Dress from pretty woman

Hmm, what’s the perfect gown to feature on the “Fancy Friday” before Valentine’s Day? This scarlet stunner in Pretty Woman of course! (Plus, wearing red on Fridays shows your support for the troops!) Julia Roberts plays a modern-day Cinderella named Vivian Ward who gets wooed by a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) in this 1990 flick. Here, her suitor surprises her with a gorgeous red gown, evening gloves and one hell of a diamond necklace! (Fun Fact: The necklace did actually cost $250,000. An armed security guard from its jewelry store was constantly standing behind director Garry Marshall while they filmed the scenes it appears in.) It’s no secret we here at theSkinnyStiletto just love the clothing in this movie. We were stunned to learn that costume designer Marilyn Vance made all of Vivian’s outfits, including the ruby red gown above, her polka-dotted fantasy, and even the famous hooker dress! Vance is famous for costuming hit teen flicks, including The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the Pretty Woman wardrobe is anything but high school! In this scene, Gere’s character takes Vivian to see La Traviata at the opera, which tells the story of a prostitute who falls in love with a rich man. (Life imitating art, no?) It’s hard to believe the elegant Roberts was only 22-years-old when she made this film. A shocking number of leading ladies turned town the role of Vivian, including Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, Jennifer Connelly and Sarah Jessica Parker, but it’s hard to imagine the fiery-haired heroine played by anyone but Roberts.

Among the things I love deeply in this world (waffles, well-dressed toddlers, the end of allergy season, scalp massages), movie makeover montages are certainly up there on the list. I recently re-watched Pretty Woman, which happens to have one of the best movie makeover montages in the history of movie makeover montages (“You people work on commission right? Big mistake. Big. Huge.”) and realized that Julia Roberts’ 90s L.A. wardrobe is the ideal inspiration for my Spring 2018 wardrobe. Below, I’ve delineated eight of her outfits I would like to copy posthaste.

1. A Non-Boring LBD

I’ve always thought of myself as anti-LBD (too boring! too classic!) until I reacquainted myself with this particular scene. An LBD with a dramatically ruffled hem, pumps with ribbon ties, a string of chunky beads and bedhead to the max is anything but boring.

2. A Striped Skirt Suit and White Tights

I really like how her sheer white tights correspond with her sheer white sleeves in this outfit. I, too, would like to obtain a striped skirt suit to wear this season with loafers and a toothy smile.

3. A Button-Down Dress

I’m especially excited about recreating this look because I found a dress for $134 on Pixie Market that resembles it perfectly. The only hitch is that the dress is sold out but rest assured I’ve put myself on the waitlist to be notified when it is restocked and in the meantime, I am considering its navy twin. Important question, though: How do we feel about white gloves and sun hats? I think I’m into both, but I need moral support.

4. A Braless Polka-Dot Ensemble

This polka-dot outfit is one of the most iconic in the movie, perhaps even more so because Julia Roberts noticeably doesn’t wear a bra with it, ergo convincing me that wearing a swishy silk polka-dot dress with no bra is undoubtedly one of life’s greatest pleasures. The accessories in this get-up are almost as important as the main event, though: white kitten heels, white gloves, a wide brown belt and a straw hat. I’ll take the lot.

5. A Fire-Engine Red Ball Gown

HUMMINA HUMMINA. The black-tie look to end all other black-tie looks. To be perfectly honest I don’t have any occasions coming up at which I might even entertain the idea of wearing something like this, but I’m pinning it to my vision board just in case.

6. A Caftan and Scrunchie

This is the scene when Richard Gere says, “I never treated you like a prostitute,” and Julia Roberts responds: “You just did.” BOOM. It’s also possibly the most important caftan + scrunchie moment in the history of cinema. I would like to wear these things simultaneously on as many occasions as I can from now until pants season.

7. A Bermuda Shorts Suits Set

Julia Roberts’ Bermuda shorts suit might be my favorite ensemble in the whole entire movie. As I type this sentence I happen to have no fewer than nine tabs open on my laptop to various eBay searches for “Bermuda shorts suit,” in case you needed further evidence of my enamor. I’m also in the market for round-frame sunglasses and a Western belt, because attempting to recreate this outfit without them would be a sartorial crime.

