As Pretty Woman is going to turn 30 (next year), legendary Costume Designer Marilyn Vance talks us about Julia Roberts’ street-walker uniform that became iconic.

Directed by Sakis Lalas

Interviews by Valentina De Giorgi

Produced by TheDarkCandy

Meet the Hollywood Costume Designers” docu-series, Episode 10

With the support of: ANTO Beverly Hills


Pretty Woman will turn 30 next year: it premiered on March 23, 1990.

Since then it was one of those films that I would watch over and over again and, like me, millions of people fell for the “Cinderella in vinyl boots” – as the New York Times referred to street walker Vivian Ward – and her Prince Charming – workaholic businessman Edward Lewis.

But beyond the actors – a very young Julia Roberts and a Richard Gere sexier than ever – and beyond director Garry Marshall, there is another star: the legendary costume designer Marilyn Vance.

And she’s beyond the red Norma Kamali bikini worn by Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the leather jacket worn by Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (sold at auction for $ 30,000), the pink Molly Ringwald’s prom dress in Pretty in Pink.

She was the first female costume designer for action movies as 48 hours, Die Hard 1 & 2, Predator 1 & 2, GI Jane.

In 1988 she was nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA Film Award for her work on The Untouchables. In 1990 she received a BAFTA nomination for her costumer work on Pretty Woman. In 2009 she received a Lacoste Career Achievement in Film Award at the 11th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. In 2012 her costumes for Die Hard, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, The Untouchables and Pretty Woman – considered iconic and chosen to represent Pop Culture – were displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition “Characters through Costume in Film from 1912 to 2012”. In 2015 the Pretty Woman red gown and the distressed Die Hard undershirt and pants were displayed – along with 100 other iconic costumes from the 1900’s to present day – in the exhibit “The Hollywood Costume” mounted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences along with The Victoria & Albert Museum and curated by Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis.

And the Die Hard costume is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.

All of that goes into making Marilyn Vance a legend!

We met her in Los Angeles and we asked her to tell us the details of the street-walker costume that Julia Roberts wears in the early scenes of Pretty Woman: those over-the-knee boots and cheap lycra dress that became the iconic.

IT –

Il prossimo anno Pretty Woman compirà 30 anni: uscì nei cinema il 23 marzo 1990.

Da allora è stato uno di quei film che guardavo in continuazione e, come me, milioni di persone si sono innamorate della “Cenerentola con gli stivali di vinile” – così il New York Times aveva definito la ragazza di strada Vivian Ward – e del suo Principe Azzurro – il businessman Edward Lewis.

Ma dietro agli attori – una giovanissima Julia Roberts ed un Richard Gere più sexy che mai – e dietro al mitico regista Garry Marshall, c’è un’altra star: la costume designer Marilyn Vance.

C’è lei dietro al bikini Norma Kamali che Phoebe Cates indossa in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, alla giacca di pelle di Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (venduta all’asta per 30.000 dollari), al prom dress rosa di Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.

È stata la prima donna a disegnare costumi per action movies come Die Hard 1 & 2, Predator 1 & 2, 48 Hours, GI Jane.

Nel 1988 fu nominata ai BAFTA e agli Oscar per i costumi in The Untouchables. Nel 1990 fu nominata ai BAFTA per i costumi di Pretty Woman. Nel 2009 ha ricevuto il premio alla Carriera del Costume Designers Guild. Nel 2012 i suoi costumi creati per Die Hard, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Untouchables e Pretty Woman – considerati iconici e scelti per rappresentare la cultura Pop – sono stati esposti alla mostra del Victoria & Albert Museum “Characters through Costume in Film from 1912 to 2012”. Nel 2015 l’abito rosso di Pretty Woman e la canottiera sporca che Bruce Willis indossa in Die Hard sono stati esposti nella mostra organizzata, ancora una volta, al Victoria & Albert Museum e curata da Deborah Nadoolman Landis, “The Hollywood Costume”. Infine, la canottiera di Die Hard fa parte della collezione permanente dello Smithsonian.

Tutto questo fa di Marilyn Vance una leggenda!

Noi l’abbiamo incontrata a Los Angeles e le abbiamo chiesto di raccontarci i particolari del “look da strada” che Julia Roberts indossa nelle prime scene di Pretty Woman: quegli stivali over-the-knee e il vestito di lycra che sono diventati iconici.