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OUR FAMILY WEDDING

Crafting The Wardrobe
Dressing a cast as diverse as the one featured in OUR FAMILY WEDDING became an enriching creative endeavor for veteran designer Hope Hanafin. Her on screen task involved differentiating all of the varying cultures and social backgrounds of the characters from a visual standpoint. For Forest Whitaker's fastidious playboy, "Brad Boyd,” she chose two different looks. "He's very meticulous and defines himself with mid-century sparseness and clean lines,” Hanafin explains. Choosing the look of the Brat Pack as her inspiration, she crafted Whitaker's on-screen look with a mix of sports clothes and sleek, classic, structured suits.

With the exception of Regina King's character who is an attorney and opts for a more scaled down look of sophistication, other cast members appear casual and comfortable throughout the film.

The inspiration behind the look of the wedding party evolved from a handful of multi-colored crystals that were poured onto a piece of black velvet fabric by Hanafin during a creative meeting with the director. Immediately taken by her vision, the filmmaker gave her the green-light to translate that glittering rainbow into onscreen costumes.

No stranger to creating the perfect look for a wedding party, having dressed hundreds of people for weddings on and off the screen, the veteran designer says the most important part of the process became creating a mood and ambiance. She did so through the use of fabrics, textures, varying styles and colors. "Rick and I signed off on a color scheme that gave me the creative freedom of selecting a broad color palette that would compliment the cast's warm skin tones,” Hanafin explains. "I wanted the people to be the flowers in the garden,” she adds, "so we chose a flattering combination of colors – oranges, purples, golds and turquoise,” to complete the look.

In the film, our bride and groom are given only two short weeks to plan their wedding. At first blush, it would appear to be a recipe for disaster. But as Hanafin explains, contrary to popular opinion, an elaborate event is not always indicative of how things will turn out. "I've been to the loveliest and most memorable of weddings,” says Hanafin, "some so elaborately executed that no detail was left undone. Yet some of those marriages lasted only a few years.” Continuing she adds, "I've also been to some very quickly cobbled together weddings, like my own, which has lasted 22 years. And, just as art imitates life, because the young on-screen couple has a foundation of love, if they can just make it down the aisle, they have a chance to make it for the long haul.

A highlight of Hanafin's design experience on OUR FAMILY WEDDING became the collaborative endeavor between her and Monique Lhuillier, the nationally renowned exclusive bridal designer. America Ferrera had also been a longtime fan of the designer's work having worn her gowns to numerous red carpet events. "I love her gowns,” says Ferrera. "She really flatters women.”

The Filipino-born designer has adorned celebrities including Britney Spears, Hilary Duff and E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic and together with Hanafin and Ferrera chose a simple, fitted cream-colored gown to compliment the award-winning actress's curvaceous stature. "She looked absolutely gorgeous,” says Hanafin, "and every bit the beautiful blushing bride.” OUR FAMILY WEDDING also debuts to the public, Lhuillier's first line of bridesmaid dresses.

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