Emma Watson says that she gave her Beauty and the Beast character’s wardrobe a much-needed feminist and modern update. The 26-year-old, who plays Belle in the Disney live-action film, worked with costume designer Jacqueline Durran to put a new spin on the character's iconic outfits.
Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine as part of her cover interview, Emma explained how she wanted to change the way Belle was portrayed. "I was like, 'The first shot of the movie cannot be Belle walking out of this quiet little town carrying a basket with a white napkin in it. We need to rev things up!'"
In the original Disney movie Belle is an assistant to her inventor father, but in the remake she is a creator, who develops a "modern washing machine that allows her to sit and read". To reflect this, Emma worked with the costume designer to incorporate pockets in her costume that she says are "kind of like a tool belt".
The UN Women Goodwill Ambassador also admitted that she didn't think Belle would really be riding horses in a long dress and silk slippers like the animated version does. Instead the costumes were changed so Belle wears more practical bloomers and riding boots. "The original sketches had her in her ballet shoes. Which are lovely—don't get me wrong—but she's not going to be able to do anything terribly useful in ballet shoes in the middle of a French provincial village," Emma explained.
It is not only Emma's costumes that she has put a lot of thought into, but the outfits she wears while promoting the film too. The Harry Potter star has been championing ethical fashion throughout her press tour, wearing sustainable high fashion ensembles that she has showcased on her new Instagram account.
Emma has been wearing stunning gowns from the likes of Elie Saab and Louis Vuitton, and it was revealed that when it came to planning the tour wardrobe, she created a PowerPoint presentation that her stylist sent to the designers. According to Vanity Fair, the document included a questionnaire about how their garments are produced, their environmental impact and the moral reason why she should wear it on the red carpet. Talk about commitment to the cause!