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(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.

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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.

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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.


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