8. A Classic Jeans + T-Shirt Combo

This is the last outfit Roberts wears in the movie and though it is definitely one of the simplest, it still holds its own kind of special appeal. For a maximalist like myself, it serves as an important reminder that sometimes jeans, a white T-shirt, a black blazer and a black belt can say just as much as a fire-engine red ball gown.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have a particular movie you reference for spring style fodder, or are you planning to cop any of the above?

Feature image by Hulton Archive/Handout via Getty Images.

While you’re here, why not check these out:

“Pretty Woman” is my favorite movie. It just is. It’s my hands-down, never-get-tired-of-watching, desert island movie. One of the things I’ve always loved about it is the fashion. Vivian’s outfits (even her “working” outfits, tbh) were amazing. I’ll never get over the first time I saw her in that brown and white polka dot derby dress with the boater hat and little white gloves. Actual perfection.

If Vivian were around today, I think she’d still have the same sense of style, and the same love for her figure. She managed to look effortless, yet sexy all at the same time. Here are six outfits I think she’d definitely love today.


I personally adored her coral-colored shorts suit. I’d wear it today if I could. With a crisp white button-up and this electrifying blue, Vivian would be literal perfection.

get the look:


“Big mistake. Big! Huge.” That’s my favorite line in pretty much any movie ever. And that button-front dress with the floppy wide-brimmed hat were everything.


I love this look because it feels like a combo of when Vivian is wearing one of Richard’s shirts tied over her working outfit, and my all-time favorite polka dot dress.


That little black off-the-shoulder number Vivian wears in the lounge while waiting for Richard? Stunning. I like to think she’d keep the fun going with a daytime-friendly version.


The red opera dress, but everyday wear. Because we can’t leave out one of the most iconic dresses in movie history!


Vivian isn’t ashamed of her past, and her style doesn’t shy away from it. I think she’d love this fresh spin on her most memorable look.

Get inspired by more fashion reads here: 6 Fall Prints To Wear Besides Plaid, Easy Updates For Your Fall Work Wardrobe and 16 New Fall Arrivals From ASOS

Loved this post?

Subscribe to Glitter Guide to receive the latest blog posts, creativity resources and shopping recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

10 Fashion Trends From ‘Pretty Woman’ That Are Still Relevant Today

1. Over the knee boots

Vivian Ward is basically the reason why the term “hooker heels” exists. Her shameless flaunting of the over the knee boot reminded women everywhere that you don’t need to be as tall as Julia Roberts to look like you have the legs of a supermodel. Not only is the over the knee boot great in winter or summer, it’s basically announcing that you are a woman that means business. Also, they’re good for storing little things like condoms.

The look 25 years later:

© We Heart It

2. Oversized boyfriend button downs

Sure, Tom Cruise made the oversized button down famous in 1983’s Risky Business, but Vivian Ward made it female friendly in 1990 with her debut of the white dress shirt over her famous street walking dress. Not only does it tone down a risque look, you can steal it from your boyfriend’s closet and it is comfortable as hell. He may be old now, but back in the day we would have NO problem stealing one of Richard Gere’s shirts and wearing them around all day.

The look 25 years later:

© Pinterest

3. Cut out dresses

You can’t go to a dress store nowadays and not see a section just for cut outs. They’re freaking everywhere. The magic of a cut out is that it can take even the most conservative dress and turn it into one SMOKING HOT little number. It doesn’t matter which Kardashian sister you look like, the right cut out in the right place makes your curves look like Kim’s circa 2011. The cut out craze is no longer just for the corner’s of Sunset Boulevard, it has managed to make its way to the red carpet, so don’t be surprised when you can count each of J Lo’s abs at the Oscars.

The look 25 years later:

© Twitter

4. Stacked jewelry

In case you haven’t heard, stacking jewelry is as hot as Jude Law before you found out he was boinking the nanny. Vivian Ward was way ahead of her time when she knew you could take all sorts of different bracelets, put them all together, and have it look absolutely faboosh. She wasn’t afraid to stack necklaces, bracelets or rock massive hoop earrings, and for that, we salute her.

