Last night's big television event was one that we've been waiting for since last year's Season 4 finale of HBO's Girls. The big event was none other than Allison Williams's character Marnie's wedding to fiancé, Desi. And if you love a TV wedding as much as we do, this one did not disappoint. While the fate of the characters' marriage remains to be seen, their wedding will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable moments in the show's history. We had a chance to chat with the show's incredibly skilled costume designer, Jenn Rogien, about all things related to the latest Girls wedding, including all the details on Marnie's wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Much to our delight, Rogien was full of information on how anyone can go about choosing a wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses for themselves (this is the fifth TV wedding she's designed, after all).
Scroll down to read our interview with Rogien and to get a better look at Marnie's wedding (and even shop her dress for yourself)!
As Allison is a newlywed herself, did she have any opinions or input when it came to Marnie's wedding look?
Jenn Rogien: Allison and I have always been super collaborative about Marnie’s looks because Marnie has had such an evolution, so of course she had lots of feedback and lots of input. But I do think that she was a little bit relieved to not have to plan two weddings at once! To be honest, her wedding was such a beautiful surprise, and I tried to give her space in the fitting room and not pester her with questions that I wanted to know as well. But my focus was on getting the dress right for Marnie, working with our set-decorating team to make sure the flowers in her hair would match the flowers on the table and the boy’s boutonnières, and to make sure that her shoes would be viable for walking around a farm for five days of shooting, etc. So I tried to give Allison space in the fitting room and focus on this event that Marnie was clearly having a lot of anxiety about.
What can you tell us about Marnie’s dress?
JR: I had done a lot of research because I knew that I wanted a specific silhouette for Marnie. We had been going slightly more flowy and less structured with all of her world, in terms of clothing in Season 4, when she started to really explore her music career, so I wanted to carry that through in the dress. I was looking at beautiful inspirational images on Etsy and at 1930s gowns, and then Lena [Dunham] had actually mentioned Stone Fox Bride, because she and some friends had had some experiences with Stone Fox, and it ended up being the absolute perfect thing. They were wonderful to work with, because we were shooting at a farm [in] upstate [New York] in the springtime, and it was incredibly muddy, and we were really worried about having a white dress in the mud, and with the crazy makeup storyline that was happening, and with all the tears, all the water (it was scripted as raining), we needed two dresses going in, and Stone Fox Bride was amazing about making two for us. As a nod to our whole show, it was a very personal dress. I think there are a lot of people who might be expecting a typical wedding dress for Marnie—white and with a big bell skirt, and that’s not where she was at that moment, so we chose to go with something that was very personal to her.
What's your advice for brides-to-be when it comes to shopping for a figure-flattering dress?
JR: Try, try, try. From personal experience, it was an excuse for me to go and try on dresses that I would never try on in a million years, to see what shape I wanted and what shape looked best on me, and I took a friend. I went to Bergdorf's—I’m never going to shop at Bergdorf's on a regular basis—and I tried on dream dresses, not necessarily wedding dresses. I just tried on dresses in a variety of different shapes to see what shape I ultimately wanted to go with, and I think that’s very important for anyone shopping for a wedding dress, or even a very big special-occasion dress, is to try on different silhouettes, because you may have one thing that you think you want, but then you will put something on that’s maybe out of left field and very unexpected, and that will be the thing that ends up taking your breath away. And that’s true of anything we have in the fitting room—try it on, even the things that have zero hanger appeal; try it on because you just never know.
What can you tell us about the bridesmaid dresses you chose?
JR: They were from a bridesmaids line's warehouse. They were a very specific color that we were looking for and very "spring farm wedding," and it happened to be called sueded rose, which we thought was a hilarious color name for Marnie to really enjoy. They’re a multiwear style that you can tie in a variety of different ways, and we definitely took advantage of that for character and comedy both.
How should one go about choosing bridesmaid dresses that will suit a variety of body types?
JR: There is not a dress in the world that’s going to flatter everyone. And if you set that expectation up for yourself and for your bridesmaids when you’re shopping and you want them to be in the same dress, then it’s going to be a challenge. A couple of things to try: Number one, get a dress like the one we used on the show, or one that has a waistline built into the dress—a fit-and-flare style, so that there is shape built in to it, so that it will work on a variety of body types and will show off anyone’s waist in any size. The other thing that I’ve seen done very successfully—we did a lot of research for Marnie’s wedding, because we weren’t sure if we wanted matching dresses or not—is to go with a color and send the color swatch out to your bridal party and they can go and get any dress that works for them in that color way. And that way you get the cohesion of a color story for your wedding, but you also get options of figure-flattering [dresses] across a range of body types.
What can you tell us about the footwear for the wedding?
JR: Every single girl has very special footwear for the entire episode. Since it was a wedding, we wanted to up the ante just a little bit, so we shopped our hearts out at DSW and Century21, and I do remember that we found a beautiful pair of Prada sandals for [Lena Dunham's character] Hannah, which of course would normally be so outside Hannah’s budget, but because it’s a special event and Marnie’s mom and dad were helping with the wedding and Marnie had such specific ideas about what she wanted each girl in, every girl has a very special pair of shoes. Marnie’s were really beautiful as well. They were Dolce & Gabbana. We really tried to shop at stores that the girls might shop at when they want something really fancy and will spend a little more money because it’s a special event, but still couldn’t spend all the money to go and buy brand-spanking-new fancy designer shoes. We had some jewelry that tied in to the belt that we added to the beautiful Stone Fox Bride dress. So there was a lot of focus on details.
Were there any weddings from past films or TV shows or even real-life weddings that served as your inspiration for Marnie’s wedding?
JR: There wasn’t any one specific event. It was a very collaborative effort on the production level. I had a lot of meetings with our production designer, Matt, our set designer, Karen, our props master, José, and we really wanted the whole thing to feel like one person—Marnie or her mom—had planned this event, so that it would definitely feel like it had a point of view to it. I know our production designer was working off of a friend’s party that he had been to, I was working off of a lot of vintage and nontraditional wedding images, so there wasn’t one specific event, but we made sure to check in with each other on a design level to really know that we were going to have an event that looked like Marnie had planned it.
Did you make a conscious effort to make it very different from Jessa’s wedding from the first season or was it naturally a whole different beast?
JR: It was a little more natural just because of the circumstances and what the script was setting up for. In Season 1, Jessa’s wedding was very spontaneous. The dress was not a wedding dress at all—it was all things Jessa and I specifically wanted it to be white or off-white to signify that it was a wedding so that our audience would know right away when we came in to this surprise event that Jessa is getting married, so we did a veil, but it was a Jessa version of a veil. But with Marnie’s wedding, we knew that it was a wedding event, and we knew that there would be guests dressed for a farm wedding and that Marnie’s mom would be involved and that it would be a little bit more of a traditional event.
What did you think of the Girls wedding? Tell us in the comments below!