Cruella is not only the live-action origin story of one of Disney’s most famous villains. It’s also the story of Disney’s most fashionable villain – Cruella de Vil. The costumes and fashion of 1970s London do not disappoint from either Emma Stone who plays Estella/Cruella and Emma Thompson who plays The Baroness, a fashion icon.
Stone and Thompson both agree that Costume Designer Jenny Beavan is a genius and that it was so fun to wear these glorious costumes. Thompson said, “I spent decades playing what my mother used to call, ‘Good women in frocks.’ And now I got to play a really evil woman in frocks. But oh, boy, the frocks. I mean, they wore me, actually.”
They compared the costumes to works of art. Thompson added, “Every time Em and I would come on set, we’d just look at each other and walk around each other, like we were sculptures or works of art or something.” And frankly, they were works of art.
But don’t call Beavan a designer. She said,”I am not a fashion designer, I’m a storyteller.” And each of these costumes told a story as Cruella is able to go a little darker than a traditional Disney film.
Were the costumes comfortable? Thompson laughs. “My underwear was like a sort of ship’s rigging. There were people hauling on ropes. It was a lot, so peeing was hard, and involved a team of people. I had wigs as well. So I was a great deal taller than I’m used to being. I used to have to move in and out of spaces sideways as well.” I couldn’t stop laughing at Emma Thompson’s descriptions.
She had no sympathy for the more slender Stone, because she didn’t feel Stone got the proper feel of flesh moving through corsets like a toothpaste through a tube. “What you don’t have, if you have flesh, then what you can do is just what they used to do in the olden days, is you take the flesh, and like me, you squeeze it in the middle. It moves up and down, like toothpaste in a tube. So you can really make kind of quite extreme shapes, and that’s really good fun.”
Emma Thompson, we appreciate your sacrifices, because the costumes in Cruella are exquisite and make the price of admission worth it alone. Cruella is now in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access!