The look 25 years later:

© Pinterest

5. White gloves

Even though white gloves are pretty timeless, few women outside the British royal family have rocked them quite like Vivian Ward. They aren’t such a buttoned-up look when you pair them with a plunging neckline and some serious arm candy. Kudos to Vivian for recognizing that a touch of a classic accessory takes you from street to chic.

The look 25 years later:

© Getty Images

6. Round sunglasses

If you want to credit the round sunglasses craze to John Lennon, that’s fine with us, but don’t forget about Vivian Ward not only rocking round sunglasses, but doing so while making Bermuda shorts and shoulder pads trendy. If that isn’t the work of a revolutionary hooker-turned-fashionista, then we don’t know what is.

The look 25 years later:

© We Heart It

7. Red lips and a strong smokey eye

Back in the day, a heavy smokey eye paired with a fierce red lip probably meant that you earned your income by the hour and in tax-free cash, but these days, you can’t turn a corner without seeing this makeup combo. A girls’ night out is no longer complete without enough eyeliner to make your eyes pop and enough red lipstick to make you feel sorry for whoever you end up kissing that night.

The look 25 years later:

© Getty Images

8. Oversized jackets

Oversized trench coats may have been thing of the 90’s, but coats that are way too big for you, and possibly stolen from your man’s closet, are so millennial. We also owe a quick thanks to the Olsen twins for helping this trend stay relevant. Even though shoulder pads aren’t as popular as they used to be, the massive coat and its ability to make you look five pounds thinner is still oh-so-popular. Did she lose A LOT of weight or is that just a trendy coat that is purposefully large on her? Nobody knows.

The look 25 years later:

© Twitter

9. Wet hair

Although Vivian Ward may have been hanging in the bathroom slaying the words to “Kiss” in Pretty Woman, she 100% established that wet hair can be a look in or outside the bathtub. Anything that cuts down on getting ready time post-shower is a trend that we not only support, we encourage.

The look 25 years later:

© Getty Images

10. White hats

Vivian Ward knew that to get an ordinary outfit to go the extra mile, you need to have some stellar accessories. She took your average polka dot dress and turned it into Jackie O worthy, fashion porn with the help of a fabulous statement hat. When it comes to adding a hat to complete your look the term “less is more” couldn’t be more wrong. Also, thank the fashion gods that Richard Gere’s heinous statement ties are no longer trendy.

The look 25 years later:

© Getty Images

This article was written by Dagney Pruner. Follow her on Twitter @dagneyp

What’s your favorite look from Pretty Woman? Tweet at us! @sofeminineUK

You might also like:
I Let My Boyfriend Dress Me For A Week & Here’s What Happened
50 Ideas For Beautifully Layered Necklaces
50 Excessive Jewelery Combinations We’ve Fallen In Love With

Retna It was the first film I ever wanted to own. It was the love story that taught me everything I needed to know about never settling for anything less than a man who will untie your robe and slide you, lower back first, across a piano and smile lovingly as he watches you cry at your first opera. And it was the dialogue—classic lines like, “If I forget to tell you later, I had a really nice time tonight” and “She rescues him right back”—that would lace my conversations and pad my “Dear John” letters for, as of today, 20 years.

On March 23, 1990, the romcom classic Pretty Woman premiered, clinching Richard Gere his third straight decade as one of Hollywood’s sexiest and most versatile leading men and established Julia Roberts as so much more than a shock of gorgeous hair and an ear-to-ear smile. The two of them, Gere, then 40, and Roberts, a very new 22 (who only took the role after several actresses, Molly Ringwald and Daryl Hannah, among them, passed), weren’t a likely couple, which, in the opening scenes of the film keep you from ever guessing their characters—workaholic businessman Edward Lewis and wig-wearing working girl Vivian Ward—would go on to serve as one of the most sustaining cinematic love stories in modern film history.

