“She’s Funny That Way”
August 21, 2015
In a nod to classic screwball comedies, “She’s Funny That Way” assembles a quirky cast of characters and tosses them into theatrical chaos.
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich and co-written with his ex-wife, Louise Stratten, this film about a Broadway producer stars Imogen Poots as Isabella “Izzy” Patterson, Owen Wilson as Arnold Albertson and Kathryn Hahn as his wife, Delta, Jennifer Aniston as Jane Claremont, Debi Mazar as Vickie, and a lineup of cameos from stars of the director’s hits.
Shot two-and-a-half years ago in New York, Costume Designer Peggy Schnitzer brought a realistic sense of the city to the production.
“New York is almost its own character,” said the designer. “There is a very strong usage of black in the clothing. It’s a predominant color of clothing people wear there. People wear it for summer clothes, winter clothes. It doesn’t matter,” she said. Even the prostitute, Izzy, looks chic in her classic black clothes.
“I didn’t want to make her look typical of how everyone imagines call girls,” she said. “I wanted to make her an interesting, approachable female who is doing a job.” After all, Poots, then 24 years old, didn’t possess the hardened look of a streetwalker.
“It’s always, for me, equally important to dress the person. There is something about Imogen in this that is very fresh. I wouldn’t say innocent. I didn’t want her to be a kind of call girl. You want to sort of love her,” Schnitzer said.
Her black-based wardrobe included a minimal cocktail dress distinguished by atypical cuts, straps and a bare back. The dress is from Reformation, the New York and Los Angeles stores that sell a namesake line inspired by their vintage clothing. Schnitzer found the modified vintage-inspired looks useful for portraying a non-specific point in time.
“A lot of times I use vintage, but the Reformation stuff fits modern bodies,” she said.
Izzy also wears a pair of denim cutoffs, shortened to show the pocket linings—a look that was popular last summer. That’s the trouble with making modern movies that take a few years to get released: you can be ahead of the trend one moment and just behind it the next. Thankfully for Schnitzer, cutoffs circulate so quickly through the trend cycle, they’ll be back in stores by the time the movie hits home video.
“She’s Funny That Way” is now in theaters.