Sometimes part of the story in a film, is ripping a costume. I’ve been asked a few times, isn’t it scary when they rip your work? Or does it make you upset when they rip a costume you’ve worked on? But here’s the thing, we know they’re going to rip our costume and actually it’s stitched together to facilitate it.
Duplicates of the costume have to be made. Filming can’t be held up by not having enough costumes. By having duplicates you can do multiple takes and have a nice version if the filming schedule isn’t in the story’s sequence.
If there’s multiple takes or angles of the ripping moment, each duplicate needs to rip in exactly the same way for continuity.
Into the Woods – Agony
Both Princes wear their same costumes for the whole film so they need duplicates anyway. If a filming schedule is several months, the actors need duplicates so that they can have extras to allow for cleaning, getting wet, general wear and tear as well as various states of deterioration because of the story.
When the Princes are in agony over their feelings, in a comical (or cringey) moment they rip their shirts open to expose their chests. The fronts of the shirts were tacked (loosely hand sewn using a big stitch) so that the actors could easily rip them without the risk damaging the fabric or other parts of the shirts.
This also makes it easy for the wardrobe department on set. They can just repeat the tacking stitch and the shirt is ready to go for another take.
Cinderella’s mother’s dress
In the Cinderella Disney live action version, Cinderella appears ready for the ball in her mother’s dress. The stepmother cruelly rips a sleeve and some of the frills off so that Cinderella is too upset to go to the ball.
We made duplicates because some versions are dirty from Cinderella running outside and becoming dishevelled but also because the fabrics were delicate and easily damaged without a bitter step mother thrown into the mix!
The left sleeve and frill at the front were tacked on. Then all Cate Blanchett had to do was give it a little tug during filming.
You see it’s not so traumatic
So next time you watch a film with costumes being ripped, it’s highly likely that it’s all been planned and they’ve been made with this in mind.
Hope you found this interesting and enjoyed reading.