While it’s usually the case that we attribute a film’s success to its most visible contributors, with Pretty Woman (which, until just before its release was to be called 3,000, referring to the amount Edward would pay Vivian for her six days of companionship) there is a star beyond the actors, beyond director Garry Marshall, and even beyond that hippie stringbean at the end who shouts, “What’s your dream? Everybody’s got a dream!” That person is veteran costume designer, Marilyn Vance.

The woman who took Vivian from thigh-high patent boots to a floor-sweeping, off-the-shoulder red gown, Vance, a Brooklyn native who now resides in Los Angeles, not only styled the clothing you see in Pretty Woman, she also designed, selected all fabrics, and took Haute Couture care of every outfit’s every single stitch. Aside from a pair of Chanel heels and the tie Vivian wears (with nothing else) to greet Edward with when he returns to the hotel after work, Vance and her team created every last one of the iconic fashion moments in the Oscar-nominated film.

Vance, who, last year received the Career Achievement award by the Costume Designers Guild for her 30 years in the business, began her career when she suited Phoebe Cates in the red Norma Kamali two-piece in Fast Times at Ridgmont High, gained momentum when she “literally forced” Molly Ringwald into the pink patchwork prom dress in Pretty in Pink, and reached fever pitch when she slipped Patrick Swayze into nothing but tight sweatpants and high-tops in the Tai Chi scene in your author’s second favorite film, Road House.

Quite simply, if it was a movie born in the `80s and `90s, and one you love more today than you did back then, Vance was likely the hands-on-deck designer.

In an interview I’ve been waiting to conduct since I unwrapped my very first VHS copy of Pretty Woman on that Christmas morning back in 1990, Vance graciously fielded my many (many) questions and discusses, among other things, how “incredibly patient” Gere and Roberts were during their marathon of fittings, how one of the most famous red dresses in film history almost wasn’t red, and what might’ve happened to the polo match hat had she not been able to find enough brown and white polka-dot fabric.

Julia was so young when you worked with her on Pretty Woman. What was she like back then?

She was just so new back then. 21, 22-years-old, I think. She was so terrific to work with, and so patient. I can’t even tell you how patient she was—fittings for hours, color tests for hours, and she never complained. Not once!

Fittings for hours? Is that unusual?

These days it is. Unless you’re working on a period piece or something that requires a lot of original costuming because the theme of the film is very specific in a certain way, most of the time now, it’s all styling. For Pretty Woman and all the films I did back in the `80s and `90s, it wasn’t styling—it was actual costuming. I designed and had made almost everything you see on-screen. My team and I did all of that!

You designed the red opera dress?

Yes! And did you know that it almost wasn’t red? The studio really wanted black, but I knew it needed to be red. Before the decision was made, we ended up having to create three different dresses. We took every color, lit it, and shot her. Poor Julia had to sit for so many color test shots for that one dress. Finally, I was able to find the right shade and convince everyone to go my direction.

Pretty Woman wouldn’t have been Pretty Woman had that dress been black—what were they thinking?

(laughing) I knew what I was doing! And what’s so funny about that dress is that every year since its release, Western Costumes (the manufacturer that cut the pattern for the dress) gets multiple requests from men who send in their significant other’s measurements to have it recreated. They want to recreate the entire scenario!

That is incredible. I knew women loved that film, but to have men get involved—

—What’s odd is that these men are almost always from Texas. Who knows why!


Are there any untold anecdotes behind any of the outfits?

My favorite has to do with the polo match dress. I found that polka-dot fabric when I was crawling around in the basement of Beverly Silks and Woolens. I had to beg to get in there, but I found it, and I just loved it! It was perfect. But the problem was, there wasn’t much left, and to make a dress like that, you don’t just need the amount that ends up in the dress, you need more. So, we were in a position where we had a choice: either we make the dress a ballerina-length, which was what I wanted to do, or we do it at the knee. If we did it ballerina-length, we’d go with Chanel flats; if we went knee-length, we’d do Chanel heels—plus we’d have a little fabric left over for a hat.

What did Julia want?

She wanted to wear the heels, of course.

Did the actors or Garry Marshall offer input, or did you pretty much have free reign to do what you want?

