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Melissa Rivers' emotional transformation into Joan

Published 22/12/2015

Melissa Rivers
Melissa Rivers

Joy costume designer Michael Wilkinson has discussed how he dressed the cast, including Jennifer Lawrence and Melissa Rivers.

Melissa Rivers found transforming into her late mother Joan for Joy "emotional".

The film is about Joy Mangano, who found her big break in the world of business when she sold her Miracle Mop to shopping channel QVC. Joan, who passed away in 2014, regularly appeared on the network and Melissa stepped into her late mum's shoes for the movie, with costume designer Michael Wilkinson behind the looks created.

"It was such an honour to work with Melissa on this project and to help her transform into the image of her mother - obviously a very emotional moment for her," Michael told Fashionista. "I couldn't have asked for more direct feedback about what was accurate and what was not: her love of costume jewellery, her loyalty to certain brands and her indifference about other brands."

Melissa rocked power suits from Oscar de la Renta and Chanel in the flick, with all accessories from Joan's own jewellery line on QVC.

Joy is played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, who ages from her 20s to her 40s throughout the tale. Michael relied heavily on director David O. Russell's feedback when creating Joy's costumes.

"We wanted her costume choices to be timeless and classic - sturdy, honest pieces that have an emotional authenticity, an effortless beauty," Michael added. "David was very keen to make the button-down shirt her everyday wardrobe staple: practical, unpretentious with clean lines and a sense of getting-down-to-business."

Michael also collaborated with hair and make-up artists, who aged Jennifer with their cosmetic skills. The real challenge was to make each look feel authentic, while being "striking and imaginative" at the same time. A total of 45 costumes are seen on Jennifer during the movie: "(From a) young, open-hearted college kid in rebellious jeans and T-shirts to a steely resolute matriarch in designer suits," Michael smiled.

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