To play a circus performer in the big-screen adaptation of Water for Elephants, Reese Witherspoon had to transform her chic modern style into a believable retro look, something she couldn’t have done without the expertise of wardrobe designer Jacqueline West.”In the 1930s, gowns were very revealing, ” says West. “The women of that era wore them without any underwear, so that’s what Reese did. She was very brave.” Witherspoon’s co-star Robert Pattinson also got into character with his unmentionables. “He loved that I had authentic 1930s underwear for him,” West remembers. “He said it helped transport him.”
"Before filming started, we constructed a circus tent dressing room and made these gowns right on Reese's body," West says. "She did research on the style of the 1930s and watched old movies in order to do a complete character study. She's an amazing actress."
"The script followed the novel so closely that it was easy to picture what the characters looked like. They practically dressed themselves," says West, who created both dapper evening ensembles and well-worn work looks for Robert Pattinson's character Jacob. "Rob cleans up well... and he dirties up well too!"
"They were beautiful," Witherspoon told reporters about the original costumes created by West. "It was a different time when women loved their curves and enjoyed being voluptuous."
You can win a reproduction of the red dress (approximate size 4) Reese Witherspoon wears in the film Water for Elephants. Rules:
Visit InStyle's Facebook page on Friday, April 22nd at 3pm EST. The first person to respond correctly to a special trivia question will win a reproduction of the red dress (approximate size 4) Reese Witherspoon wears in the film Water for Elephants. First come, first served. No purchase necessary. US and Canadian residents only.
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