I was given a lot of freedom with this film, but there were a lot of voices, too. There were studio voices, Garry’s voice, and a few others. The great thing, though, is that they always listened to me—they always let me plead my case if there was a disagreement. I never felt obligated to do something I didn’t believe in.

What was an example of something one of these other `voices’ added to the film?

Well, in that first outfit of Julia’s, she’s wearing on oversized tuxedo jacket. It’s sort of like a bandleader jacket. That was Garry. He wanted that from the beginning. He wanted Vivian to be wearing a jacket that looked like an ex-boyfriend’s.

I’m still reeling from the revelation that you created every piece of clothing in the film. Even the opening outfit Julia wears—the `hooker dress’? That wasn’t something you picked up at a seedy Hollywood Boulevard store?

Oh no! That dress, or the entire outfit, was one of my favorites. It was inspired by a bathing suit I had from the `60s. A different ring, of course, in the center, but no, I made that myself. The boots I did buy—I had to order them from a store called NaNa in Chelsea, England.

And let me just say that I’m not surprised you’re surprised we designed these clothes. Today, designers are the big stars. Designers dress you like they want to, to make their clothes stand out. That’s important, and that’s beautiful, but costume designers create a character. There’s a big difference.

How did you use clothing you designed to create the characters of Vivian and Edward?

I’m glad you ask about Richard’s character. All of his suits except for the tuxedo at the opera were made for him. He was meant to be this sleek, successful businessman, but none of the suits—not even the material!—here in the U.S. at that time was right for him. Everything was nubby and heavy, and for him, I really wanted something sleeker. I ended up going to the Cerruti factory in Biella for everything. Can you imagine that nowadays? The time it took to do all of that—it would never happen. But it was worth it.

And for Vivian?

Her clothes really do tell a story. Those first four looks—the `hooker’ dress, the black cocktail dress, the polka-dot dress, and the white dress she wears out shopping—totally shape her story. In the beginning, she’s wearing so much `stuff’: a jacket, those boots, the hat, it’s all very busy. In each successive look, you begin to see her take his `less is more’ direction. By the end, she’s very simply put together—pure sophistication.

That’s so true. Near the end, when she sits with Laura San Giacomo (“Kit”) by the pool, you look at Kit with her busy jean jacket, flip-up sunglasses, and literally see what Vivian used to be compared to what she’s now become. And you buy it!

That was my whole goal. I’m so happy you said that. You really have seen this movie 100 times, haven’t you?

When Vance isn’t spending every moment she can with her grandchildren, she is working on one of her many TV, film, and interior design projects.

Ranking Julia Roberts’ Outfits In ‘Pretty Woman,’ Because There Was More Than Just The Vivan

It might be one of the only movies that turns prostitution into a kind of fairy tale romance, but despite its far-fetched scenario and other small issues, Pretty Woman is easily one of the most memorable Julia Roberts movies of all time, and the movie that turned her into a star. And it is potentially a feminist classic depending on how you argue for it, especially if you consider how the film would look with the gender roles swapped. Pretty Woman has now turned 25 years old this year, and it’s easy to remember certain elements about it, especially the fashion sported by Roberts’ character Vivian. From her iconic “Vivian” dress to her “revenge shopping” outfits montage which ended with that all-important phrase “Big mistake. Big. HUGE,” Pretty Woman features quite the range of outfits from absolutely gorgeous to completely, hideously 90s.

That’s one of the best things about watching older movies from a time in fashion long, long ago. It’s fun to be reminded by all the strange outfits we all once wore, or couldn’t wear yet pined for thanks to the price. No matter what you might think of Pretty Woman, it’s obviously very difficult to argue that Roberts’ range of clothing is really quite spectacular in the film. So in honor of its 25th anniversary and a true love of its iconic style, here is the definitive ranking of the good, the bad and the totally ugly outfits from Pretty Woman,start to finish.

The Casual Shorts-Suit

It’s just awful. No one should ever wear a pantsuit in shorts again, and that salmon color is not the most flattering. This should not have been the outfit Kit De Luca saw Vivian in for the first time since her big shopping spree. Why couldn’t we have brought back one of the more casual, revenge shopping montage outfits?

