Summer movie season is off and running, and the romance flick “Me Before You” is among the releases expected to draw big crowds. The film, based on the best-selling novel by the same name, follows Lou Clark (played by Emilia Clarke) as she cares for — and falls for — quadriplegic Will Traynor (played by Sam Claflin). Award-winning costume designer Jill Taylor took Spy on set to talk shoes.
How did you build Emilia Clarke’s character’s look?
“Lou wanted to study fashion, and with that there is an inherent love of clothes. We sort of made her a collector of clothes. Some of the pieces she had were like pieces of art to her. Her shoes played a big part in that.”
Why were shoes important for her character?
“It’s in the script and the book that she has these ‘leprechaun’ shoes, so we had to find some quirky shoes. By accident, we were in a shop and found these amazing shoes by Irregular Choice, and I just thought, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Lou!’ They suddenly became the basis of her wardrobe of shoes.”
How did you build on her look for the movie?
“She started off very quirky and kooky, and as she gets involved in Will’s world, she wants to conform a little bit. He’s taking her to a concert, which is not her world at all, so she wants to look the part. That’s how the red dress came about. It’s based on a 1950s prom dress.”
How did you source for the film?
“We wanted to mix the style up, so we found the one odd quirky or colorful piece everywhere. We introduced a few things from our own wardrobes, too. Emilia wears these dungarees with three ducks across the chest. They were mine in the 1980s.”
What was notable about dressing Will Traynor?
“[Will] was about being comfortable, practical and a little bit luxurious. There is a lot of grey, navy and beige and brown and muted tones in Will’s world, expensive tones. As Will gets more interest in life and Lou, he starts looking a little bit more lively in his clothes and relaxed. It’s very difficult when you’re dressing a healthy actor who has to be a quadriplegic. If you’re in a wheelchair your muscle tone goes, so to disguise that Sam had to wear trousers larger in the waist so we got more fabric for his legs.”