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FASHION / SCREEN STYLE

Mess Is More

May 29, 1997|BETTY GOODWIN

The Movie: "Addicted to Love"

The Setup: Maggie (Meg Ryan), a spurned woman, teams up with Sam (Matthew Broderick), a spurned man, to wreak havoc on their exes.

The Costume Designer: Renee Ehrlich Kalfus, whose credits include "Dead Man Walking," "Evening Star" and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape."

The Look: The enemy--Linda (Kelly Preston)--is a blond, ethereal Breck girl first glimpsed in a white, strappy sundress custom engineered from China silk for the exact degree of fluidity by New York designer Zang Toi. Our heroine? She's the one with the raccoon eyes, black roots and black leather-and-tie-dye concoctions. Maggie looks almost disturbed; she's a mess, but a fascinating mess.

Trend Watch: Crucial to Maggie's strangeness is her wrecked hair, with its lack of structure and griminess. Sometimes the hair is twisted into strange configurations, then anchored with lots of obvious bobby pins. Hairdresser Sally Hershberger carved random chunks "wherever I felt like it," she says. Even before the movie came out, Hershberger was bombarded with calls from hair groupies. "It's becoming a thing," she says. "Everyone wants the look."

Trivia: Applied to blow-dried hair, an application of Murray's Pomade, sold in stores that carry products for African American hair, helped achieve the clumped effect.

The Inspiration: The late Edie Sedgwick--the rich and troubled Andy Warhol muse--was a major influence. "Meg did bring in this Edie Sedgwick book to the table," says Kalfus. "It really clicked for me, although it related very peripherally to what got done. The Edie Sedgwick thing opened it up to being avant-garde, and inspired us in the way that she personalized her clothes."

The Method: What makes Maggie compelling to watch is not only the literal darkness of her wardrobe, drawn in part from biker shops, but its many eclectic notes. Because her character is wealthy and downtown (New York), her clothes represent high and low fashion.

Some pieces, such as her skintight suede pants by Rifat Ozbek, come straight from the rich girl department at Barneys. Price tag: $1,200. But her tie-dyed T-shirts and dresses hail from such New York boutiques as Atrium. As for what Kalfus calls the "funky, great bras" underneath, the straps of which always show, the striped model came from Only Hearts on Montana Avenue, while the navy polka-dotted one was "old, old Calvin Klein." There are also thrift-shop finds, including a $25 motorcycle jacket, and even hand-me-downs from the crew, including a vintage embroidered robe.

You Should Know: When selecting Maggie's boots, Ryan insisted on the standard-issue motorcycle variety in 7-inch and knee-high models. "She had tried on Pradas and every Barneys fabulous boot that any one of us would have died for. She thought they were all too fashiony. The motorcycle boots were the most out. But when she put them on it was, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' There was something that grounded her in those boots and gave her a kind of walk," Kalfus says.

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