Breaking Dawn Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson Talks About Edward and Bella's Costumes and Rob and Kristen

The most critical element with this movie is, of course, the wedding (*spoiler alert* though, ed note: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT TWICE ALREADY?), and this was misleading in the previews but there’s a dream sequence wedding and a real wedding. How did you delineate the two dresses from each other?
The script gave us a great opportunity to get inside Bella’s thoughts about the impending wedding. There’s a nightmare wedding and her perfect wedding. For the nightmare, we chose something that was a version of the dress that she would hate to wear. Something that’s uncomfortable and a dress Bella would be embarrassed in. It was stiff and had a boned bodice that showed a lot of bare skin which she’d be horrified by because she’s a bit of a tomboy.

There’s nothing very girly about her style so we had a huge, cumbersome, puffy skirt. We just tried to picture everything she’d find difficult to deal with and import that into a dress.

The real dress fit Bella like a second skin and I was really glad about how all that worked out. It reflects her simplicity and elegance. It’s not too girly, I thought it really hit the right note of having some vintage elements while working well for a modern woman.
That dress was stunning. I went to the midnight screening and it was an entire theater filled to the gills with girls sighing in unison. The lace panel in the back with hundreds of covered buttons, we all swooned.
That’s the great thing about Kristen, she has such an amazing physique so we thought the best thing to do was to show that. The dress really reveals curves and highlights each part of her shape but it’s all covered up and so we thought it was sexy but completely elegant.
There was such speculation for a long time about who would design that dress but it was Carolina Herrera all along, right?
Carolina had worked with Stephenie personally for events. And they’d struck up a friendship and dialogue so we talked to Carolina for the dress.
As you do…
[Laughs] Right! As you do… They’d been talking about the day that this dress would hit the big screen for a while and I was happy to help with the design as a consultant because it had to work with the rest of the film. So we needed complementary language getting the same look across.
Edward looked phenomenal in his tuxedo. Details on the boys please!
We put a lot of work into that too because we wanted to have them display a special, made-to-order feel. We didn’t want people to feel like you could just go out and buy them.
Well, there’s nothing off-the-rack about any of this.
[Laughs] No off-the-rack! Never. I drew up my ideal ideas for all the tuxedos. We wanted them to have a vintage feel, that sort of Edwardian turn-of-the-century vibe. Edward says, “I’ve been waiting a hundred years to marry you,” so we thought Alice would have fun riffing off of that.
But at the same time we didn’t want it to look theatrical, we wanted contemporary, young, and fresh. I drew up something that combined the lines of Edwardian formalwear and we made it up in beautiful contemporary Italian wools and gorgeous shirting materials. We had a fantastic collaboration with Brioni. Do you know Brioni, the wonderful Italian tailors?
Uh, seriously? Do I know Brioni? Obvi. Come on Michael…
[Laughs] I’m sorry, of course you do. So I sent my drawings over to the incredible tailors at Brioni in Italy and they sent back these beautiful suits. That was a really fun.
Belstaff? I can’t imagine any of the Cullens wearing Belstaff…
Right! There are two jackets that Jacob wears.
Oh, of course that makes sense.
And the jacket that Kristen wears in the wedding rehearsal scene where she’s wearing street clothes and that’s Belstaff.
Can we get onto a really important topic now? Um. Edward. IN SHORTS. Discuss.
How crazy is that?
Insane! I’d never dreamt that I’d see the back of that man’s knee.
There’s going to be so many inches of journalism written about this.
It’s breaking news. It’s MAJOR.
It’s a challenge to put an Englishman in shorts.
And Robert Pattinson is an Englishmen.
They have an instant freakout! I think it has to do with their public school uniforms that they wear as kids.
It’s all charcoal boiled wool.
Completely. Itchy, scratchy… they go, NOOOOOO long pants! We tried all sorts of different lengths but we ended up with a really classic look. My references were the Kennedys on summer vacation. That classic American summer wear. We went crisp with cool natural fibers, nautical navies and whites, trying to capture that classic style. More often than not, we went with a rolled-up chino but we didn’t think we could get away with not doing a short for a Brazilian scorching honeymoon so there you go.
Speaking of textures and shapes, you know what was highly entertaining? Watching Bella arch her back and awkwardly prancing around in lingerie trying to entice Edward in that honeymoon montage.
That was such a fun moment because once you get to know Kristen, just the idea of her slipping into something black and lacy is hilarious. She has a physical aversion to it, she’s definitely your jeans and T-shirt kind of girl. I think she really didn’t find it hard to act those scenes because there’s a lot of Kristen there. And also there’s something so playful about Alice packing her bags and planting those items in her suitcase. It’s so cute.
Tell us who made the negligee and the polka dot number. I’m sure they’ll get sold out in moments I’m sure.
There will be a worldwide search. I believe the negligee was La Perla, the knickers and bra was, do you know Agent Provocateur?
These are excerpts from the interview. You can read the complete interview at  source | Via @skipped_a_beat

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