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About A Girl:

Stacey Battat

Learn how The Bling Ring's costume wardrobe designer got to pick the perfect pieces for the not-so-perfect crime.


What was the initial vision that Sofia came to you with, and what was it like working with her? Her movies always have a dreamy feel, so was that something you tried to incorporate into your costume choices?

Sofia is one of my favorite people to work with. She is great at creating a mood in her films by using things like music, light and camera angles to tell the story and give a sense of emotion. It's definitely some thing I think about when working with her. This movie is more frenetic than some of her others and I hope the costumes helped to contribute to the mood she was creating.

Where did the inspiration for the costumes come from? Did you reference the Pretty Wild girls at all?

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. It was incredibly inspiring just to be in L.A. and do things like have lunch at The Ivy, but I also managed to get my hands on a pile of back issues of Us Weekly dating all the way back to 2004, and of course I did watch Pretty Wild, I tried not to let the look of the real girls dictate what the characters looked like but I'm sure they made their way in anyway.

Since The Bling Ring is based on a true story, did you ever look to the original Bling Ring kids for costume inspiration?

I generally like to come up with my own ideas of what something should look like and then look to the real thing only after I have a strong idea of what I think it should look like The Bling Ring isn't a story that required accuracy to tell and I find that it hinders my creativity when I look to the most obvious source of inspiration first. I've never met the real kids but having read the Vanity Fair article and Sofia's script I had an idea of who I thought they were. I wanted to tell the story of our characters and it some ways they differ from the real kids or the images of the real kids that are out there.

In the movie, all of the characters are teens, pretty big partiers, and are very on-trend. How did you keep the characters looking different from one another?

Sofia wrote them as being very distinct so it was easy to differentiate them with clothes.

You guys filmed the Paris closet scenes in her house, right? Were those her actual clothes in the closets, or did you add your own clothing choices into the mix?

The majority of the clothes in the closet were Paris' clothes but we did add our own to the mix. In Paris' closet we added Nicki and Sam's Versace dresses, Sam's Dolce and Gabbana leopard dress, NIcki's pink Hervé Léger dress and of course, Marc's pink Louis Vuitton shoes.

What about the other celebrity scenes? Did you specifically choose the items, or did any of the celebrities mentioned get to work with you and pick out what they wanted featured? (Like the shoes that Israel's character stole and wore.)

The dressing of the closets was a collaborative effort between myself, Anne Ross the production designer, and Sara Parks the set decorator. We didn't work with any of the celebrities but I hope we were accurate in our choices of what they would have. We were very conscious of which brands and things went where. Megan Fox had Rick Owens and Alexander Wang, and Rachel Bilson had Chanel—I hope those choices were accurate on our end.

Since the actors are all young themselves, did you let them wear any of their own clothes on set?

No, I wanted them to have different things all the time and never wear the same thing twice.

Where did you find the clothing that you used? Any particular brands that you felt encapsulated that time period?

I found the clothing all over. We used lots of different brands and both high and low end things.

 

Was there anything custom-made for the actors? If so, what was it?

I love to make things for movies because it's nice to have things that are unique to the character and the film that can't be purchased and are not recognizable. This was a film where I wanted the clothes to be recognizable and I chose the most obviously branded things so that they could be places. That said, we did make a few things for Marc. The blazer he wears in the scene where they walk down Robertson was custom-made. It's a black blazer with leather sleeves. We had him steal it at Brian Austin Green's house.

Leslie Mann plays Emma Watson's mom in the movie, and her velour sweat suits were perfect for her character. Who or what was your inspiration for that?

Sofia mentioned that she wanted her to look like the one of those moms that saw herself as a best girlfriend and not so much a parental figure. Given the directive it was a no brainer to have her dress a bit like her daughters.

While some of the other actors are just starting out, American audiences are pretty familiar with Emma Watson for her previous roles. What was it like to put her in outfits that are so outside her usual realm of wardrobe choices?

Emma was a really good sport and it was loads of fun creating Nicki with her.

If you could style any celebrity on the planet, who would you choose and why?

I have a soft spot for Brittney Spears.


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