On this day in 2011, the iconic movie Bridesmaids was released. Taking a quirky cast of characters through pre-wedding celebrations and eventually to the big ceremony, the world of Bridesmaids would not be possible without the costumes designed by the brilliant Leesa Evans.
Leesa Evans is an American costume designer who has contributed to some of the most iconic films of the past few decades, and whose designs remain memorable to viewers for years after watching one of her films.
In fact, one of Leesa’s earliest works was Clueless (1995), a film for which the costumes remain culturally significant to this day. In a tribute to Clueless director Amy Heckerling, FF2 contributor Reese Alexander notes, “The costumes of the film, including checkered sets, tall white socks, and Dionne’s fabulous hats, are specific not only to the nineties, but to the cultural universe that Heckerling created for the movie to exist in. The fashion of Clueless alone calls for a yearly rewatch, even while it makes the rest of us feel, in the words of Cher, ‘ensemble-y challenged.’”
Like Clueless, Leesa has worked on many other films featuring strong and complex female leads, masterfully reflecting their journeys through their clothing. One example is Trainwreck (2015), which stars Amy Schumer as a young, single writer who finds herself falling for someone despite her commitment to being independent.
“No dialogue is needed; the costume makes the comedy.”
With Trainwreck, Leesa demonstrates an ability to create comedy as well as reflect character growth through costuming. In one of the opening sequences, Amy performs a classic “walk of shame” in a gold skirt and red heels. In the words of FF2 Contributor Roza Melkumyan, “No dialogue is needed; the costume makes the comedy.” In addition, as Roza states, “As [Amy] finally eases into a steady, loving relationship, she starts wearing soft sweaters and florals while breaking out the sexy dresses for date nights.”
Costuming Bridesmaids is certainly one of Leesa’s biggest and most hilarious accomplishments. From the pink satin bridesmaid dresses to the more casual outfits worn by the main characters, Leesa created looks that captured the personalities of each character with amazing precision. The dresses are feminine and pretty, but also a little bit ridiculous, which perfectly captures the tone of the film. In her tribute to Amy Heckerling, Roza shouts out the wedding dress as a perfect demonstration of Amy’s brilliance: “A mess of ruffles, frills, and feathers, Lillian’s wedding dress is an example of couture gone crazy.”
In 2017, Leesa launched the “Style Fund” with Amy Schumer, whom she worked with on Trainwreck. The fund provides women in need with free clothing and styling services, helping to boost their confidence and self-esteem.
In addition to a wonderful sense of humor, Leesa has a keen understanding of humanity, and the ways that our inner worlds are reflected in our clothing. Any character that dons Leesa’s costumes is brought to life in an instant.
© Julia Lasker (5/13/2023) FF2 Media
LEARN MORE/DO MORE
Read Roza Melkumyan’s tribute to Leesa Evans here.
Check out Leesa Evans’ website here.
Read Reese Alexander’s SWAN of the Day celebration of Amy Heckerling here.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Featured photo: The bridesmaids get ready for a dress fitting | Bridesmaids (2011) | Suzanne Hanover.