It may seem like the days—even hours—leading up to your wedding are an unending loop of crazy moments, but that's especially true in Naked, which premieres on Netflix on August 11. The comedy stars Marlon Wayans as a groom forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours leading up to his wedding over and over again until he gets it right. (Think Groundhog's Day meets The Best Man.) Regina Hall stars as the bride-to-be who patiently waits while Wayans gets his act together. Filmed at the end of 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina, the picture reunited director Michael Tiddes with costume designer Ariyela Wald-Cohain, who created Hall's custom bridal looks. Here, she gives us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Hall's fantasy gown and flirty reception dress.
How did you come on to the film?
I started working with [producer] Rick Alvarez a couple years ago; we did A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2, Fifty Shades of Black, and Marlon’s pilot, which got picked up on NBC. Right after that, he called me and said we’re going to Charleston with this movie. He sent me the script, and it was very exciting because before, we did “spoof” movies, and this was the first movie where we actually got to make our own original designs.
What was your vision for Regina Hall's wedding look?
Initially we wanted it to be very romantic, seeing that the movie takes place around Charleston. We wanted something very traditional but a little bit edgy, a little bit more modern. The director, in his mind, had one idea, and I had another, and we ended up coming up with this sketch for a classic mermaid silhouette with a fishtail train. Taking into consideration Regina’s coloring, we wanted it to be light but not look really white on her skin, so I used two different layers of fabric—lace over champagne charmeuse. The idea was just to be very soft, romantic, but also flattering. And the way it’s edited in the movie, they reveal just a little bit of her and then suddenly we see her and it needed to be a wow moment.
Where did you find your inspiration for the design?
I’ve designed some wedding dresses—I designed my own dress a couple years ago—but the first place I started was Brides magazine! Then I went online. Because the movie is coming out almost a year after we made it, I looked to runway for 2017, because I wanted the dress to be current. Then we made a mock version of the gown to put on Regina so we could be sure the silhouette was going to enhance her body and to make sure we all liked the way it looked from the back and the front.
What was Regina's feedback?
It was interesting because she’s been married on screen a couple of times (With This Ring, Girls Trip ), so she didn’t want something she had worn before, but she was pretty easygoing. Originally, I wasn’t going to cut the mermaid dress at the waist; I was going to have it flow and be long, and then toward the end, we realized we wanted to break up the body to give her some detail on the waist to bring it in a little bit more. We ended up finding some really beautiful belts, and we sewed one into the dress. That was a detail that we didn’t have at the very beginning, and it ended up being really dominant and enhanced the way she looks in the dress. The day we put it on, she was excited and really radiant.
How did the location, Charleston, play into the look?
Because Charleston is a wedding destination, I really wanted to bring in something from that city, so I had this amazing idea of going shopping for the fabric there, and finding all this lace there, and it’s going to be so amazing that it’s local. We went to every bridal store there, and they told us people are not making [their dresses] any more, they’re just buying them. They suggested I go to Joann; I’ve got Joann in Los Angeles! I want something special! I ended up finding this beautiful lace that we trimmed the veil with, which I did buy in Charleston, so I was able to use some local fabric in the design.
What considerations did you have to make so she could act in her wedding dress?
First of all, we made two dresses because we shot so many days, if something would happen or makeup would get on it... It wasn’t as heavy as it could have been because the charmeuse was very silky and light. The heaviness was from the alençon lace that was on top. We did make one dress [for when] she’s doing scenes where she’s sitting; we opened it up in the back so it wouldn't be as tight, and it wasn’t as long. The scene where Scott Foley [who plays her ex-boyfriend in the movie] picks her up and runs outside with her, the train was not as long as I would have done if she had just been standing the whole time. It definitely took a while in the morning to glue her in, especially around the shoulders; we had to almost stick the lace to her so every movement was not going to reveal something we did not want to reveal.
Her character also changes into a second look for the reception, which is definitely on trend.
We were debating that. Originally, we did want her to stay in the same dress because we felt it would fit her character—she’s so easy going. We were just going to have the one dress and then take the train off for the reception. It would be cut above her ankles, so it would be a cool, modern dress, like an evening gown, but it wouldn’t be as dramatic as the wedding dress. But down the road, they decided to do a tango at the reception and the director called and said he thought we needed something flirty. Instead of changing the original mermaid ceremony dress, I designed a swing dress that we did on a fabric that we cut on a bias so when they danced, it would enhance the dance. It gave so much to the whole sequence with the dress flowing, modern, sexy...theatrically, it was very beautiful.
Naked premieres on Netflix August 11.