WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?
Dressing The Part
For the female stars of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love,"
their costumes were important keys to illuminating the differences
between their characters, as well as indicators of the passage
of time. Costume designer ELISABETTA BERALDO created distinctive
looks for Zola, Elizabeth and Emira, as well as for the stage
performers and for Frankie Lymon himself.
"I loved Zola's clothes when she was performing with The
Platters," says Halle Berry. "When you put on those
glamorous dresses, with the little tiny waists and the big bouffant
skirts and the strapless tops, it just makes you stand and walk
and move a certain way. And that's the way women really did look
in the Fifties when we saw them on TV, singing or performing.
Wearing those clothes was a big help to me in visually expressing
Vivica A. Fox, as Elizabeth Waters, had fewer opportunities to
dress up in her role, but she, too, loved the look of the Fifties.
"I didn't realize how glamorous and how fabulous they all
were with the hairdos and the beautiful dresses. I felt like I
was wearing a prom dress!" When her character re-appears
in the Eighties, however, Elizabeth has just been released from
prison and, in middle age, is not glamorous in the least. "There
were some days that I looked at myself and Vivica was nowhere
in there, you know," she recalls, laughing. "I went
completely for the Eighties - I had a Geri curl with blond tips!
But we wanted it to be authentic; there's nothing worse than watching
a movie and saying 'that's not right; I remember that."'
Lela Rochon, as a small-town Southern girl, never really had a
glamorous era, but she was the only one of the three women to
wear a wedding dress on-screen. "The other two - Zola and
Elizabeth - laugh at me throughout the movie. Sometimes it really
is funny, how little I know about life in the big city. But in
the end, I had the white wedding dress and the memory of Frankie
as a sweet, loving and kind person. No matter how much I miss
him, it's still easier for me to bear, because I'm the one who
knew his tender side only."
Costumes for The Platters, The Teenagers, Little Richard and the
other singing groups were drawn from photographs and television
footage, and accurately re-create the look of the period. Additional
footage re-creating Sixties groups such as The Kinks appears in
the film, and scenes from an "American Bandstand"-style
variety show are reconstructed from an actual broadcast of a similar
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