'The Vampire Diaries' consults 'Beauty and the Beast' to dress the belles of Klaus' ball
One of the challenges of dressing the characters on
"The Vampire Diaries" is the show shoots in Atlanta, where there is good but somewhat limited shopping. The other is the color palette is very dark.
"We don't have all the fantastic L.A. and New York shopping," costume designer Leigh Leverett says. "And sometimes when you are trying to buy dark colors in the spring you can run into problems because everything is bright and pastel-y."
There are a couple of big malls in Atlanta, and Leverett does the rounds of every store to see what's new.
"We do so many episodes fairly quickly and everyone has two to four changes an episode, so we have to have enough clothes for 22 episodes," she says. "We do multiples because people are always getting stabbed or bitten. We buy the initial piece and go online to find multiples all over the country sometimes."
An exception would be the clothes Elena, Caroline, Stefan and Damon wore to a ball Klaus hosted in an episode that aired Feb. 9. Leverett searched for the perfect Cinderella-like dresses for Elena ( Nina Dobrev) and Caroline ( Candice Accola) and found two that are truly special.
"We used 'Beauty and the Beast' as a reference to mix it up from the slinky evening wear you normally see on the show," she says.
"Elena is wearing a vintage dress that is from a great place in Atlanta called Miz Scarletts. She sells really expensive dresses from London and Paris, and the place is just this beautiful fantasy world of tulle and beading and really pretty stuff.
"The dress is a black sheer chiffon over black lace, and then the skirt part has four layers: black chiffon over black lace over a piece that has gold beading, and then under that is a piece of gold satin, and under that is the petticoat.
"I almost didn't buy it because I thought it would be too sparkly, but then I just took it anyway because it's a gorgeous dress, and the way the light hits it is perfect.
"I had found Caroline's dress, and I needed one equal or better, which was hard to find. This had a sweetheart neckline, and it said Elena. The two of them are equal in value beautywise.
"We added gloves to make it a couple of steps above your normal evening wear almost as though it's a period piece.
"Stefan's tux is Armani. They've done a lot of rentals in the past, so we wanted the really nice designer tux for him."
"This dress we got from Alberto Makali, the designer. What I love about Caroline's dress is the way it's cut and the silver beading. The silver and blue -- I don't know how to put it in words -- a lot of times in shopping it just hits me that it's perfect for that character.
"I really love the beading at the waist, and the bodice part is really exceptional and exquisite and so is the different layers of color in the tulle. The whole thing is just gorgeous.
"The wrap is separate because it's really cold here while we are shooting. We went around and looked for different wraps, but that one was lighter and daintier and had a silver sheen, so it went better with the dress."