FIELD AND STREEP: It looks like the “Devil” will be wearing more Bill Blass than Prada in the film version of Lauren Weisberger‘s “The Devil Wears Prada,” due out next year.
Patricia Field, one of the stylists working on the project, recently called in enough Blass from the past few seasons to fill five pages of inventory forms. Among the items, all for Meryl Streep, who plays magazine editor Miranda Priestly: a pumpkin cashmere coat, a blush python jacket and skirt, an Oxford gray pinstripe suit and a fox fur-trimmed jacket. “Pat said Meryl really liked the clothes, and they fit her well, so she kept coming back,” a Blass spokeswoman said.
Because the movie is loosely based on Weisberger’s roman à clef about working for Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, many in the fashion world wondered which designers, if any, would offer clothes. But the producers seem to have helped their case by hiring Field, the former “Sex and the City” stylist, who also wields a fair amount of industry clout. In addition to Blass, Field brought in Chanel items for Anne Hathaway; Gucci lent her several Boston bags and handle totes in crocodile and the La Pelle Guccissima embossed logo leather bag; Calvin Klein offered its offices on 39th Street for a scene, and Valentino shot a cameo. That designer’s European offices said no clothes had been lent, but the film’s publicist said some items from Valentino were being used. (Officials at Christian Lacroix, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy and Alexander McQueen said the houses were not participating; Christian Dior and Lanvin did not return calls.)
As for how much Prada will appear in the movie, an employee in the company’s Milan office said some items were on loan, though Prada’s New York office declined to elaborate on what was sent.
“I think they were very smart to hire Pat,” said Michael Vollbracht, artistic director of Bill Blass and a longtime friend of Field’s. “And I think it’s very smart of Meryl Streep to physically take the part away from who it’s supposed to be based on.” Vollbracht said he was not worried about offending anyone by helping out, since he had not even read the book. “I’ve known [Field], oh my God, since the Seventies. She’s an institution,” he said, explaining why he didn’t hesitate to send clothes when she called.
The next hurdle for the project: booking magazine features to promote the release. While Wintour has not publicly spoken out against the film, several sources at Condé Nast said it was unlikely any of Vogue’s sister publications would put Hathaway on a cover. Elle and Harper’s Bazaar are also said to be out of the question, because of various editors’ allegiance to Wintour.
Up until now, Hathaway has appeared by herself only on teen magazines, though she is currently on the cover of Lucky for her role in “Brokeback Mountain.” According to several people close to the project, the most likely places she’ll end up for “Devil” are Seventeen, Ellegirl and Jane. “We have already booked two covers and are talking with various people at Condé Nast,” Hathaway’s spokeswoman said Monday. Vogue, Lucky and Jane are, like WWD, part of Condé Nast Publications.
— Sara James