Film & TV

Pretty Woman - A Masterclass In Costume Design

Over 30 years after its release, Garry Marshall’s beloved rags-to-riches film Pretty Woman is not only remembered as the film that made Julia Roberts an A-lister, but also for the unforgettable and often recreated fashion moments — all thanks to award-winning costume designer, Marilyn Vance.

January 1, 2024

Over 30 years after its release, Garry Marshall’s beloved rags-to-riches film Pretty Woman is not only remembered as the film that made Julia Roberts an A-lister, but also for the unforgettable and often recreated fashion moments — all thanks to award-winning costume designer, Marilyn Vance.

For the film, Vance, who also worked on iconic “Brat Pack” films such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Pretty in Pink, was tasked with making Roberts’ character “Vivienne Ward” transition from cheap escort to a Rodeo Drive fashionista, and found inspiration in places such as Rudi Gernreich’s 1960’s mod swimsuits Vance remembered from childhood.

In a 2016 article written by Vance for The Hollywood Reporter, she shared, “Vivienne’s journey begins through fashion — by seeking help to change her wardrobe to fit Edwards’s high-class lifestyle. Each and every outfit including the red gown, was custom made for her character, because of the fashion cycle. Otherwise, things could have looked dated. We made everything couture-style.”

But alongside the now iconic costume design, the accessories were also crucial to creating a polished image. In the same interview, Vance shared about accessorizing the costumes, "We were also really low key with accessories. We stuck with one pair of pearl earrings she wore with seven changes. Piling on is easy, trying to take it all away and help the character is difficult.”

This December, from the personal collection of Marilyn Vance, Julien’s is proud to offer a pair of 14k gold-filled simulated pearl drop earrings worn by Roberts in multiple scenes of the classic film, including after receiving a Rodeo Drive makeover, and in the iconic ending scene where Ward and Edward Lewis (played by Richard Gere) embrace on the fire escape.

Register to bid now at julienslive.com!

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