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Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast gown boasts ‘fluidity’

Costume designer Jacqueline Durran had a challenge creating Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast gown to reflect the modern take on her character Belle.

Beauty and the Beast’s costume designer ensured Emma Watson didn’t feel “trapped” in the film’s famous ball gown.

The British actress takes on the lead role of Belle in Disney’s new adaptation of the 1991 animated classic, with Dan Stevens playing her title love interest while Luke Evans stars as villain Gaston.

When working on the iconic gold dress Belle wears to dance with the Beast, fashion expert Jacqueline Durran discussed all the details with the 26-year-old star to guarantee her comfort throughout.

“We did try going in the direction of a historical 18th century dress, and we tried going in the direction of something more modern, as a re-interpretation of an 18th century dress. In fact, in the end, it came back to being closer to animation,” Jacqueline told Fashionista. “But what we did with that silhouette was to try and give it a lightness and a fluidity, and very little structure, so that Emma didn't feel inhibited or trapped by it.”

The designer made the gown as weightless as possible, while making sure there was movement too. Luckily Jacqueline describes the overall process as “very good”, though she did recognise the possibility of a clash between the costume and Emma’s empowering, modern take on the character of Belle.

Discussing how they found balance, Jacqueline added: “At the same time, there are elements in which the yellow dress works against that in a sense of being a pretty, princess-y kind of dress... (It) was difficult and interesting. I think that we arrived at the end by making it quite simple and something that she felt she could really move in and be active in.”

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