In her latest movie, The Counselor, which launches tomorrow world-wide, Cameron Diaz takes on her darkest role to date, with a little clothing help from Thomas Wylde’s Creative Director Paula Thomas, who exclusively dishes the dirt on the behind-the-scenes action.
Fashion designers don’t just understand clothes, but also the concept of creating a character. It’s no wonder then that they have been responsible for some of the most stylish moments in cinema history, from Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy designed black dress in Breakfast At Tiffany’s to the Prada-created costumes worn by Carey Mulligan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. When picking a designer to dress Cameron Diaz for his latest film, The Counselor, director Ridley Scott, who has a history of collaborating with fashion houses, turned to his good friend Paula Thomas, creative director of LA-based label Thomas Wylde.
Thomas’s tough-yet-glamorous, punk-tinged aesthetic – think leather, studs, printed silks and the signature skull motif – proved the perfect look to help Diaz tackle the edgy role. Playing the femme fatale wife of a drug lord (Javier Bardem), Diaz stars alongside Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and Brad Pitt in the thriller, which Thomas describes as “a dark, twisted tale of greed and what can happen when people become involved in things they should not”.
Here, the designer talks to Emirates Woman about her experience helping Diaz unleash her bad side…
How did the collaboration come about? I’ve known Ridley Scott and his family for many years and Ridley has been following my brand for many years. I knew he liked it but I had never imagined he might consider me [to work with him on a film] – to this day I am very humbled.
Is this the first time you’ve designed clothes for a film?
Yes. I was nervous in the beginning, but once I began the process with Cameron it became a very pleasant experience.
What direction did Ridley Scott give you?
Ridley had a good idea already in his mind for Malkina [Diaz’s character]. He gave me direction but allowed Cameron and me to work closely and build this complex character.
How was it working with Cameron Diaz?
She was a complete joy to work with. She’s a seasoned actress and came very prepared with detailed ideas. As the process developed Cameron would add things or take them away. In the last scene I had one piece she loved – a grey tweed dress with studded shoulders – she wanted to add a hoodie to the dress to give her exit in the film an element of mystery. It worked well.
How would you describe Malkina?
She’s a dark soul. Very manipulative and gets exactly what she wants. I think my designs hide a lot of Malkina’s true character. The clothes almost become a distraction, so she can weave her web around the other poor souls who cross her path.
How is designing for a film different to designing a collection?
It’s very different from designing a full collection for a global audience because I only had to think about one woman. I wouldn’t say I prefer one experience over the other; I love what I do.