In the new movie Bride Wars, newly engaged best friends Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have always shared a dream of marrying at the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City. But unlike their wedding plans, the two brides' styles are anything but similar. Lawyer Liv favors designer pieces in neutral and muted tones for a classic, streamlined look, while school teacher Emma mixes and matches vintage clothing with colorful accessories.
We asked the movie's costume designer Karen Patch to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the wedding dresses and standout outfits from the hit romantic comedy and tell us how she chose styles well-suited for each bride-to-be's personality.
Vera Wang created this classic tulle wedding dress for Liv. “I had many different styles to choose from at Vera Wang,” says Patch. “They gave me a large selection of photos to go through. Then I choose this one and redesigned it. The idea for her dress was that she was the iconic bride—the bride on the top of the wedding cake. She was the bride who could have anything she wanted.”
School teacher Emma's taffeta dress, which was also designed by Vera Wang, had a soft, feminine feel. “I wanted it to look entirely different,” says Patch, who constructed the dress to look as though it had been handed down from Emma's mother. “Even though they are best friends, they are very different people. Our choice was for something that looked timelessly romantic.”
Liv (Kate), in a Marchesa dress, and Emma (Anne), in a J. Crew dress, show off their individual styles as they gossip at a friend's wedding party. For Liv, fashion is all about creating a sleek, elegant look. “Kate's character is able to both afford and be very interested in clothes,” says Patch. “She is the type of person who would buy one good piece in a season, and it's a classic piece that she can always have rather than a lot of inexpensive things.” Emma, on the other hand, works with a more limited budget to combine “the same things together in a different way so that they look like a new outfit.”
Liv, in a Burberry trench coat, talks with Emma, who wears a Vera Wang Lavender wrap coat. “With both of them, I built a closet. Each of them had several coats,” says Patch. “Kate's coat works better with suits, and she's a lawyer so she wears a lot of dark colors and grays. Anne wears more garden colors. She wears floral tones, and her wardrobe in general is more colorful.” When accessorizing, Patch also chose looks that reflect each character's lifestyle. Throughout the film Liv carried Tod's bags (like the black bag pictured here), while Emma carried bags by Coach.
“Kate's veil was very simple—just a piece of bobbinet on a comb,” says Patch, who went to great lengths to keep the brides' looks from being photographed by paparazzi during the filming. She made giant capes to hide their dresses and even made hoods to cover their hair.
For her something blue, Emma wore a floral pin by Tacori. The custom-designed pin had a special significance for the character. “It falls out of another bride's hair when Emma and Liv are both little girls watching a wedding at the Plaza,” says Patch. “And the little flower becomes something that passes between them.”
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