- Crafting the final dress for Jennifer Coolidge’s character in “The White Lotus” required technical expertise and multiple versions of the dress.
- The dress needed to be able to withstand shooting in water and on location in a controlled tank, as well as using stunt doubles.
- Weighted fishing weights were added to the dress to ensure it stayed down in the water, but also floated up elegantly in one particular shot.
- The jewelry was purchased from local artists, while the purse was a notable designer brand to reflect the character’s personality.
- The shoes had a wonky heel and mirrored facet, and multiple pairs were used for aquatic shots.
- The fabric for the dress was carefully selected to reflect an Italian influence, with floral and fruit prints.
- The character’s final dresses were designed to showcase a more elegant and fragile side.
- The costume designer and Jennifer Coolidge worked together to strike a balance between elegance and chaos in the character’s looks.
Costume designer Alex Bovaird shares insights into the technical aspects of creating the final dress worn by Jennifer Coolidge’s character, Tanya, in the HBO drama series “The White Lotus.” The dress had to withstand shooting in water, both on location and in a controlled tank, as well as the use of stunt doubles. Bovaird reflects on the process of crafting the dress, which needed to capture Tanya’s serene and jellyfish-like appearance in the scene.
The dress was custom-made by an Italian seamstress, with multiple versions created to accommodate different shooting scenarios. Bovaird reveals that seven dresses were ultimately made for the character. To ensure the dress stayed down in the water, fishing weights were added. However, for one specific shot, the dress needed to float up elegantly, so it had to be less weighted, requiring plenty of trial and error.
In terms of accessories, the jewelry was purchased from local artists in Taormina, Sicily. The idea was to showcase items that Tanya would have picked up while on holiday. Additionally, Tanya carried a Valentino purse to highlight her penchant for notable designer brands. The shoes chosen for the character were Betsey Johnson with a turned, wonky heel and a mirrored facet.
When it came to choosing the fabric for the dress, Bovaird and her team searched diligently for the right floaty chiffon. The goal was to find a fabric with an Italian influence, featuring florals and fruits. The fabric chosen was from Emanuel Ungaro and was found in Sicily.
As the character progressed throughout the series, her looks evolved. In the final dresses, Tanya opted for a more elegant and streamlined silhouette, reminiscent of her mother’s dressing style. However, the fragile and doll-like quality of Tanya’s past was also brought back, reflecting her vulnerabilities.
Throughout the costume design process, Bovaird collaborated with Jennifer Coolidge to strike the right balance between elegance and chaos. They aimed to avoid Tanya becoming a caricature and instead created looks that were both elegant and slightly chaotic, reflecting the character’s inner complexities.
The technical elements involved in creating Tanya’s final dress in “The White Lotus” highlight the meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship required in costume design for film and television. From the fabric selection to the addition of fishing weights, each element played a crucial role in bringing the character and scene to life.
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