It’s a tale as old as time. Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular Disney films of all time, and fans still see it as a go-to piece of their movie collection. The film debuted back in 1991 to critical acclaim, and next year will see the franchise come back after a long wait. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens with co-star in a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Best, and the remake is set to flood fans with nostalgia.
So, naturally, Watson wanted to ensure that Belle’s iconic gold gown was sewn to perfection.
The actress spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the impressive wardrobe piece and described it as “utterly whimsical” and “magical.”
“The scene that I wear that dress in, and I have that dance in, it really tells the story of Beast and Belle falling in love,” she said.”
“You know, we don’t have a huge amount of time in the story to tell that story. The dance, for me, is really where the audience starts to see it happening and starts knowing that it is happening. This is total, blissful escapism. You are transported to another world. The dress, and the dancing, and the candlelight, and the music — it was really fun to work on every aspect of that. Jacqueline Durran is just such a wonderful person and costume designer. I think she did such a amazing job.”
Jacqueline Durran, a costume designer on the film, took time to talk about the dress’ specific details. She said the crew camera-tested dozens of materials and colors to make sure the gown popped on screen. Durran ultimately decided to go with satin organza material for sheen and volume. As for Belle’s shoes, Durran said the heroine wears “really beautiful hand-painted shoes with golden flowers.”
“They are heeled, 18th-century shoes, but they are something that Belle can run in and that she can go off and save her father in,” she explained. Durran went on and said Watson really wanted Belle to be an active heroine who could run about. “For Emma, it was important that the dress was light and that it had a lot of movement,” Durran said. “In Emma’s reinterpretation, Belle is an active princess. She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way.”
Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Beauty and the Beast will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.