Dress like your favorite Twilight star!
Twilight sets so many trends it’s a no-brainer the franchise also knows fashion. SELF talked to costume designer Tish Monaghan about Bella’s signature piece, getting Edward out of a suit and what one wears to a vampire showdown.
SELF: How is Bella’s look in Eclipse different from in New Moon?
Tish Monaghan: Well, it’s funny because the movies come out a year apart, but onscreen, only a week has passed. With Bella [Kristen Stewart], she’s a little more settled in public and in her relationship with Edward. And so, at the beginning, I wanted to show a little bit more of a relation to the Cullens’ colors, a cool palate, and steer away from the warm earth tones that were more evident inNew Moon.
There are quite a few romantic scenes, so I wanted to show a softer side of Bella without going too girly or feminine, because that’s just not at the heart of who she is. She’s a very practical person, so I tried to soften her up a bit with color. We open up with her wearing one of her signature plaid shirts, but it’s in a softer, lilac fabric and looks very pretty in a field of flowers. We tried to retain the integrity of her character, but just lighten her up a little.
In New Moon, Edward [Robert Pattinson] is essentially in a suit throughout most of the movie because he almost gets frozen in time on the night of Bella’s birthday party, when the tragedy occurs. So he sports that look of a restrained, contained individual throughout the film. I wanted to ensure that in Eclipse, we brought him back into the world of a grade twelve student. I wanted to make a point of getting him back to t-shirts and jeans and sneakers, a more casual look while maintaining the Cullen’s flavor, which is always a little more styled – I mean, he’s never going to look too rough and ready. We wanted to get him out of the gentlemanly quotient and into clothes that look good and fit nicely, but seem a little more youthful. For Jacob, the only thing I changed was I put him into some cutoff cargo shorts instead of cutoff jeans. We ended up using a lot of the same t-shirts because they fit him so well.
It’s fun to go out and look for the cutest, girliest and edgiest things you can find. We bought her a really great Marc Jacobs’ dress that she wears in an opening scene at school, and a really adorable fitted little A-line coat that we got fromAnthropologie. It’s just nice to find these little feminine lines with a lot of detail and a cute little belt, great tuft detail, little bow at the back. I know she really particularly loved that one, a little taupe plaid.
Bella, on the other hand, at Bella’s graduation party, she wears jeans and a button-up shirt and everyone else is dressed to the nines. Bella dresses for practicality. We got a really nice dark-green hoodie by Voeu T Laxe at Fred Segal – that would be her signature piece for Eclipse. She’s also got this great grey American Eagle jacket that she wears for most of the final sequence of the movie when she’s climbing up into the mountains and a Lole burgundy shell with a nice little female shape.
Where are you usually shopping for the characters?
Well, we had to be able to buy in quantity – especially with stunt doubles. The characters would have to have six of each outfit for themselves, and then four or five for their stunt doubles. So we weren’t spending tons of money on each outfit! We went to G-star, Club Monaco, Armani Exchange, H&M, Banana Republic. All the brands you see in the movie are out there in the public domain.
With all of the workout wear, we wanted to create a look that was slick, sleep and functional. They could look good and make a visual statement, but be ready for action. Emmett had a lot of action, so I wanted him to stand out more than others. I gave him an Old Navy hoodie with a beautiful tone to it. I didn’t buy it at Old Navy because it was cheap, I bought it because it was a creamy off-white reminiscent of the color he wore in the original Twilight. When everyone came in for their fittings, we would ensure that they could lift their legs high enough when they were running – sometimes we would get them a larger pair of jeans for certain sequences just so that they did have that movement. You don’t have to stick to just workout wear – we would end up getting a cute hoodie at H&M. I just wanted to give the characters something the audience could interpret as “OK, this is what the Cullens wear when they’re out exercising.” But, again, it’s form-fitting clothing they can move in.
What brands were you using as workout gear?
We used Mountain Engineering Co-op, a Canadian outdoor company, North Face, Nike, the Gap. We would bring them everything for all kinds of scenes – J Brand, 7 for All Mankind, etc. – and it ended up being Gap that they’d love and go buy for themselves. I didn’t want everybody in jeans, but I certainly wasn’t going to put them in sweatpants or anything like that. And then when we moved to the very final sequence where they have the fight with the newborn vampires, I wanted to make it look like they were really dressed for action and I put them in very very dark colors, like black or almost black.
Eclipse also uses flashbacks to give us some background on the histories of the Cullens and the Quileute indians.
These movies are awesome for a costume designer because we were able to go back into three different time periods, as well as the contemporary world. We had Jasper, who used to be a Confederate soldier – he was one of my favorite characters to dress for this sequence because I love research. We found a source that made Confederate uniforms for reenactments, and we probably put about forty hours of over-dying and aging into it so he looked real and presentable when he’s riding across the rolling hills, kicking up dust on his horse.
And with Rosalie, who has a flashback to the 1930s, we were able to use some pieces that were original ’30s costumes. Then we had to make a wedding dress for her that had a 30-foot train and long, billowing veil for the scene when she’s coming down this long hotel hallway with her mind set on attacking her fiancÃ© who had actually almost killed her. It’s a fantastic scene, because there’s this transition from her being this sweet 18-year-old woman who’s madly in love with her elegant, wealthy – and, unbeknownst to her, evil – fiance.
The most exciting part, to me, was recreating the Quileute indians – we would read diaries and shipping logs from Spanish explorers who sailed along the Pacific coast, we would study paintings from the era by traveler Paul Kane, and we studied original garments at the Museum of Archeology in Canada. We had to make, I would say, sixty costumes, including a costume for Bella, because she transitions into the role of one of the Quileute characters, the chief’s wife. We worked on those garments for probably about six weeks with a team of about eight people: we made jewelry from abalone shells, we interwove different colored pieces of wool blankets into white blankets, we made shoes for them out of rough cord, we made our main garments out of groundcover which is incredibly itchy for the people wearing it, and we made a cedar cape – big rough wraps of twine and hemp that ended up looking, you know, in the big brushes as if they were woven cedar. It was really a challenge, and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.