"[Billie wearing flowers in her hair] was born out of a situation in her life that may not have been her brightest moment, but the result ended up being beautiful and iconic."
PS: Billie famously wore flowers in her hair. How were you sure to work those in?
PN: I think Billie was inherently a magpie; an accessories queen. She piles on the jewelry. She's definitely a more-is-more, opulent, excessive girl in nature. As I read in research, she burned her hand with her curling iron on the night of Carnegie Hall, so the gardenia became the way to cover it. Who knows if she was behind the curling iron herself. Maybe she was drunk or high. But this style moment was born out of a situation in her life that may not have been her brightest moment, but the result ended up being beautiful and iconic, and she did continue to wear them throughout life. And I don't think it was because there was some scar, because we see her later in life without flowers — it was just a circumstantial moment that stuck with her, and it worked. She wore orchids, gardenias, and feathers. Gardenias were impossible to find in Montreal in the winter, but we had a beautiful silk one.
PS: Were there any memorable wardrobe mishaps while filming?
PN: In the pink dress, her cigarette burned the netting with hot ashes falling on it, but it was fine. That kind of made it more real! Lipstick would always get on the white gloves. She wore a heavy, maraschino cherry red lip in the movie. But my most nail biting moment was when we were doing the Carnegie Hall scene with the black dress. We made white gloves and black gloves. Initially, I wanted to do black, but the morning of I was like, "let's do white." My tailor had the glove pattern, and she was at the studio. She started at 7 a.m., and the call time was around 10 a.m. We only had a few hours. My costume supervisor, Pat Welch, was standing on the street outside of the theater we were filming in, waiting for our PA to bring the gloves. They were about to call "Action, rolling," and the white gloves came at the last second. When I see the white, I'm like, "Yes, the white is forever."