Revenge Shopping Outfit Number 5

The sheer sleeves mixed with the stripped dress and the white pantyhose just don’t do it for me. It’s easily the least favorite out of Vivian’s outfits and thankfully again it doesn’t seem to be a staple in her wardrobe later in the film.

Revenge Shopping Outfit Number 3

Pants in a mustard-y color with a top that almost screams kindergarten art project? I’m glad we only get a glimpse of this look because it is not a top contender.

The Going Out Of Town Look

Simple, casual, cute, and the perfect amount of comfort when taking a several-hour bus ride up to San Francisco as Vivian was planning to do. Not the most stylish outfit but definitely still something I would wear for a trip.

Revenge Shopping Outfit Number 4

More than anything else, I wish we could have seen more of this vintage dress. Without having much to go on, I have to rank it at a lower level, but if the complete look was as cute as I hope it was, this dress could have easily cracked the top 5 outfits.

The “Big Mistake” Dress

This moment has a huge impact not only because Julia Roberts is being her trademark sassy self, but because of the shopping bags and the almost My Fair Lady-esque reveal of elegant clothing. Back in the 90s this dress was probably flawless but now I do have some trouble with the awkward shoulders. Yet I’m still loving the dress, and the shoes are vintage perfection.

Revenge Shopping Outfit Number 2

A cute “little black dress,” though not quite as nice as the LBD Vivian wears earlier in the film to Edward’s business meeting with James Morse and his son. The necklace and the twirly bottom though are quite fun and girly. But is it just me or is the salesperson’s olive pantsuit (or maybe jumpsuit) way cuter than this look?

The Vivian Plus Edward’s Shirt

Not as iconic as the Vivian in all its glory, but is it just me or would this look totally work if the skirt was just a touch longer?

Revenge Shopping Outfit 1

I want this look. Blazer on top of more menswear? It’s a perfect balance of structured and feminine, and I want it.

Pizza Date Dress

We don’t really get to see much of this dress, it’s part of the montage where Edward and Vivian go out on the town together and fall in love with one another, but can you imagine how adorable it must be if we could see the complete look? It’s a gorgeous color, the sleeves and cut on the neck are classy and flirty. I want more of it!

The Black Cocktail Dress

The first moment Edward sees Vivian sitting at the bar, this dress was a winner. I don’t love the styling of Vivian’s hair here, I think it’s just a little too done up and awkward looking, and I’m not the biggest fan of the necklace thing. But overall, an LBD in a shiny cocktail style, I’m all about it. It’s a dress fashionable in almost every recent time period.

Derby Dress

Maybe I’m the only one here, but this adorable derby outfit is hands down better than some of Vivian’s other nicer outfits throughout the movie. It’s the most complete look from head to toe. Actually now that I think about it, did Rodeo Drive boutiques in the 90s really sell complete outfits, like where the hat, shoes and purses and other accessories totally matched the dress? Man, the world I was missing. Also polka dots!

The Red Opera Gown

An almost perfect look, complete with the gorgeous necklace Edward borrowed for the night. Roberts looks incredible in this outfit and it’s easily remembered thanks to the famous jewelry box scene, as well as this line Vivian later hilarious utters at the Opera when asked how she enjoyed it, “Oh it was so good, I almost peed my pants.”

The Vivian

It’s the most iconic look, and despite the red Opera gown being the most fancy and most beautiful, this is the outfit we always remember from the film. Without this look, there would be no Pretty Woman, at least not the one we know and love.

Images: Buena Vista Pictures (screenshots) (17)

The first dress I suggest to purchase in 2019 is a polka dot dress. Why? Because you’ll be feeling romantic vibes in a polka dot dress and it is so classic that it will be your closet staple for years to come.

One of the most classic looks of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman is a brown polka dot dress, so gorgeous!

Princess Diana and Princess Kate are also big fans of polka dot dresses.

Today I will introduce some different polka dot dresses which are worth buying in 2019, let’s check it out!

1. Classic Colors

Classic and simple, you cannot go wrong with a black and white colored polka dot dress.

