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Dressing the kids in 'The Bling Ring'

June 17, 2013|By Alice Short
  • Taissa Farmiga, from left, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Katie Chang and Claire Julien star in "The Bling Ring."
Taissa Farmiga, from left, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Katie Chang… (A24 )

There's a lot to leave you breathless in "The Bling Ring." Celebrity culture. Self-empowerment prayer circles. Amoral behavior. But the designer name-dropping throughout the movie may top the list.

For that we can thank the label-crazed kids at the center of the Sofia Coppola film, the San Fernando Valley youths who, in 2008 and 2009, burglarized the homes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Megan Fox, and made off with Louboutins,  Rolexes and goods from Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Alexander Wang, Versace and Herve Leger. 

Nancy Jo Sales, the writer who profiled the Bling Ring for Vanity Fair (Coppola based her script on the 2010 article), has written a book about their escapades. In an exclusive excerpt in New York Magazine, Sales writes that the blingers took clothing and other items made by  Roberto Cavalli, Chanel and Zac Posen from Bilson’s home.  Bilson had a vintage shoe collection, Sales writes: “She was a size 5, too small for either of the girls, but they wanted the shoes anyway..”

The movie takes viewers on a tour of some amazing closets with dazzling arrays of shoes, jewelry, bags and dresses. (L.A. Times Film Critic Betsy Sharkey wrote that the “Peeping Tom perspective makes it strangely addictive to watch.”)

The film's costume designer, Stacey Battat, told New York Magazine how she pulled it all together, including her re-creation of Hilton’s closets: “Dior let us borrow tons of samples, we had hundreds of Dior bags, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana. [The brands] let us keep our samples for a long time so that we could really have it feel authentic and rich."
There was a lot of Bulgari used in the movie, Battat told Teen Vogue. "I contacted them, and they said they could send something like $15 million worth of jewelry, and that a guard could protect $5 million each."

Did all those designer labels make for good box office? Times writer Amy Kaufman reports that “The Bling Ring,” which debuted Friday in limited release (two theaters in New York and three in L.A.), earned a “healthy” per-theater average of $42,000. Perhaps it was the thought of all those Louboutins that drove traffic.


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