Stylist Patricia Field explains how she developed the costumes for The Devil Wears Prada

The characters were amplified by their wardrobes.

The Devil Wears Prada turns ten this year and all sorts of fun fashion facts that we’d never heard about the movie have been emerging online.

Now costume designer Patricia Field has given some insights into the planning of the film’s wardrobe – which of course was so good that it earned her an Oscar nomination and was almost as important as the plot itself.

The first major revelation? That Miranda Priestley’s wardrobe was in no way based on Anna Wintour. ‘I consciously avoided that, actually,’ Patricia tells Racked. ‘I know her character was originally based on Anna Wintour, but I didn’t want to copy someone’s style. I wanted to create a new character for Meryl, and that started with her clothes. I knew the character had to be very fashionable, but I wanted her look to feel original and also to be tailored to Meryl Streep’s own style.’


And the designer she chose to be the building block of that character? Donna Karan. ‘After I met Meryl and got a sense of her body, I had the idea to visit Donna Karan’s archives,’ Patricia explains. ‘When Donna first started in the industry, much of her success was based on the fact that her fits were easy, they were flattering, and they emphasized the waist and shoulders without being extreme or exaggerated, without looking like something out of Dynasty. I just felt that Donna was a good start for Meryl’s character. I wanted to start with a silhouette that was flattering, and timeless at the same time.’


Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy Sachs, meanwhile, was a natural Chanel girl, she says. ‘I called Chanel, who I have a relationship with, and I showed them the script,’ shares Patricia. ‘They were very, very happy to work with me, because they wanted to see Chanel on young women. So they were very generous with me. Which was great, because after meeting Annie, I immediately thought of her as a Chanel girl—as opposed to, say, a Versace girl. The combination worked out well.’


In every film or TV show she’s worked on, Patricia always amplifies characters with her attention to their wardrobes (we’re looking at you, Carrie Bradshaw), so it’s no wonder that ten years later, we’re all still talking about Andy and Miranda’s style.

Tell us what your favourite looks from the film were on Twitter @MarieClaireUK.

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