As the Le Domas family desperately searches for Grace, her once impeccably white wedding dress begins to act as a survival tool in itself, being doused in blood and torn periodically to make tourniquets for her accumulated wounds. Instead of representing a symbol of starving femininity, the dress embodies the power of femininity in the face of an abusive domestic partnership. As it disintegrates, the dress changes from encapsulating the loot of riches to utilitarian rags – also illustrating Grace’s disillusionment with money and the corruption in which she married the haste.
During promotional interview for the film, Weaving revealed that there are 17 different variations of the glamorous wedding dress she wears in the film, each more tattered and tarnished than the last. This meant that her duplicate also required 17 identical dresses, as well as the stunt team. In total, that added up to 51 dresses needed for the entire production — a staggering number that nearly blows up Katherine Heigl’s bridesmaid blues. As Weaving said:
“Avery, the costume designer, was amazing. She made it so much cozier than it is. I love that the dress was a weapon, it was the first aid kit, and I meant that she looked so beautiful – red on a white wedding We had 17 dresses just for me, then another 17 for the doubles, then another 17 for the stunt team Yeah, Avery and the wardrobe department had many of dresses.”
The dress itself is inspired by women who have married into royalty, including Grace Kelly (who simply must serve as the eponymous inspiration for Weaving’s character) and Kate Middleton – although their closeness to fame and status hardly constitute the term “commoner” to describe either of them. Both of their dresses featured long sleeves and lace bodices, with a fitted waist and gorgeous cascading trains. Updated with a modern twist, the dress Grace wears is both fashion-forward and timeless, evoking the style craving of even the most marriage-averse among us. If the warehouse location containing all those dresses ever drops, it’s almost certain that those clothes will be picked up by a very stylish cat burglar – yes, including the most blood-splattered and muddied of the lot. What can I say ? It’s a look!