The inverse is also a classic choice, going for a black or navy blue background with white dots.

2. Bright Colors

If you are a loyal fan of my blog, then you must know that I mentioned many times that “colorful items” are a big trend in 2019. Get a red dress with white dots to show your self-confidence this year!

Green and yellow dresses with white dots are also perfect choices to keep your look fresh! These bright color dresses are definitely good friends to a great photo.

That’s today’s introduction of different polka dot dresses which are worth buying in 2019. Do you plan to add it to your wardrobe now?

You can also check out other articles about fashion inspirations by clicking here:

Try A Colorful Trench Coat This Spring!

Get a Pair of New Shoes to Welcome Spring 2019

5 Tips to Style a Short Cardigan This Spring

Try Something Different: Our Favorite Blouses

The Top 3 Accessories You Need to Follow This Spring

Subscribe Here and get our Posts Delivered Directly to Your Inbox!

‘Pretty Woman’ Costume Designer Remembers Garry Marshall: “A Star Generator” Who Wasn’t Fancy but Real

Marilyn Vance recalls how the late director, who died Tuesday at age 81, turned a prostitute into a style icon in the box-office hit.

Who but Garry Marshall could take a prostitute and make her into an icon? Why Pretty Woman was and still is relatable to audiences some 25 years later is the humanness, not the sophistication. That was Garry’s charm. He was uniquely creative, warm and generous, a star generator.

I believe the term dramedy (serious but optimistic) originated with Pretty Woman. No one but Garry Marshall could have pulled off a story about a hooker named Vivienne (Julia Roberts) and her transformation, showing smarts and a heart of gold.

Pretty Woman was true visual storytelling before social media. At the time, the way the public connected to fashion was through music, TV, magazines and film.

Following Garry’s storyline, we started with seeing Vivienne on Hollywood Boulevard dressed for work. An obvious clash of styles, she wore a short, skin-baring, two-piece dress held together by a chrome ring that was inspired by a Rudi Gernreich bathing suit I had as a kid. She also wore a ‘60s-style band jacket (a Garry request; he would get something in his head and just want it). He also wanted her in heels. But I saw those zip-up, thigh-high patent leather boots at NaNa (the famous punk purveyor) on Kings Road in London, and I couldn’t get them out of my head. She wore a platinum wig, a fisherman cap, earrings, bracelets and a purse. It was her whole signature.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts as Edward and Vivienne in Pretty Woman. (Photo: Courtesy of Photofest)

Enter Edward (Richard Gere), all smooth elegance in gabardine suits, but nothing flashy. He transforms from being an insensitive, angry, ruthless corporate raider to a more accessible, kind and sensitive man. They didn’t have any smooth gabardine anywhere in men’s suiting — I couldn’t find it! At the time, everything was nubby, Harris tweedy, interwoven. Nothing was solid smooth. I wanted something to play off his hair, to enhance the gray and give it that steely look. So we went to Bielle, Italy. The Cerutti family had a mill there. Every suit was made for him. I don’t think costume designers do that anymore.

Vivienne’s journey begins through fashion — by seeking help to change her wardrobe to fit Edwards’s high-class lifestyle. Each and every outfit including the red gown, was custom made for her character, because of the fashion cycle. Otherwise, things could have looked dated. We made everything couture-style. Julia was amazingly patient through all the fittings.

Julia Roberts as Vivienne in Pretty Woman. (Photo: Courtesy of Photofest)

Although Garry wasn’t a visualist, he was very involved with the looks, especially in the creation of the red gown. He would have liked a black gown. We camera-tested color and fabrics on Julia and came away with the red gown and the black lace cocktail dress. Julia was a trooper. She had to stand and get measured for everything. We were also really low key with accessories. We stuck with one pair of pearl earrings she wore with seven changes. Piling on is easy, trying to take it all away and help the character is difficult.

I don’t think Garry was ever that involved with wardrobe as he was for Pretty Woman. I loved his input as it was crucial for the film. His fantasy wasn’t fancy. It was right there, simple and real.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts as Edward and Vivienne in Pretty Woman. (Photo: Courtesy of Photofest)