×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

How Costume Designer Updated Looks for ‘Charlie’s Angels’ While Nodding to Past

The costumes that the “Charlie’s Angels” trio have worn over the years have always been functional but fashionable. In the TV show starring Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, which ran from 1976 to 1981, and then in the movie franchise of the early 2000s with Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore, the functionality always fit the fashion of the time. In the latest incarnation of the franchise — written and directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also plays Bosley — with Kristen Stewart as Sabina, Naomi Scott as Elena and Ella Balinska as Jane — there isn’t much throwback to previous “Charlie’s Angels” productions, but costume designer Kym Barrett says that the spirit is certainly there.

“We have a few little Easter eggs [throughout the film] that give a nod to the past movies and TV show,” says Barrett, who designed the iconic costumes of “Romeo + Juliet” and the “Matrix” franchise. In designing the newest round of Angels costumes, Barrett felt her job was to create a strong character for each of the women — something that’s individualized but can also come together
as team-oriented whenever they’re in their group.

“The thing I really wanted to do was to show that each woman can play a part as an Angel,” says Barrett. With a plot that includes so many different events and destinations, the costume design was always going to be dependent on form and function. “They come from all walks of life, and their clothing is there to support them in whatever situation they might find themselves in,” Barrett says. “They might be in high heels, but they can still perform an amazing stunt.”

Popular on Variety

Since the film moves across so many countries, that meant Barrett and her team also had to. They filmed in six cities in three countries on two continents in 57 days. Barrett sourced what she could when she could, but mostly had her team making costumes from scratch in their traveling caravan.

According to Barrett, the look for Stewart’s Sabina is a little bit androgynous and a little bit of a chameleon. She can scrub up into a beautiful blonde Barbie or be a sporty jockey.

Each of the Angels has two (or more) sides to her, and Barrett focused a lot on the disguises, making the characters not noticeable and then suddenly very noticeable. Balinska’s Jane is ex-MI-6, so she’s the most grounded, as Barrett says. She’s very stunt-based, so her clothes are quite athletic and her other side is sweet and playful. Scott’s Elena depicts a wider representation. “We want her to be every girl in her age group in the world, who is then thrust into becoming supergirl,” says Barrett. “That was a fun costume journey, taking her from H&M all the way to Prada or Max Mara.” Banks’ Bosley is the anchor of the group. “She’s like your favorite aunt — but like your favorite stylish aunt.” 

More Artisans

  • The Irishman

    'Captain Marvel,' 'The Irishman,' Other Original Scores to Miss Out on Oscar Nominations

    The Regina Spektor song from “Bombshell” and at least six major scores including “The Two Popes” and “The Irishman” won’t be on Oscar’s music shortlists when they are announced next week. That’s because none of them are on the official Academy eligibility lists from which music-branch members are now voting. Preliminary voting ends tomorrow afternoon, [...]

  • Two-time Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks portrays one

    How Production Designer Jade Healy Recreated the Beautiful Neighborhood of Mister Rogers

    Production designer Jade Healy is doing double duty this awards season. For one, her work can be seen in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” There, she created a world of angst and individuality, making use of negative space as a couple reaches the end of their relationship. In Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) is

    'The Irishman,' 'Once Upon a Time,' 'The Mandalorian' Among Art Directors Guild Nominations

    The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) has announced its nominations for the 24th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in theatrical motion pictures, television, commercials, music videos and animation features. Among the films recognized for outstanding production design are James Mangold’s “Ford V Ferrari,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon [...]

  • Christian Bale, Matt Damon. Christian Bale,

    ‘Ford vs. Ferrari’ Director James Mangold to Receive AIS Harold Lloyd Award

    The Advanced Imaging Society has announced that Academy Award-nominated director, producer and writer James Mangold will be presented with its annual Harold Lloyd Award for filmmaking. The director and producer of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford v Ferrari” will be honored during the Society’s 11th annual awards ceremony January 22 at Warner Bros. Studios. “Ford v. [...]

  • chadwick boseman 21 Bridges

    '21 Bridges' DP Seeks New York-Style 'Street' Cred in Philadelphia

    In director Brian Kirk’s “21 Bridges,” Chadwick Boseman plays a very different kind of hero than T’Challa in “Black Panther”: He’s an intense New York cop tracking a pair of killers throughout the city one fateful night, trying to box them in by closing the titular connections between Manhattan and the mainland. Along with Kirk, [...]

  • Two Popes Production

    How 'Two Popes' Production Team Re-Created the Sistine Chapel, Frescoes and All

    When Mark Tildesley read Anthony McCarten’s script for “The Two Popes,” he saw how integral the Sistine Chapel was to the narrative. As the film’s production designer, he knew he couldn’t film inside the Vatican, which meant he’d have to reproduce the location. “We did visit it with a leading expert — [producer] Enzo Sisti. His [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content