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BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA

Costuming Canines
Costume Designer Mariestela Fernández Oufits Human and Canine Cast Costume Designer Mariestela Fernández was responsible for outfitting both the human and canine cast.

"In the Beverly Hills scenes, we did some designer clothes and some very relaxed L.A. styles. But we mainly wanted to feel the richness of Beverly Hills, compared to the more colorful and disordered way of dressing in Mexico,” explains Fernández.

The costume designer wanted each character's clothing to reflect the arc experienced in the film. "Piper Perabo's character starts with a lot of designer clothes that are not well put together. She has hip stuff—Marc Jacobs, Nanette Lapore, designer jeans. In her journey, she begins losing her layers, like a little onion, finding her true self. She ends up in a lot of Mexican clothes: beautiful blouses we bought in the market,” says Fernández. "They're special because they're one of a kind, done by Mexican craftsmen by hand. At the end, I think she just has a very simple but well-put-together idea of who she is and she dresses accordingly.”

As the owner of a cosmetics company, Aunt Viv, by contrast, is entirely fashion forward, says Fernández. Curtis played the role wearing Marni, Dolce Gabbana, Yves St. Laurent, Gucci and Marc Jacobs.

Fernández was up to the challenge of dressing the non-human cast. "I had never dressed dogs before, so for me it was like entering a big adventure: it's going to be wild, it's going to be a risk, it's going to be really interesting.”

She enjoyed researching the whole world of dressing dogs and was surprised to find a large and amazing market. "There's a whole clothes subculture out there for dog lovers,” says Fernández. "You can buy any type of outfit that you want. You've got hiking boots, swim vests, sunglasses, little purses, jewelry—everything.”

Still, the costume designer says the vast market was not quite suited for the ultra-pampered pooch, Chloe. "We handmade her things special for our story,” Fernández says.

Modeling many of Chloe's custom fashions after classic designs by Chanel and Valentino, seamstresses made each of Chloe's outfits by hand—17 in all—using safe, comfortable, natural, lightweight fabrics in designs that were easy to take on and off the canine actress. Fernández says she designed the couture creations "always trying to keep her looking slim. Just like with any actress.”

The opulent diamond necklace that Chloe wears throughout most of the film was designed in three weeks, going through multiple design changes to meet the creative and practical conditions of the production.

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