(Kind of) Western Style

The Movie: “Bad Girls.”

The Setup: A shoot-'em-up adventure featuring four reformed “harlots” in the roles of tough guys of the Wild West.

The Costume Designer: Susie DeSanto, whose credits include “A Dangerous Woman.”

The Look: Breck girls on the range. Sticklers for period authenticity won’t like it, but it’s hard to imagine any of the summer’s numerous upcoming Westerns pleasing the fashion crowd as much.


Part camp, part suburban mall, the highlights include Eileen Spenser (Andie MacDowell, pictured) in a jacket cut from a fringed piano shawl, with the cut-out shoulders Donna Karan favors. And Lilly Laronette (Drew Barrymore), the Annie Oakley-style pigtailed cutie, in a man’s derby, peasant blouse and cowhide chaps. Even after the adventurers shed their petticoats for canvas trousers, vests and gun belts, the emphasis remains on body-conscious paper-bag waists.

Trend Watch: All the actresses fell in love with the calico-print and gingham-check dresses, skirts and blouses, DeSanto reports. She believes the Americana prints could make a fashion comeback.

Good Hair Day: Long, glossy, unfussy hair, even if some of it was achieved with hair extensions (MacDowell) and a partial wig (Barrymore).

Inspiration: Big-screen Westerns, including “The Professionals,” “Rancho Notorious” and “Once Upon a Time in the West”; the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles, and, for more feminine looks, paintings by Sargent, Tissot, Monet and Renoir.


Quoted: “I found during my research that contemporary fashions always had a mark on the costumes. Marlene Dietrich in ‘Rancho Notorious’ wore boots and pants with a nipped-in waist and had her girdle on and everything. She looked fabulous,” DeSanto says.

Sources: Principals’ clothes were custom-made on location in California and Texas. Calico fabrics were from Hopkins in London. The piano shawl for MacDowell’s jacket was from Golyester. Cowboy boots were manufactured by Freelance.