Style

How Amy Schumer's 'Trainwreck' Wardrobe Made Her Even Funnier

The costume designer holds the secret.
08/04/2015 12:43pm ET
Universal Pictures

When you saw summer's hottest movie, "Trainwreck," you may not have noticed how much Amy Schumer's wardrobe affected your experience of the film -- but it probably did. Everything from her slightly inappropriate work attire to that gold mini skirt in the opening scene and her low-cut baby shower dress was the work of costume designer Leesa Evans, who set the tone with her wardrobe choices.

We chatted with Evans, who is also responsible for the brilliant wardrobes in films like "Bridesmaids," "Neighbors" and "22 Jump Street," and found out which scene was the hardest to dress, how she feels about the some-odd 40 outfits that got edited out of the film, and much more.

On why Amy Schumer's character was always in outfits that were a little too short:

"It really was to show the girl that doesn't have it all together. She doesn't realize what she's doing. She's kind of throwing it together and has skewed her personal and professional lives together. She stays out too late and she has 10 minutes to get dressed and she runs to the office, and maybe it's a skirt that she would normally wear out to a bar or to a club, but instead she's wearing it to work with a blazer -- the lines were blurred."

Mary Cybulski for Universal Pictures
"I don't really agree with that, to be honest -- that's being too extreme. Her character is a girl that, on occasion, gets dressed up in an overly sexy way and on occasion gets dressed up in a really sweet way and a lot of things in between. I think that we, as women, are still finding our way in this modern age of what part of us we want to portray at any given time. All women look at something and say to themselves, 'Is this is pretty? Is it sexy? Is it also elegant? Is it too casual or too dressy?' When we're getting dressed every day, we're looking at it from a lot of points of view and I think sometimes men's clothes aren't as complicated in that way. They're not asking themselves as many questions when they're getting dressed and looking in the mirror."
On all the outfits that got cut from the film:
"When they edited the film, you'd be surprised at how many things get cut out. For instance, Amy's character, during the course of shooting, probably had 80 outfits. But when we actually start shooting, we don't know which things are going to be in or out and when they start the editing process, you're probably down to 40 outfits or 50 outfits. You lose a lot of things, but then the story works better -- and you don't necessarily regret it, but you miss it. There were a bunch of date outfits that I loved that showed [Schumer's character and Bill Hader's character] falling in love and there was some sweetness in some of those pieces and I'm like, 'Oh I forgot, those weren't in anymore and I loved those.'"
Mary Cybulski for Universal Pictures
On the hardest scene in terms of wardrobe:
"The first scene. There was a lot of talk about what that outfit needed to be because we wanted to know right off the bat who this girl was. And if we didn't push the envelope to do that gold skirt and that red top, I think we wouldn't have been able to set the tone for the movie. We wouldn't have understood that she was a bit of a train wreck, that she doesn't have it all together."
Mary Cybulski for Universal Pictures
On how being a costume designer for a comedy is different from other genres:
"There is such a delicate balance. I think funny clothing sometimes takes you out of the movie, so in the moments when there is really great comedic dialogue, you want the clothes to be totally normal -- so you see these people in these really normal situations, but this hilarious scenario. But there are moments when the wardrobe needs to be part of the comedy and a perfect example is that first outfit that Amy wears. If she didn't have those heels walking down that hill -- it's like you felt the pain immediately, whereas if she was in flats, you don't go along with it as much -- it needed to be something that was unstable because she was a little unstable in that moment."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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