'The Idea of You' took inspiration from Jane Birkin

Costume designer Jacqueline Demeterio on how to style a boy band for the big screen and more secrets from the set of the rom-com.

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When it comes to television and film, costume designer Jacqueline Demeterio is the queen of contemporary cool. The last time we spoke with her, she was busy perfecting quiet luxury looks for Emma Roberts and Kim Kardashian in Delicate, the most recent season of American Horror Story. For her latest project, Demeterio dressed Anne Hathaway in Chloé, Gabriela Hearst, and vintage Chanel in The Idea of You. The Oscar winner stars as 40-year-old Solène Marchand, who gets swept away by a meet-cute-turned-love-affair with 24-year-old boy-band sensation Hayes Campbell, played by Red, White & Royal Blue’s Nicholas Galitzine.

It would be easy, you might think, to costume a contemporary rom-com with a performer of Hathaway’s calibre by throwing every designer thread The Devil Wears Prada star’s way. But as we learned from chatting with Demeterio, a lot of careful thought and intention went into every piece she selected for the film. Clothes here aren’t an afterthought or mere props—they’re alive with texture and character, the result of a careful collaboration between costume designer and actor.

In the spirit of “finding the character through clothes,” as Demeterio puts it, Hathaway even brought a pair of her own Alaïa heels into the mix for Solène (which reminds us of how Jennifer Aniston has used some of her personal wardrobe on The Morning Show). Read on for our conversation—including more behind-the-scenes scoops from the talented costume designer.

This is your third time working with Anne Hathaway! Is she super involved in her costuming, or does she defer to you, or both?

It’s definitely a mix of both. It’s our third time working together and we know each other really well. I love her, and I think she loves me! So that makes it easy for us. She is so into finding the character through clothes. For her character, Solène, we had our first fitting at Bergdorf Goodman in New York and actually selected two looks from that fitting. The first dress her character wears when we meet her is Chloé, and we tried that on at Bergdorf. And also the red Gabriela Hearst suit she wears at the end.

Still from The Idea of You

Is it common to do film fittings at Bergdorf’s?

Ha! You know, I have such personal relationships with my vendors. When Barneys was open, I would take actors there a lot. Bergdorf accommodated me, and it was just easy to bring Anne there. First fittings are usually such a huge pull, and the majority of the stuff was from Bergdorf, so it was nice to come in and use their space. Otherwise, there are so many logistics you need to get everything pulled, transported, and picked up.

What was the most challenging aspect of costuming The Idea of You?

I think it was getting the band right. We could have taken it in so many directions—is it going to be more of a pop look and more glam, or more rock? Are they all wearing the same thing? After speaking to [director] Michael Showalter about them, it was more about that effortless, casual sense of cool. It’s about not trying so hard. Figuring out the band wasn’t tricky, but it was something we had to think about. Once I listened to the music, that helped, too.

Do you usually listen to a score first, to help inform the costumes?

You don’t usually get to listen to the score! That usually comes around during the editing process. So for us to have the music beforehand, when they were writing and recording, was really helpful, because I had never dressed a boy band!

How did you land on this exact vibe for the band?

Nick Galitzine and I both wanted this band to really be its own thing, so it was never based off anybody in particular. There were the obvious Harry Styles references, but it was also inspired by Matty Healy of the 1975, and Paul Klein of LANY. We needed it to look organic on Nick and on his body and with the way he carries himself.

Still from The Idea of You

How did you source the costumes?

We shot in Atlanta, so I actually did most of my prep in New York, because I knew we needed the fashion feel and contemporary aspect. I had never shot in Atlanta, so I didn’t know what they had to offer there. So Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter were my best friends during this. Basically we scoured everything—the boutiques, the department stores, Annie and I worked closely on finding all the right jewellery. And I had a shopper in New York who scoured everywhere and sent me things.

You’ve mentioned that with Annie, there was a process of “finding the character through clothes.” Were there any particular pieces that helped with that?

We didn’t start getting into the nuts and bolts of who Solène is and who she is onscreen until the second and third fittings. There are so many beautiful pieces in this film, but there was this particular pair of jeans we found that looked amazing.

Isn’t it funny how the right pair of jeans can change everything?

Seriously! I believe they came from a vintage rental shop in Albany, New York, called Daybreak Vintage Rentals. She wears a couple of pairs of pants in the movie, but that one pair just fit her so well and looked amazing, and she was so into everything about them, and so was I. They just worked. Jane Birkin was on my inspiration boards and these jeans felt like that—vintage, bohemian, French girl jeans.


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Do you have a favourite fashion moment viewers should watch out for?

Everything in Annie’s costumes was carefully collected and curated so well. There’s this Fendi two-piece—that everybody thinks is a dress but is actually two pieces—that she wore under a Dior trench, and she wears it with these sky-high Alaïa shoes. By the way, I haven’t told anybody this: Those are Annie’s personal shoes. We were in a fitting and she just said, “I have the perfect shoes for this outfit.” It was so important for her to feel sexy in that look, and it was important for that scene. I remember seeing a cut of that scene after they shot it, and I told her that I was just blown away. She needed to feel unbelievable in that outfit, and the costume really did it for her.

Is it common for actors to offer their own personal belongings as costuming?

Sometimes! Or they’ll propose something and tell me, “Use it only if you like it.” But Annie was right—those shoes were perfect.

Was there anything your actors tried to steal from set?

They always try! But I will say that Nick Galitzine was so sweet. He purchased not the actual costumes, but he would ask me where I sourced certain pieces and then would go buy them for himself. The Loewe pants he wears at the gallery scene and the Isabel Marant cardigan, he bought it! And also a few of the T-shirts. There were definitely a few things he bought for himself.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Feature Image Credits:  ALISHA WETHERILL

This article originally appeared in in May 2024. 

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