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The look for Love: Down With Love costume designer Daniel Orlandi whirls us back to that 1960s neverland where Doris and Rock once played. (Summer Movie Preview).

Ask Daniel Orlandi for dirt on Renee Zellweger, and you get nothing. When questioned whether the Academy Award-nominated actor, famous for her taste in vintage fashion, tried to walk off the set of Down With Love with the cotton-candy creations Orlandi dreamed up for her character, he laughs, saying, "Oh, of course not. We had to keep them all for reshoots. Although I'm sure there are pieces she would have liked. She's got incredible style."

And besides, even though the movie seems like it was actually filmed in 1962, there's not a single piece of vintage clothing in the frothy homage to the Doris Day-Rock Hudson sex comedies of that era "We designed everything in the movie, right down to Ewan McGregor's shirts and Renee's gloves," says Orlandi. "This movie celebrates the clothes. In the scene where Renee first walks into her new apartment, her suit matches the upholstery on the chair. Then you notice that you can see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty from her window. You've entered the land of the impossible."

The openly gay, single New Jersey native got his first break shortly after moving to Los Angeles in the early 1980s. A chance meeting with Bob Mackie on the set of a Las Vegas show led to a job as the designer's assistant and to Orlandi's first film, the elaborate Depression-era musical Pennies From Heaven. Moviegoers have also seen Orlandi's costumes in Apollo 13, Meet the Parents, and the recently released Phone Booth. But it was the Down With Love experience that fulfilled a lifelong dream. "It was, in fact, the Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies that made me want to be a designer," he explains. "I knew all of them by heart. So when. I read the Down With Love script, I knew I had to do this movie."

Orlandi is also quick to note that his costumes, though based on a "more is more" aesthetic, are not camp. "They're sexy, cool, fun, and full of surprises," he says. "But they're sleek. That era was the last time clothes seemed truly modern. They were optimistic. You wonder why we all didn't end up in space jumpsuits." All of which makes his next project, a Texas location shoot outfitting 1,000 people for The Alamo, seem like such a lurching gearshift. So how was the change from chiffon to chaps? "It's been great," he says. "I'm learning so much on this new shoot. It's not for sissies, though. We're knee-deep in mud every day."

White writes about film for E! Online.
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Article Details
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Author:White, Dave
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 27, 2003
Words:432
Previous Article:Cinema, this summer: everything Advocate readers need to know about the gayest big-screen offerings for the hottest months. (Summer Movie Preview).
Next Article:Cyber-scintillating: stage actor Eric Millegan makes his screen debut in the sexy Web-cam comedy On_Line. (Summer Movie Preview).
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