The One Fashion Tip to Master From The Beguiled

The Beguiled is a movie about many things: the Civil War, women of the 19th century, mourning, lust, betrayal, revenge, and plenty more that will make your heart race like you’ve been doing sprints. (This editor can attest to that.) But as with any period piece, as well as other movies by the director and style star, Sofia Coppola, fashion plays its own role in the must-see film that’s debuting this week. And to fully understand it, we went right to Stacey Battat, The Beguiled’s costume designer and a go-to Coppola collaborator.

As expected, transforming a cast of seven actresses into Confederate ladies circa 1864 is no easy task—assumedly, neither is getting into the five or so layers of clothing that were customary for women of the time—but it's definitely one that the stylist-turned–costume designer pulled off with aplomb. It included everything from the corsets that made the leading actresses, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, walk in a specific manner, as well as the subtle touches of bows and jewelry that accented the ladies' looks and became tools to impress the mysterious stranger, Colin Farrell, who becomes stranded at an all-girls school. As expected, that’s were all the drama begins.

Below, Battat walked us through how she went about creating 90% of what you’ll see on screen, what she learned in the process, and which trends are still just as relevant today. Believe it: Even us fashion editors are already charmed by every ruffled top and gingham print.

Scroll down to learn more before you step into the movie theater on Friday, June 23.