Emma Watson knows the power of fashion. The 26-year-old actress is wearing only eco-friendly clothing during her press tour for Beauty and the Beast to raise awareness for conservation. But Watson began the trend during filming by refusing to wear a corset. Now, her costume designer is speaking about about exactly why they chose to forgo the traditional clothing piece, and how they came up with the design for Belle’s overall look.
Watson has expressed that what drew her to Belle’s character, after turning down the role of Cinderella, was Belle’s ability to be “curious, compassionate, and open-minded” — traits that Watson and costume designer Jacqueline Durran used Belle’s wardrobe in the movie to convey. And modern Belle would not have the “corseted, impossible idea of female beauty,” Durran told Women’s Wear Daily.
Everything about Belle’s look served a purpose and helped her live her life more freely. “She doesn’t wear ballet pumps, she wears boots. She has her 18th-century pockets, but she has them on the outside of her costume so that you can see they’re like a tool belt. They’ve got useful things in them that she’ll need for doing the different things she does in the village. She tucks her skirt up into her waistband so you can see her bloomers, and she wears bloomers so that she can not be trapped by the skirt.”
“Nothing she wears is inhibiting,” the costume designer said. “She can do whatever she would want to do in any of her costumes. She rides a horse.” Durran even created a few outfits that celebrate Watson’s eco-friendly initiatives, including an eco-sustainable and organic red cape with a white edge that was printed with leftover blocks from the movie set.
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(h/t Refinery29; photo via Jamie McCarthy/Getty)