Friday, May 7, 2010

It’s Complicated – An Interview with Meryl Streep’s Stylist, Amanda Ross – For 303 Magazine

Interview by Ben Simkins

When you get Nancy Meyers (Something’s Gotta Give) and Meryl Streep, to female powerhouses of the silver screen together in one project, you can count on three things: award noms, sharp dialogue and meticulously orchestrated fashion. As It’s Complicated finds its way to DVD this week and we watch Alec Baldwin fall over himself as the older…newer Streep, 303 asks the question, “Who’s responsible for making Streep look so darn good?”

That would be the incomparable Amanda Ross. This fashion mogul has been setting trends for more than two decades. Starting her career at Conde Nast, Ross has added her voice to Harper’s Bazaar, add her style expertise to the cast of NBC’s Lipstick Jungle and was recently named W Hotel’s Global Fashion Director. Ben Simkins talked to Ross about styling Streep for the film and about style tips for Denver.

Ben Simkins: Meryl Streep embodies the chameleon actress, and her wardrobe obviously plays a large part in this process. While styling her in the film, It’s Complicated, can you tell me the process that you went through to create the look? Was it a collaborative effort with her?

Amanda Ross: Absolutely, it was a collaborative effort. Meryl has great taste and she knows what looks good on her, but she was very open to trying new things. I consulted with the costume designer who was brilliant, Sonia Grande, as well as Nancy Meyers–it was a big collaboration. Everyone brings their own ideas about the character and you run around the city trying to find it, calling showrooms. You know, this was about a working woman with a Californian lifestyle sensibility. It was fun to dress Meryl in a contemporary look that wasn’t part of a character look, like how she wore a nun’s habit in Doubt… We wanted to dress a woman who, at sixty, had sex appeal. That was the foremost in Nancy’s, and everyone who worked on the movie’s mind, and not make it look like a man’s version of a sixty year old woman. It’s a love story, and Jane Adler character [played by Streep] had style. She wore jeans, belts and accessories and she didn’t look like she was trying to look like a twenty year old. She looked like herself: contemporary, relaxed, effortless and part of the background on her character was that she had lived in Paris when she was younger, so she definitely had that sort of flair and sensibility. You notice she wears a lot of Hermes scarves. Hermes has gotten a ton of calls and people coming into the shop wanting to know what exactly, what print of which scarf. She wore three in the movie. So, it’s really fun, exciting to get that kind of feedback and it’s so much fun to read a script, visualize the character, run around the world trying to execute it and funnel it down into the fitting… It’s such a fascinating process! And to then execute it, have it go to film, and see it on print is just enormously rewarding and exciting to be part of...

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