You know how sometimes, you'll watch a film you've not seen in ages and it suddenly hits you just how good it is? I did that this weekend with Pretty Woman; I've always loved it, but I think it's been such a long time since I last watched it that I'd forgotten how wonderful it is.
Ok, yes, Pretty Woman is hardly a life-changing movie, in fact it's schmaltzy and a bit silly and the way it glosses over the seedy world of prostitution is actually kind of horrible (never before has the world's oldest profession been made to look so appealing - "come and be a hooker; you'll have all kinds of fun and probably end up being whisked away by a handsome millionaire who'll take you shopping and give you diamonds and stuff. Oh, just ignore that dead body they're pulling out of a bin... well yes... she was a prostitute too but umm... So how's your knowledge of cars?") but still, it's one of those ultimate chick-flick types that you just can't help but watch and enjoy. I think this is thanks, in large part, to Julia Roberts, who is impossibly lovely throughout. Don't get me wrong, Richard Gere is alright, but it's all about Julia really, isn't it? Also, I've just found out that she was only 22 in Pretty Woman, which seems mental to me and makes me feel old, because I'm 23 and, last time I checked, I hadn't starred in an iconic rom-com. FML.
Believe it or not, it's actually twenty years since Pretty Woman first came out (to be honest, it's not that difficult to believe - check out Julia's lovely big hair and massive eyebrows) and in honour of its 20th Anniversary, Elle.com interviewed the costume designer, Marilyn Vance. Did you know that, unlike today, where costume designers in movies often do more of a stylist job, sourcing various different clothes and then putting them together, (eg Sex and the City - the costumes are usually a mix of designer and vintage clothes that Patricia Field has specially selected and styled up to reflect each character's personal tastes) Marilyn Vance and her team actually designed and made the majority of the costumes in Pretty Woman?! Read the full interview here, it's really interesting.
Vivian: You work on commission, right?
Shop Assistant: Er... yes.
Vivian: Big mistake. Huge. I have to go shopping now.
SO GOOD! I hate snooty sales people. When sales assistants have their staff training, I think this scene should be played, along with this voice over -
"This is what happens if you're rude to people - Julia Roberts comes in and embarasses you. True story."
For me, possibly the most memorable costume from the whole film is THE RED DRESS. It's just amazing, honestly, I love it. Sexy but elegant, structured but soft and drapey (I know drapey isn't really a word, but I'm tired and it's the best I can do right now, OK?!), the colour, the shape, the little sleeves, argh it's perfection! I think it's probably my favourite ever dress from a movie.
When my Mum was younger, she'd quite often get a dress professionally made if she was going to a fancy event, and she once even had the pink dress that Madonna wears in the Material Girl video (which of course, is actually the Marilyn Monroe dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) made for her, but in black. Now, I never really have any super fancy events to go to, and even on the rare occasion that I do, I'll just buy a dress from a shop, because, it would never even occur to me to come up with my own design when there's already countless dresses just waiting for me to buy them in French Connection etc. But, maybe when I'm a proper grown up, and I've got somewhere seriously fancy to go; say if I was going to meet the Obamas or something, I would think about getting a dress made, and if I did, I would want it to be like the red Pretty Woman dress. It's my dream dress. In the interview with Elle, Marilyn Vance says that, initially, the dress was going to be black, but she managed to convince the studio to go with red. Imagine if it had been black! It still would have been lovely, but just not as special somehow. Well done Marilyn, you're very, very clever.
The perfect dress.
Beautiful, beautiful Julia. Look at that face.
What's your favourite costume from Pretty Woman? And are there any other films that you love with fabulous costumes?