August 23 2014

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Summerville Brings Salander To H&M


Conditions on location filming The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo weren’t pretty. According to costume designer Trish Summerville, David Fincher shot scenes at night in below-freezing temperatures to get the look he wanted—which left Summerville with the task of keeping Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander not only looking sharp but remaining frostbite-free, too. “To keep Rooney warm, we dressed her in two to three pairs of thermal socks, put foot warmers in her shoes and hand warmers in her pockets,” she recalled. “At one point we just lined her whole ankle to calf with hand warmers in her boots, but it was tough because no one wants to look 40 pounds heavier on screen just because you are trying to stay warm.”

She pulled it off—and while proof is coming December 21 to a multiplex screen near you, it’s arriving this week at H&M as well, where Summerville designed a 30-piece capsule collection modeled on Salander’s on-screen wardrobe. Summerville will be on hand at the H&M Girl With the Dragon Tattoo pop-up shop opening Wednesday in New York’s Meatpacking District, but caught up with the costume designer beforehand to get the inside scoop on her first clothing collection and working with Mara. We also got an exclusive first look inside the pop-up shop (pictured).

H&M’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Pop-Up Shop will be open December 14-16 from 12 p.m. To 10 p.m. daily, at 72 Gansevoort Street, NYC.

How did you translate Rooney’s character’s wardrobe into a fast fashion collection?
We wanted to use the Salander signature pieces. She has several staples, and in doing the film she had between 45 and 50 wardrobe changes—that’s quite a lot. (We filmed from Christmas to Christmas.) Her wardrobe is more function than fashion, so of course we tried to take them up a notch and make them more fashion. With everything, like the long wool overcoat, the combat boots, and the leather boots, it was about cleaning them up, changing the fabrications, and making the aging and dyeing techniques a little cleaner.

What was the most difficult piece to pull off in terms of getting the wash and aging you wanted to achieve for the H&M collection?
Her clothes in the film are pretty dirty. With the combat boots, it took a bit of a process with the distressing. I don’t think they had ever done something like that, and I got to sit on the floor with the shoe guy showing him how everything needed to be. When you take away color, it can come up a different color, so we had to try it several times. We were really excited because they came out perfectly. More importantly, the shoes are really comfortable. I am on my feet from 12 to 20 hours a day and need something really comfortable.

What was your first meeting with Rooney like?
The first time we met was when she came in for one of the readings [before she was cast]. We had six different girls come in and I pulled similar items for each girl and let them dress however they wanted with the clothes so we could see how they put their outfits together. I wanted to see what kind of Salander they would be and then we had several more tests. She is such a trooper and people will be shocked to see how she became Salander and truly transformed.

And what does she think of the H&M collection?
I know she loved the waffle thermal sweatpants—I call them the international travel pants. When you fly internationally a lot, you want to look chic when you get off but be comfortable on the plane, so they are great. She also loves the leather jacket.

Have the second and third installments of the movie been confirmed yet?
We hope so. I think scripts are in the works and I know they are in talks. It really seems like there should be and I just hope I get to be a part of them. It’s definitely been the best experience of my life.

I know you want to start a jewelry line. When should we expect to see that and what else are you working on next?
Yes, I have been contemplating it for a while, but then I took on other projects. I am going to be really focused on that next. I have some sketches with about ten pieces—they are gold and silvers with various semiprecious stones. I am cool about collaborating again; I want to do a menswear collection inspired by Mikael Blomkvist. I also still definitely want to do films as well, because it’s so fulfilling, and it’s been especially great to work with David [Fincher]. The pay is great, but more importantly, that “thank you” makes such a big difference.

Photos: Courtesy of H&M