The Story Behind The Crazy Plastic Dress Marnie Wore On “Girls”

Naturally, it was Lena Dunham’s idea, the show’s costume designer explains. posted on

Did you see the most recent episode of Girls (Season 2, Episode 6)? Its most interesting elements were not characters, but rather a dog kidnapped from Staten Island…and a plastic dress worn by Marnie that would probably elicit raised eyebrows on Paris runways, no less in hipster Brooklyn.

So, about that dress.

In the episode, Marnie, played by Allison Williams, is helping her celebrity artist “boyfriend” throw a party for his art-world friends — and while Lena Dunham’s character Hannah shows up in a dingy raincoat, Marnie opts for a see-through plastic item that is certainly the edgiest, most high-fashion thing we’ve seen yet on the show. (Excluding that yellow mesh tank top Hannah wore a few episodes ago.)

But sorry to inform: You cannot buy it.

“I made Marnie’s plastic dress especially for the episode,” the show’s costume designer, Jenn Rogien, explains. “It’s two layers of vinyl — a metallic gold croc-textured, vinyl bandeau high-waisted miniskirt under a charcoal transparent vinyl fit-and-flare silhouette.”

Dunham actually wrote the dress into the script, Rogien explains. “It was inspired by a moment from Lena’s life in which she got in a fight with her friend who was wearing a plastic dress.”

At the end of the episode, Williams is seen walking through the subway carrying the vinyl portion of the dress. That part wasn’t written into the script — but because the set was hot, Rogien made the dress in two parts so that Williams would be able to take it off easily in between takes. Dunham and the episode’s director, Claudia Weill, had the idea that Marnie should lug the vinyl part home. “They thought there was some comedy in the idea of it separating, where she’s carrying it home,” Rogien explains.

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