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The Story Behind J Lo’s Main Marriage ceremony-Costume Second in “Marry Me”


“Whenever you work with someone who’s on the degree of Jennifer [Lopez], you need to deliver your A-game each second of day-after-day,” says Caroline Duncan, the ultratalented costume designer who stored J Lo trying fabulous in each body of her new rom-com, “Marry Me.” “She cares a lot in regards to the visible, and she or he has an actual feeling for it.” It was a thrill, Duncan tells POPSUGAR, to “collaborate with somebody who has such an understanding of match and storytelling by clothes . . . Jennifer is an incredible choreographer of all moments.”

Duncan was tasked with an attention-grabbing problem when she joined the crew of “Marry Me.” The costume designer, who has labored on productions helmed by Ava DuVernay, M. Evening Shyamalan, and Steven Spielberg, amongst others, was given the meta process of dressing a fictional pop star performed by one of the vital well-known nonfictional pop stars of our time.

“The character shouldn’t be Jennifer however has a whole lot of overlapping traits with Jennifer . . . so she introduced a lot to the desk by way of the nuances of the non-public life versus the general public lifetime of a pop star,” says Duncan. Though Duncan has had ample expertise as a fancy dress designer, “Marry Me” challenged her to suppose extra like a stylist, since Lopez’s character Kat Valdez could be dressed by a stylist. “It is a sort of a meta expertise as a fancy dress designer,” Duncan says. “I labored carefully with Jennifer’s stylists, who had been so useful and beneficiant in catching me in control in what it could be wish to be a stylist for a pop star, which is a really totally different job than what I usually do. It was actually enjoyable to put on a distinct hat.”

MARRY ME, Jennifer Lopez, 2022. ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The swoonworthy marriage ceremony costume Lopez wears as Kat Valdez is so spectacular that even the film cannot wait to disclose it — the title credit aren’t even over after we’re gasping at its magnificence.

“The thought for the marriage costume was to have a centerpiece for Kat’s efficiency, her stage marriage ceremony, her public marriage ceremony, that may really feel half performative costume, half essentially the most exaggerated and romantic Cinderella marriage ceremony robe anybody has ever worn — after which additionally supremely aspirational, as solely a pop star would ever have a necessity for a costume of this nature,” Duncan says. The costume they selected was one which Lopez had noticed in designer Zuhair Murad‘s runway bridal present. “There have been a couple of clothes that she cherished from that assortment, however this was the one that actually spoke to us,” Duncan says. “The truth that the costume wasn’t white was an enormous consider why all of us fell in love with it. It is a rose gold with champagne notes, and it felt prefer it was for a girl who has been married a couple of instances and a lady who’s getting married beneath lights and on the stage. There was simply an additional factor of blush and sparkle.”

Past “blush and sparkle,” the glittering fairytale robe brings some main drama. “The drama of it was actually a part of the attract and a part of what we gravitated to after we landed on it as a staff,” says Duncan. “And the amount of it — so dramatic. The costume is comprised of over 9 layers of horse hair and tulle and has a 25-foot prepare. The veil itself is one thing like 20 ft lengthy.”

It seems Kat Valdez’s costume has some metaphorical layers hidden among the many many literal layers of tulle. “It is also actually conjuring what is occurring to her,” Duncan tells POPSUGAR. “The costume actually takes over the marriage. After which when her fairytale does not occur and she or he marries a stranger publicly, there’s one thing very stifling and claustrophobic in regards to the costume — like she will be able to’t get away from the general public’s face; she’s within the largest costume that is ever been worn.”

The solid and crew agreed that the marriage costume was a showstopper, nevertheless it additionally required a whole lot of consideration. “The practicality of the costume, no person cherished,” Duncan says, laughing. “As a result of it is so massive, it took like 5 folks to hold it and put it on Jen.”

MARRY ME, Jennifer Lopez (center), 2022.  ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

One other problem for Duncan was constructing an onstage wardrobe for Kat. These items did not simply must look good, in addition they needed to sustain with Lopez’s high-powered choreography and transfer together with her. “These appears are all breathable dance materials,” says Duncan. “They’re all efficiency appears.”

MARRY ME, Jennifer Lopez, 2022. ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

A number of the film’s most dynamic scenes are the place Lopez performs her new, authentic songs on stage as Kat Valdez — together with a high-octane, dangerously horny efficiency of “Church.”

“The thought for the ‘Church’ costume was that it was a quantity [Kat Valdez has] been doing eternally,” says Duncan. “That was her first single, so it is a routine and a track that she’s anticipated to play at each live performance.” The costume hints at Valdez’s storied profession with out losing any traces of dialogue. “The look in all probability adjustments each few years for that quantity, nevertheless it’s a glance that feels prefer it has developed a bit. Regardless that you by no means see the unique model of it, you possibly can think about what the model from 15 years in the past could be.”

