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Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Green Sneakers

ICYMI (originally posted Saturday, December 3, 2011)

Holiday time is a busy time, and I haven’t been thinking much about costumes.......except

I was invited to a holiday party the other day where there will be an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” competition, and that reminded me once again about darling Betty White. We were filming a Christmas movie called “Stealing Christmas” with Tony Danza, Lea Thompson, and Betty. Betty was playing the owner of a store that sold model trains, all decorated for Christmas, so I wanted to dress her in nothing but Christmas sweaters. But it was March, and there were no more in the stores! Nothing but spring merchandise!

Thank goodness for the internet - what did we do before it? I was able to find three great sweaters, covered with all sorts of sequinned trees, snowmen, reindeer, and parcels, from various sources, including eBay. She looked quite adorable in the sweaters, and it perfectly matched her character, the decor of her little store, and her personality!

Often costume designers have to find things that are out of season. In retail stores, try finding slippers except at Christmas time! Why should that be the only time to buy slippers? Even the thrift stores are now getting so sophisticated and well organized that they put away their summer clothes in winter, and vice versa in summer!

Shopping online is a relatively new thing for costume designers, and of course, it is not always possible when items are needed immediately. But it is quite amazing what you can find.

I was costuming the wonderful BB King, and we needed a pair of green sneakers for him for his video “One Shoe Blues.” I needed at least 4 choices, as the shoe would be prominently featured, and he wears a size 12, so where on earth was I going to find those? Thank goodness for Zappos.com (I am not affiliated in any way) because, believe it or not, they had 4 different styles of GREEN sneakers in the right size! In the end, we kept all 4 pairs.



Sometimes costume designing requires a treasure hunt, and it is quite fun. One time for “Passions,” the script called for one character to give another character a “Partridge in a Pear Tree” pin, and I thought, where on earth am I going to find that? Again, thanks eBay!

Have I been stumped? I’m sure I have. But anything can be made in Hollywood, given enough time and money.

But producers don’t want to hear us whine, so somehow, we find what we need!

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