Cruella’s costume designer made “Dalmatian” fur

There are many reasons to be seen Cruella, the live-action film with Emma Stone as the title character and adapted from Dodie Smith’s novel The hundred and one Dalmatians and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Franchise. Mainly the dazzling and fabulous costumes.

Set in London in the 1970s during the punk rock era, the story revolves around the backstory of Estella, an orphaned and aspiring fashion designer who got a job with the help of her Grifter friends Jasper (Joel Fry) and Horace (Paul Walter Hauser) in the posh department store Liberty London and is eventually hired by Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). Sartorial hijinks follow on her way to becoming the full-fledged, Dalmatian-swinging villain Cruella de Vil, including a guerrilla fashion show and an haute couture dress made entirely of moths.

POPSUGAR spoke with Cruella Costume designer Jenny Beavan, an Oscar and Tony award winner whose previous credits include A room with a view and Mad Max: Anger Streetabout what it was like to outfit the cast of the colossal fashion film.

POPSUGAR: Cruella is such a fashionable film. Where did you even start?

Jenny Beavan: The way I start everything – with total terror, of course, because it was so huge. [laughs] I had real doubts whether to take it [the movie] on, but I just chose it. In any form of costume design, you start with the script and vision of the director and then make very boring lists of each character and their needs. At the same time, I did research and used my own memory because I was on the road a lot in the 70s. I started my career as a theater designer with sets, not costumes. Then I put together mood boards.

PS: What did the mood boards look like? Where did you get your inspiration from?

JB: They had a lot to do with the characters. I also do the crowd because that gives me the background of where the character is going to be from. I’m making a blackboard with dogs that look like their owners, 18th century cops, black and white cops, London street people, fashion houses. Then I’d go into the actual characters and start thinking about it [Cruella’s] Mother, the baroness. . . It’s a whole world that I live in.

PS: Are there certain fashion houses?

JB: BodyMap, Vivienne Westwood – all that kind of Sex Pistols and King’s Road vibe. I’ve always been a bit of an underdog – I wasn’t interested in all of this funky fashion, but I remember the whole feeling of that time. Dior was a great influence for the baroness too. I’ve looked through many old issues of Fashion from the 60s and 70s.

PS: Where did you buy the costumes?

JB: We basically collected everything we could find from that time. There are a lot of vintage shops and markets and costume houses in England and Los Angeles and I would basically raid them. Many of the ideas came from Portobello; There is also an amazing vintage market in New York called A Current Affair. We then went to meet Emma with this whole collection of things. At this point, I had also been thinking about how to use some of this, but some of it was purely speculative. It was more about getting a feel for her and what would look good about her – what could be the very early parts, what could look more sophisticated, what could work for the bigger moments.

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