"27 Dresses" a costume designer's dream

Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:49am EST
 

By Leslie Simmons

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas has fashioned a career out of creating memorable styles for films, from fitting Uma Thurman in her yellow leather biker outfit for "Kill Bill-Vol. 1" to creating shiny, lacy country get-ups for Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep in "A Prairie Home Companion."

For Fox's January 18 release "27 Dresses," Thomas had to find 27 unique bridesmaid dresses for the film's star, Katherine Heigl, who plays Jane, a perennial bridal attendant whose own happy ending seems nowhere in sight.

Thomas and her team of designers scanned books, thrift stores, eBay and catalogs and listened to dozens of bridesmaid horror stories to draw inspiration.

"I've been really lucky," Thomas says. "I have only been a bridesmaid three times, and I don't have any nightmare stories. But I know a lot of people who do, and I've talked a lot about weddings and bridesmaids with them -- about the bride's personal tastes and her implications on the bridesmaid for good or bad."

Director Anne Fletcher worked closely with Thomas in finding the perfect dresses. Some of the dresses were scripted, from the over-the-top plantation wedding to one couple doing their nuptials underwater.

"I basically just told her I want them big, ugly and bright -- every color palette, every style," Fletcher says. "It was a costumer's dream. You have to get the ugliest things, and you don't have to be fashion-forward."

In the end, 50 dresses were candidates for the film, and Fletcher and Thomas had meetings to whittle that down to the 27.

"We just sat there and laughed and tried to figure out which ones worked," Fletcher says.   Continued...

 
<p>Katherine Heigl (R) poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "27 Dresses" in Los Angeles, California, January 7, 2008. For Fox's "27 Dresses," Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas had to find 27 unique bridesmaid dresses for the film's star, Heigl, who plays Jane, a perennial bridal attendant whose own happy ending seems nowhere in sight. REUTERS / Hector Mata</p>