When costume designer Carol Beadle was in the research phase of working on The Runaways movie, a shortage of visual material on the teen-girl band may have initally seemed like a hurdle but one that she was easily able to leap over. “I think I was able to get my hands on quite a bit”, she says. Teen mags, newspaper clippings and books on punk and glam all came in handy as well as “the internet, of course”.
The Runaways is the bio-pic that tells the brief but dynamic story of the late-70’s rock band that launched the careers of local girl Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie (the film is based on Currie’s novel Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway). With a gem of a sountrack that includes tunes like “Cherry Bomb” and “Queens of Noise”, the film is a walk-in closet full of glitter rock-perfect fashions, platform boots and Kissing Potion.
In real life, each bandmember’s individual style was actually inspired by her own rock icons which Beadle took into consideration when pulling wardrobe pieces. “The research book I put together for my meetings for getting the Runaways job each had photos of [the girls] facing pictures of their idols (e.g. Lita Ford and Jimmy Page, Sandy West and Keith Moon) and lots of other rock heroes of the early-to-mid 70’s”.
Thinking of trying out Joan’s leather trousers and Chucks or Cherie’s bell-bottomed angel? Then start by heading to your local vintage boutique or Etsy (or thrift store if you’re a good hunter/ gatherer). “I spent LOTS of time in vintage stores and costume houses”, Beadle told us. And with lots of pre-worn apparel comes “Lots of augmenting”. So learn how to sew or make friends with someone who does. Tailors and seamstresses should be your best friend (Stacy and Clinton have been telling you that for years). And what about the ever-present jumpsuit, a staple of the feathered-headed fivesome? These days, newer versions are easier to find than ever, though Beadle cautions, “Jumpsuits are great if you are thin and at least 5’6, I’d say. Or wearing a good wedge or platform”.
Local girls get their flare-legged, tight tee’d freak on at Grasshopper, the Walnut Street boutique with an interior that is reminiscent of a 70’s era rec room. There you’ll find a kicky selection of high-waisted bell-bottoms, rompers, graphic t-shirts and vintage jewelry.
Grasshopper- 727 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
The Runaways (starring Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart) is available on DVD and Blu-Ray starting July 20th