The intriguing story behind Emma Stone’s Cruella costumes

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  • In case you missed it, Emma Stone‘s latest film, Cruella, in which she takes on the role of the iconic Disney villain.

    Set in 1970s London, the origin story follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets.

    One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman (played by Emma Thompson), a chic and disdainful fashion legend. But their relationship soon turns sour, ultimately leading Estella to embrace her revenge-bent persona, Cruella.

    Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    At the centre of the film is of course, fashion. Emma Stone’s character is an aspiring designer full of flair, and the original Cruella was known for her wildly eccentric yet impossibly chic outfits.

    Bringing them to life in this new motion picture is none other that Academy Award-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, known for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road, A Room With A View and Jane Eyre to name but a few.

    Here she talks us through her work on set.

    How inspired were you by the original Disney film for the costumes?

    Not really at all – Cruella is the pre story so in some way there is a costume arc which should end up being able to transition into Glenn Close but not in any exact way. Anthony Powell, one of the greatest ever costume designers who sadly died a couple of weeks ago, did an extraordinary piece of work but it was a long time ago and very much for the story it was telling. I would love to have gotten the chance to show him what I was up to but he was too ill for too long and I never could, although I knew him well.

    Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Did Emma Stone have any creative input in the looks?

    Not in the design process – she simply wore them brilliantly, enjoyed them and ‘sold’ them!

    How long did each look take to create?

    A long time for the huge makes – the dumpster dress and the car covering dress, also the red twisted silk dress. Other looks were put together quite quickly from vintage pieces – every one was a different challenge and took its own time to make.

    What story did you want to tell with the outfits?

    A woman becoming more proficient in her art and creativity.

    Are there any significant details in each look that we need to look out for on screen?

    No, just enjoy them please!


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