‘Lovelace’ Costume Designer Went for ‘Out of Control’ Look

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—News that a judge has decided not to interfere with the opening of Lovelace by issuing a restraining order is not a surprise. It was always a long shot on the part of Arrow Productions, which has sued the movie’s producers alleging that “more than five minutes of footage in Lovelace are copyrighted material taken from Deep Throat,” but also that the movie’s titular star, Amanda Seyfried, and her co-stars have repeatedly disparaged Lovelace and the original film in public by talking about her alleged abuse, in the process damaging Arrow’s ability topreserve the value of the Deep Throat brand in the long term."

Regarding the latter allegation, the movie’s producer, Millennium Films president Mark Gill, reacted with moral outrage yesterday, releasing a statement that said in part, "The suit was completely unwarranted. We believe this case was an insult to the legal safeguards in place maintaining our right to freedom of speech. It was without merit on every level. Arrow Productions’ complaint was transparent about its desire to control discussion about Deep Throat—a film they describe as a 'watershed' in American popular culture—and to hinder projects that would compete with theirs. The law does not support either of these motives."

Any attempt by Arrow to prevent people from talking freely about a movie and star who by any measure stirred national controversy would be obviously outrageous, but that does not seem to be what the company was actually seeking. Indeed, Arrow owner Raymond Pistol told AVN today that he believes people can say what they want and that he “wouldn't stop them if I could." His complaint seems to have more to do with alleged disparagement by the producers in the making the film, and on that he may have more of a point. In fact a comment made by the movie’s costume designer in an interview published today by The Hollywood Reporter makes abundantly clear that decision-making by the film’s creative team was directly informed by the more salacious claims of abuse allegedly endured by Lovelace.

After reporting at length about the look and feel of porn star attire during the 1970s period that designer Karyn Wagner had to recreate, writer Elizabeth Snead comments toward the end of the piece, “However, the main aspect of Linda's situation Wagner wanted to convey was her helplessness and air of desperation. ‘I wanted her to look completely vulnerable and out of control of her own life,’ she says of Lovelace, who died in a car crash in 2002.”

The article continues, “Never is that more palpable than when Seyfried wears a white cotton eyelet dress for a scene at the Playboy mansion (Hugh Hefner is played by James Franco). ‘She had nothing that could armor her against the world. Traynor shopped for her; he told her what to wear, liked her in lace and never let her wear underwear so she was always on display," explains Wagner. "Linda's vulnerability is what makes her story so accessible to an audience.’”

And what obviously called for a wardrobe full of “vulnerable,” “helpless,” “desperate” and “out of control” clothing.