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Deconstructing Hugh

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As About a Boy’s independently wealthy commitment-phobe bachelor Will Freeman, Hugh Grant gets a makeover, shedding his floppy hair and stammering unkemptness for a sleeker look that’s turned heads both Stateside and across the pond. ”I wanted to do a modern kind of fashion,” says Boy costume designer Joanna Johnston. ”Comfortable, urban — the guy look, with a little bit of what we call laddish.” Johnston dissects the steps to a new Hugh.

MAKING THE CUT The actor’s shorter, ”carefully disheveled” locks, says Johnston, were done by his personal hairdresser after the directing Weitz brothers suggested a new ‘do. ”That was sort of key to everything — it gave him that edgy, more trendy look.”

HUGH’S HUE ”He’s got beautiful blue eyes, so any kind of blue would just look fantastic on him,” Johnston remarks about Will’s blue-dominated wardrobe, including this windbreaker (from Italian designer C.P. Company).

WARDROBE MASTER ”I wanted to get that sense that this guy had a lot of stuff,” says Johnston, ”and that he was vain.” Which explains the character’s 50-plus wardrobe changes, from hip British designer 6876 and Diesel jeans to Nike and a multitude of T-shirts (including some from Vexed Generation and Paul Smith). ”The imagery on the shirts can be very amusing,” she adds, ”a sort of irony about [the character].” In the end, reveals Johnston, Grant ended up taking home a lot of the clothes.