat businessman, a New York character who likes to
hang around a lot of different groups of people, so he's a bit of a fashion
chameleon," explains McCabe. "We worked at different angles, and ended
up dressing Jack as a conservative guy who has a bit of an edge, wearing very
beautiful, expensive clothes but oddly combined. We created a city look for
Harry, but also a very casual beach look for his scenes in the Hamptons.
"By the same
token," McCabe continues, "when we meet Erica, she's at her beach
house where she both relaxes and writes. Even though we wanted her to look
attractive, it was also essential to Nancy that her clothes be comfortable for
long hours of writing. So we dressed Diane almost entirely in comfy tee-shirts
and turtlenecks, which figure so prominently in the script."
"Keanu plays a
Hamptons doctor who is simultaneously casual, yet neat and preppy, and it was
important to Keanu to keep the wardrobe realistic and unflashy," says
McCabe. "And Frances McDormand, who plays a feminist professor, really
knows, as one who lives in New York, how such people actually dress there."
For Marin, McCabe says,
"We were really going for a classic, Upper East Side kind of girl who went
to prep school, and was always stylish and sophisticated."
It was also up to
McCabe to make sure that all of the extras, whether in Los Angeles, the Hamptons,
New York City or Paris, were properly attired, and thousands of outfits were
acquired to make certain that sequences set in New York but filmed in Los
Angeles would still have the appropriate look.
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