With praying nuns wearing latex bodysuits (which had been “a whole lot of enjoyable,” in keeping with Duncan), the entire quantity is a seductive frenzy. “It is provocative, and way more provocative than something she’d put on on the street. The thought is she’s at her most provocative, her most pop star, when she’s performing.”

If that gorgeous, gemstone-encrusted bodysuit J Lo wears reminds you of one other iconic style second, you are completely appropriate. When requested if Duncan and her staff had been impressed by the bedazzled Christian Lacroix jacket that Michaela Bercu wore on the November 1988 cowl of Vogue (Anna Wintour’s first challenge as editor in chief), Duncan confirms it was “positively a reference level.”

MARRY ME, from left: Maluma, Jennifer Lopez, 2022.  ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

One other highly effective reference level for Kat Valdez’s on-stage appears: “Actually iconic Thierry Mugler from the ’80s.” For a duet together with her ex, Bastian (performed with loads of ready-to-ruin-your-life vitality by Maluma), Kat Valdez seems in a gold and silver robe layered with fringe and goddess-like equipment. “There have been a whole lot of Thierry Mugler [references] in her headpieces and her jewellery,” Duncan says.

MARRY ME, from left: Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, 2022.  ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Offstage, Kat drops her flashy superstar armor. There is a trend-free normalcy to her outfits — regardless that they’re nonetheless completely tailor-made and lushly rendered in silks and cashmeres. “Usually, we wished Jennifer’s nonperformative, non-stagewear aesthetic to be actually timeless,” Duncan says. “Previous Hollywood, iconic, stylish — in order that if this film is on in 10 years, you are watching it and not likely caught up within the second of the style. We did not need something to really feel too on pattern or too particular to after we had been filming. We wished it to face that check of time so it could all the time really feel elegant, stylish, and aspirational.”

MARRY ME, Jennifer Lopez (front), Chloe Coleman (right of center), 2022. ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lopez performs Kat Valdez with an attractive mixture of confidence and insecurity — a juxtaposition mirrored in her wardrobe. “She does have a whole lot of moments of vulnerability, and I feel we put her in silhouettes for these moments that had been in a position to bridge each issues. She was in a position to look fierce and digicam prepared — prepared for her videographer to take protection of her, able to be snapped by the paparazzi — but additionally susceptible,” says Duncan. “An instance could be when she goes to the highschool and meets Lou [Charlie’s daughter, played by Chloe Coleman] for the primary time, and she or he’s in that all-white outfit that has that little cropped, structured blazer. It feels actually assured; she has enjoyable sun shades. It positively looks like a glance that she put collectively figuring out it could be photographed, however she’s additionally assembly Charlie’s daughter and she or he needs to look extra regular. And that is her model of dressing down and being regular. But it surely’s nonetheless so highly effective and stylish.”

One other outfit Duncan cherished creating: “Once they return to her house and she or he’s simply within the shell turtleneck, she feels so relatable. It has a vulnerability to it in that scene together with her and Lou.” That vulnerability is mirrored in Kat and Lou’s relationship as they slowly opening as much as each other. Kat sheds her blazer and (literal) layers of clip-in extensions to have a heart-to-heart together with her boyfriend’s daughter. The visible matches the emotion — her costume transforms together with her. “That is an instance of when the costume has an arc and serves each intents,” says Duncan.

MARRY ME, from left: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, 2022. ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lopez has a private tie with Kat’s romantic look whereas chaperoning the high-school dance. “That costume was born out of a dialog I had with Jennifer about what she wore to her semiformal or promenade. She made [the dress] for herself!” says Duncan.

The costume strikes the proper steadiness of being particular sufficient for an iconic pop star however approachable sufficient that it does not alienate the wide-eyed youngsters on the dance. “That costume was excellent,” says Duncan, who notes that it has a particular “sweetness.” “It had the form of a pop star making an attempt to be extra grounded, nevertheless it’s nonetheless bought a very, actually flirtatious cutout and continues to be one thing {that a} instructor on the faculty would not put on to the semiformal. However for Kat, it is far more relatable and feels a lot much less presentational, much less pink carpet than her different items. But it surely nonetheless looks like a pop star’s costume.”

MARRY ME, from left: Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, 2022. ph: Barry Wetcher / Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

One other arc telegraphed by Duncan’s costumes: Kat falling in love. “We had a colour chart, Jennifer and I, the place we began her [wardrobe] out with a whole lot of whites and metallics, after which her palette softened,” explains Duncan. As her romance with Owen Wilson‘s Charlie Gilbert deepens and warms, so does her model. “We crept in blues and pinks and saturated her,” says Duncan. That wordless storytelling is a trademark of Duncan’s work as a fancy dress designer.

“Marry Me,” that includes Caroline Duncan’s fabulous costumes and J.Lo’s emotional efficiency, is in theaters nationwide and streaming on Peacock beginning Feb. 11.


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