Refashioning is rampant in the movies, and quite a few Hollywood heroes like Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind” and Andie Walsh from “Pretty in Pink” transformed blah items like brocade curtains and polka- dotted ball gowns into get-ups just as dramatic as their climactic showdowns. But not all movie refashions are bubblegum sweet. Think sexy Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” or, regrettably, the psychopathic couturier from “Silence of the Lambs.” Read on for move favorite — or at least memorable — movie refashions.
In “Gone with the Wind,” the adorably narcissistic Scarlett O’Hara plots to fool Rhett Butler into believing her wealth — like her beauty — untouched by war, commanding her servant Mammy to refashion curtains into an emerald ensemble the exact shade of actress Vivien Leigh’s eyes. While Scarlett may have regretted her moss- green overskirt and silk tassel accessories, saying later to Rhett, “I went peplum crazy and wore my momma’s curtains,” this movie refashion stands out as one of our favorites, notable for its creativity — one of the first curtain restyles in cinema — and breathtaking workmanship.
With refashioning, clothes, like cats, have an abundance of lives, reminding us of Tinsel Town's sexiest movie refashion — Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman in the 1991 “Batman Returns.” Playing Selina Kyle, Pfieffer transforms a vinyl black trench coat into a skin-tight cat suit, fueling her refashion with an angry sewing montage.
Taking a cue from Miss O’Hara, Amy Adams’ character in “Enchanted” turns lovely aqua embroidered curtains into a lovelier empire waist overskirt with fitted bodice and lace trim. Did we mention she made it overnight? We particularly appreciate the dress silhouette peeking through the curtains, poking a little fun at this slightly cliché plot move.
As Andie Walsh in “Pretty in Pink,” Molly Ringwald introduced a new generation to the joys of refashioning. While a modern palette (and perhaps even a contemporary one) might find Andie’s prom dress far from flattering, we can’t help but celebrate a last-minute redo that celebrates family and individuality over convenience.
For a dark movie refashion, we offer “The Silence of the Lambs” and its psychopathic serial killer, who skins humans to make himself a suit. Since just talking about this makes us more than a little queasy, let's take a cue from the movie’s title and say no more.
On a brighter note, we turn to "Cinderella," from the 1950s movie who creates a dress from the scraps of her stepmother’s household. While the gown, pink and white and rampant with girly frills, lacks sophistication, particularly when compared to the movie’s second refashion, that sparkly white princess-cut ball gown, we are still drawn to that first dress, which more fully celebrates the refashion spirit with its slow gumption and a keen eye for what works.
Two of Sleeping Beauty’s three fairy godmothers launch a refashioning duel while making a dress for Aurora’s 16th birthday, mimicking many a seamstress’s own back and forth when transforming a vintage or recycled piece.
“The Sound of Music” offers another scene of home decor sacrificed to impromptu crafting when Maria refashions lime-green brocade curtains into jumpers and dresses in which she and the Von Trapp children gambol about. The stiff fabric relaxes under the movie’s panoramic scenery and the actors’ joyful innocence, one of the most playful movie refashions to date.