August 16, 2011

Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help is an honest dialogue of what it meant to be the “help” for well-to-do families in rural Mississippi in the 60s. This film is rich both in character and in color.

From a recent article in the Hollywood Reporter comes some color insight from Sharen Davis, costume designer for the film.

“It was tricky because everyone thinks of Mad Men. But that’s about an upper-class Manhattan lifestyle, and this focuses on young women in the South-most of them getting married and having babies…

…I looked at copies of Vogue from the 1960s for inspiration, but it was too sophisticated, so I ended up getting my ideas from Seventeen magazine. It still had that innocent girlie look and lollipop color.”


Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan played by Emma Stone, in “straight skirts and subtle prints” is career oriented and her look is a bit different from the other women.

Her longtime friend Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the Southern belle who wears “bright colors and bold prints because she always has to be seen,” while the outsider of the group is Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain) the bombshell. “Celia’s clothes are more fitted and feminine. She does her best to look like Marilyn Monroe.”