That Iconic Party Dress from 'Do Revenge' Was Partially Made from Two $1.50 Belts

Costume designer Alana Morshead tells InStyle all about the film's colorful costumes, and how '90s supermodels and Korean school uniforms served as inspiration.

Do Revenge Movie Costumes
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Netflix

There are plenty of reasons to head to Netflix right now and watch the movie Do Revenge: the too-cool cast (including InStyle cover star Camila Mendes and Stranger Things' Maya Hawke), the witty dialogue, and a few edge-of-your-seat twists and turns. But for fashion fans, it's the outfits that will surely be part of the draw. The colorful and perfectly-accessorized ensembles are bound to be sources of inspiration long after the credits roll — and that's precisely what the film's costume designer, Alana Morshead, wanted.

"I wanted to do something that would be like the kind of movies I loved, that I don't really see anymore — Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Jawbreaker, Clueless," she tells InStyle over the phone when discussing her inspiration. "20 years later, those movies are still such cult classics, and they get referenced so much with Halloween costumes or through other movies. If you mention ‘Oh yeah, Cher's outfit,’ you instantly know what you're talking about. I wanted to take from that time period, but also make it feel present and be something that you could still wear 20 years from now."

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

Morshead managed to do just that with the private school uniforms worn by Drea (Mendes), Eleanor (Hawke), and the rest of their classmates. A mix of pastel purple with light green, complete with sweet details like berets and tiny capes, these looks play with timeless trends, yet feel unique and unforgettable. While they weren't initially sure if uniforms were the right choice, Morshead says they add to the school's "eliteness and ‘mean girl’ kind of vibe."

"I didn't want to have them have all these great outfits outside of school, and then at school, we're back to just something that takes you out of that heightened reality," she tells us, adding that she felt inspired by Korean school uniforms, especially when it came to the capes and blazers. "I love how even at school with the Korean uniforms, the students always look so put-together — the ties are always tied and it's a full look. With our kids, even at school, they really care about their appearance, and we had so many pairs of earrings, socks, and shoes because that was how they could accessorize and express themselves. It just added to that fun, heightened reality."

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

Speaking of earrings, there were plenty of statement-making pairs seen throughout the film, from Drea's oversized studs to Eleanor's long, floral drops. Morshead shares that she actually got the idea from '90s supermodels.

"In the '90s, runway models like Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington always had giant earrings," she says. "I loved it, and then I just went, 'Everybody gets an earring!'"

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

Throughout Do Revenge, it's clear that both Drea and Eleanor are style icons in their own right, and Morshead says it was important for each character to have their own specific sense of style.

"I definitely had a very specific color palette difference for Drea and Eleanor," she says. "Drea is much more in the cool tones, blues and purples and solids, and a lot more form-fitting — that '90s supermodel, runway vibe. When Eleanor gets her makeover, she's more in the warmer tones, oranges, and yellows, and her inspo was a Twiggy, young Goldie Hawn — kind of hippier. She has a lot of flowers and mod prints because I didn't want Drea to make over Eleanor into the same version of herself. She reinvents her in a way that was different and more Eleanor."

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

While the costume designer doesn't like to pick favorites, she is especially fond of the outfits from the Admissions party, and excitedly shares the details behind Drea's green dress.

"I was really inspired by a dress that Carla Bruni wears — it's a pale blue one that I saw, and I just knew the cut would be really, really nice on Cami. I was looking for fabric, and then I was like, ‘Oh, with the earrings and the gold, let's have some big chains. The straps on that dress are actually two belts that I got at the beauty supply store for $1.50 each.”

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

As for Eleanor's orange ensemble, Morshead says that the idea simply came to her one morning in a vision.

"I woke up and was like, ‘I need to make something with orange zippers,' she tells us. "I went to the fabric store and just bought 50 orange pants zippers and then was like, ‘What if I tied them all together?’ So, that top is just made out of pants zippers that we put together."

She also didn't see the character wearing a tight dress, so she opted to put Hawke in a men's-cut suit — although the actress wasn't initially sold on the color.

"I remember when I showed Maya the sketch and she was like, ‘I can't do orange.' I'm like, ‘Please?!’" Morshead says. Eventually, though, Hawke was willing to give it a try. "We made it and she put it on and she was like, ‘Oh my God, you're right.’ She fell in love with it, too. I just loved how the gold lamé  and the green glitter on the dresses would look against the fire pit and under the lights and make them stand out in a crowd."

Although Morshead says the goal for those two outfits was to create pieces that people "couldn't just Google, or go online and buy the same thing," fans of the movie's fashion are able to buy jackets similar to those Drea's old clique wears. The costume designer sourced them from her pals at The Mighty Company.

Do Revenge Costumes

Netflix

"When I read the script and saw they had popular girl jackets, I hit up my friend [Jessie Willner] in LA. Those jackets didn't come in all those colors and they were a half zip, thicker pullover, so I said, ‘I love the style. Can you make me a full-zip? But it needs to be really, really thin because we are roasting in Atlanta right now. Then Jessie just showed me all the swatches that they had and we just picked colors for each of the girls. I knew it would complement the uniforms instantly and really make them stand out."

Do Revenge is streaming now on Netflix.

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