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Fashion Cerruti's Suave Assault on Hollywood
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: Bogart, Anne
Date: Aug 9, 1989
Start Page: 1
Section: View; 5; View Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Things are just beginning to get interesting for him in a new way. A self-confessed fanatic for Sergio Leone films-the Italian cowboy pictures sometimes called "spaghetti Westerns"-he wants to go Hollywood in a big way. In a strategy that might be described as fashion product placement, [Nino Cerruti] has upped the budget for his full-time Hollywood representative, Mary Hall Ross, to seek out film projects and stars who might look better on screen if swathed in a little Cerruti tweed.

In some ways, Cerruti and representative Ross are like many studio executives. They read all the scripts and consider not the casting but the director before they agree to provide the movie's costume designer with their services. Major stars are clothed for free in exchange for on-screen credit. Sometimes, for smaller roles, Cerruti provides sample, off-the-rack items and special orders from the Cerruti factories. He sells them to the studios at cost.

[Marilyn Vance-Straker] defended her use of a European designer against a growing concern by some members of the Hollywood Costume Guild that local talent is being ignored. She argues that designers such as Armani and Cerruti present "absolutely no threat to anyone. We can only be complementary to each other." She feels that Hollywood costumers aren't threatened because ready-to-wear designers, Cerruti among them, don't take the place of a costumer, nor do they get a costume-designer credit on screen. Instead, they get credit as a supplier of wardrobe.

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