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Exclusive Q&A - “Liz & Dick” Costumer, Salvador Perez

By njules Wed., Nov. 14, 2012 ,3:23 pm EST

Q&A with Salvador Perez Meet the mastermind behind Lindsay Lohan’s Liz-inspired looks and find out how many costume changes she has throughout the film by reading “Liz & Dick” costumer Salvador Perez’s exclusive Q&A.

What was your approach to transforming Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler into Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton?

I started with research, and as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were so often photographed, there were tons of images. And then it became a balancing act of honoring Liz and Dick, but flattering our actors. This is a love story, not a documentary, so I wanted to do more of an homage to their life.

Were the costumes custom-made or did you source items from vintage stores?

To add authenticity, and because we had limited time to prep this movie, I wanted to use as many vintage outfits as possible. I scoured the vintage shops throughout Los Angeles, and also hit Costume Rentals Corporation where I found some fabulous pieces. I even flew to Portland, Oregon to a fabulous vintage shop I know called Ray’s Ragtime. The collection at Ray’s was amazing; I bought vintage Dior, and Lilli Ann suits, and several of Elizabeth’s party dresses and hats. Men’s suiting fabrics have changed so much, and both Lindsay and Grant wore the vintage costumes so well – it was a costume designer’s dream! I hand-made Elizabeth’s second wedding dress and her 40th birthday party dress, but most of her costumes were vintage, or vintage dresses that I had to recut and redesign. We borrowed furs from the Edwards-Lowel archives in Beverly Hills.

And the jewelry was like a third character in the movie. I had the Taylor-Burton Diamond, the Krupp Ring and the La Peregrina Pearls made at Skinny Dog Designs in Long Beach, California. They had diamond cutters match the cuts of the stones, and then made the settings. 14 Karats in Beverly Hills provided the Bulgari Emeralds and other assorted diamonds.

The most fun I had was shopping for vintage jewelry for the movie. I hit every vintage shop in Los Angeles and every vintage clothing show to acquire the amount of jewels we needed to use in the film.

Q&A with Salvador Perez How much research did you have to do to make sure you were accurately presenting Liz and Dick over four decades?

I had four weeks to prep, design and find Elizabeth’s 66 clothing changes for the film, in addition to the entire cast’s costumes and about 1,500 extras’ costumes!

What’s your favorite costume moment in the film?

I think my favorite costume moment was the first wedding scene, with Elizabeth in the yellow minidress and flowers in her hair. I found the dress at a costume house, and I had pulled it to see how she wore yellow. The dress looked like it was made for Lindsay. Then I found a lot of vintage silk flowers, and our hair stylist, the amazing Beatrice DeAlba, re-created her head piece. When Lindsay walked onto set, it was breathtaking…it was one of our last scenes on the last day of shooting, and it really brought the film into reality, as the images we shot so clearly matched the original pictures we had found.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lifetime

Tune in to the world premiere of “Liz & Dick” on Sunday, November 25 at 9/8c!

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