Here's What Florence Pugh's Dresses Signify in "Don't Worry Darling"
Arianne Phillips is the costume designer behind the wardrobe for the much-anticipated film "Don't Worry Darling," which is now available to stream on HBO Max. Phillips, who was Oscar nominated for her work on "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (2019) and "Walk the Line" (2006), worked closely with director Olivia Wilde, production designer Katie Byron, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique to create the wardrobe. Phillips relied half on '50s and '60s vintage clothes sourced from private dealers and half on her own design team to achieve the intended look for a retro town called Victory, where the story takes place.
Her greatest strength is in her use of color, which serve to further character development and set the tone and mood throughout the movie. Two focal points are the black dress Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) wears in the desert and the white dress she dons at the end as she kills her husband, Jack (Harry Styles), and navigates her own escape.
During the latter scene, things obviously get messy, which is why five iterations of the same white dress were created for filming takes. Phillips names these two Alice looks as the ones she was most pleased with. "I think they were successful in what I was trying to achieve," she says.
Phillips's process is methodical. "I always start with color and silhouette. I love a color story, which became incredibly exciting when designing Victory and our world. Olivia and I spent a lot of time looking at color palettes."
Alice's dresses, in particular, coincide with each moment that she makes a new discovery. Ahead, learn about the intention behind her most picturesque dresses.
Alice's Shopping Dress in "Don't Worry Darling"
While shopping with Bunny and Gigi, Alice wears a blue satin dress splashed with brown florals that is consistent with the rest of her '50s-inspired silhouettes. "Like color and silhouette, I tend to use prints to help set the time period of the film, as well as create and underscore an energy and vibrancy," Phillips says. The look is styled with a pair of drop earrings, which is also reflective of the period, as Phillips notes that many women in the '50s and '60s always wore earrings — particularly in graphic shapes.
Alice's Black-and-White Dress in "Don't Worry Darling"
While doing house work, Alice is seen in this black-and-white graphic-print, belted A-line dress. She ties back her hair with a thick headband, knotted into a bow at the top to better showcase her pearl earrings. "I happen to love pearls for this period since they are quiet and also classic. Being a neutral color, they are also not reflective," Phillips explains of the stylistic choice to feature pearls predominately throughout the film.
Alice's Party Dress in "Don't Worry Darling"
Jack brings home a strapless peach party dress for Alice to wear the night he is honored and she begins to spiral. During the conversation between Bunny and Alice in the mirrored bathroom, we see their jewels amplified. "For the party scene, I had the distinct good fortune to work with Bulgari and was able to borrow some of their one-of-a-kind, archival high jewelry from the 1950s and '60s," Phillips says. "I was thrilled with the outcome; there is nothing like real gems."
Alice's Pink Floral Dress in "Don't Worry Darling"
Alice's bright floral sheath is another classic '50s shape, worn upon her arrival home after her treatment. Meanwhile, Jack's darker outfit is a sharp contrast, which should not go unnoticed. "I was very happy with the tailoring on Jack's suits. I think they ended up looking very good on film," Phillips says.
Alice's Black Dress in "Don't Worry Darling"
"I was very pleased with the outcome of the black dress Alice wears in the desert and the way it was photographed," Phillips says of the A-line, knee-length day dress Alice wears to venture off onto open land. She pairs it with a classic, '50s-shaped leather purse, ballet flats, and drop earrings during the dream-like sequence.