As a skittish bride-to-be, Julia Roberts takes five trips down the catwalk — er, aisle.

By Tricia Johnson
Updated August 06, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Movie

Style: ‘Runaway Bride’

Oh, the glow of a pretty woman in white. In Runaway Bride, Julia Roberts’ long-awaited rematch with Richard Gere, the actress tries to tie the knot five times, turning the film into a nuptial nut’s nirvana. At first, Roberts, who went barefoot to her own 1993 wedding to Lyle Lovett, didn’t relish the prospect of her altared state, but she says, ”It [was] as painless as it could’ve ever been. It was on the cusp of fun.” Credit costume designer Albert Wolsky (You’ve Got Mail) for the Technicolor trousseau, which includes:

1. The Belle’s Bell ”It’s as close as you can get to a Vera Wang without it being a Vera Wang,” says Wolsky of the organza gown with satin bands that Julia’s character, Maggie, picks because ”it swishes like a bell.” Wolsky, who made four of the five gowns because there was no time to call in designers, had a spare of this one on hand in case Roberts ruined the dress while climbing through a window or hopping on a FedEx truck. ”To me,” says Wolsky, ”the Federal Express dress is the prettiest [because of] what it does on the screen.”

2. The Far-Out Frock The hippie-inspired, crocheted sheath sported by Roberts for her alter ego’s Deadhead I do’s was Wolsky’s favorite. ”It was just so funny and so sweet, it made me laugh,” he says. Three copies were made because of the stunts performed in the dress: jumping on a trampoline, climbing a fence, and riding a motorcycle. Pay attention to Julia’s hair in these scenes: The daisies were her idea.

3. A Druid’s Delight An unbridled success. Wolsky made four copies of this tulle number worn for Maggie’s bolt on horseback from a ceremony in the woods. ”I had in mind that it should pouf like a cloud,” says Wolsky. ”The veil started out long, but I had to cut and cut to make it fly.”

4. The Old-Fashioned Frock For her marriage to Brian (Donal Logue), Maggie appears in a hand-embroidered dress. ”This one was very traditional, with a long train,” says the costumer, who increased the length to accomodate the ring bearer whom Maggie drags up the aisle during the first vowing out.

5. An Off-the-Rack Success Wolsky found this gown in a back room at Manhattan’s Saks Fifth Avenue. There was just one, and ”it fit like it was made for Julia.” The silk-satin dress with reembroidered flowers made for a look ”almost like the cover of a romance novel,” he says. Julia’s hair? Big and bare — like in Pretty Woman. — Additional reporting by Zack Stentz

Runaway Bride

  • Movie
  • PG
  • Garry Marshall