|On Wednesday night Mary Ann, the costume designer and Amy, her
assistant, get together with Joe around 9 PM. The meeting was supposed to start at 8:00,
but an earlier meeting--about the shooting schedule--had run long.
Jon, who was also in
the scheduling meeting, sat down and got a quick tour through Mary Anns book. He had
some ideas about Dotties wardrobe ("Shes the one I couldnt
picture," he said. "It should be like (Welcome to the) Dollhouse, but not just
like it.") and Leilas ("Those pajamas are good, I think youve got
that right."), and agreed with us all that Menu Man looked good no matter what he
wore. And then he left. Hed been rehearsing all day with Leila, Menu Man and Evy,
and wardrobe is Joes area. Elizabeth sat in at the start, too, though she soon
retreated, reluctantly, to hone the schedule.
Mary Ann started her presentation much the same way she had to the Makeup and Hair Keys
the afternoon before. She had only spent about 20 minutes with Leila, she said, so
theyd just gone through some of the pajamas she would wear in the scenes in which
shes lounging around her house. She then moved on to Dr. Beverly Kirk, a handsome
but fumbling gynecologist, with whom Leila has an appointment early on in the story to
learn about how to make her baby.
Kirk wears a lab coat at his office, as doctors do, and a tweedie brown jacket away
from it, as shy men do. The answers for Kirk are so obvious there isnt much need for
discussion, although Mary Ann has tried putting him in sneakers and rain boots ("to
make him feel friendly"), but Joe doesnt think either works. In another of the
photos hes wearing dark casual shoes, Rockports perhaps, and they seem to be the
Next is Dottie, played by Heather Mattarazo, who made a very distinct inpression in Welcome
to the Dollhouse. In Cherry she plays off of Darcy, a blonde bombshell played
by Aleksa Palladino. Both are waitresses in Leilas muffin shop, and their desultory
banter is a running joke.
Heather has blossomed into "the epitome of the adolescent," Mary Ann says,
and is appalled at the idea of looking dorky in another movie. And, she points out, it
isnt so much that shes a dork, its just that she has aspirations to be
cool that she cant fulfill. Shes always just one beat off.
"Thats the joke," confirms Joe.
In any case, the various costumes Mary Ann and Amy have put together, featuring
bell-cuffs on a polyester blouse, odd arrangements of corduroy and flowered denim, and
pretty consistently dorky shoes, dont really work. Part of it is Darcys flash,
she wears Betsey Johnson, and part of it is because Heather has grown up a little and
isnt as ready to play degraded. Its hard not to picture her as the character
in Dollhouse. And she isnt. She wasnt then.
"Aleksas story," Mary Ann says, as she does for each of the characters,
"is her red bra. No matter what we put her in we can see the straps of her red
bra." Heathers story, she goes on, is her slight "offness," she just
cant get it right. Laurels story, and Isaachs too, are that they look
great in everything, so its just a matter of choosing.
Mary Ann says that David McCallum, who plays Mammy, pointed out during his fitting that
his characters story is his neck. Or rather the wrinkles on his neck. "Which
Mammy feels compelled to cover up with scarves and turtle necks. Not that David McCallum
feels that way."
By the time the meeting ends its close to 11 PM, all the principal characters
have been discussed and decisions have been made. In some cases Wardrobe already had
options picked out and would do another fitting before making final decisions. In others
their strong opinion (Menu Mans wedding suit, in the photos, looked to be a very
sharp brown suit that Isaach brought in, but Mary Ann and Amy felt so strongly that the
black velvet suit they had found for him, which in the photo looks cool but a little
slovenly, was perfect, Joe went along with them.) held sway.
And slowly but surely the styles of the characters costumes are put together.