Jenny Beavan, the costume designer for Disney’s new live-action movie Cruella , is the first to admit that “fashion isn’t my thing”. The two-time Oscar winner – who caused controversy when she collected her most recent Academy Award wearing not Louis Vuitton or Dior but Marks & Spencer – once said she uses clothing purely as a storytelling tool, approaching her work as if costume is part of the set. This approach becomes clear when you consider that her two Oscars (among 10 nominations in total) were for 1986’s A Room with a View and 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Oscars 2021 best and worst dressed, from Brad Pitt and Zendaya to Halle Berry Cruella – Disney’s prequel to 1996’s 101 Dalmatians – is another affirmation of that thinking, as several of the garments worn by the titular character are utterly architectural in scale and construction. One particularly impressive gown, so voluminous it’s able to envelope a car, is embellished with more than 5,000 handmade petals, painstakingly affixed by an army of seamstresses. Interview: Mortal Kombat star Ludi Lin on standing up to racism Despite her personal aversion to the F-word, Beavan and her team have created some of the most fabulous fashion seen on film for Cruella – a movie in which style is central to the plot. Its narrative follows the generational clash between arch establishment couturier Baroness von Hellman, played by Emma Thompson , and young upstart designer Estella Miller, the future Cruella de Vil, depicted with a serviceable English accent by American Emma Stone . Will Raeburn’s zeal for reducing and reusing change the fashion industry? The storyline begins in the grim post-war London of the 1950s, then runs through the hippyish 1960s, but things really get swinging in the 1970s. This period setting provides the opportunity to contrast the avant-garde punk stylings of ascendant fashion rebel Estella/Cruella with the demure designs of the Baroness, whose frocks are based on the elegant “New Look” pioneered by Christian Dior in the 1950s. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cruella (@disneycruella) The baroness’ atelier, where much of the movie’s action is set, was based on archival imagery of the Dior workrooms in Paris, according to director Craig Gillespie. It was there that the 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent took over from the legendary Monsieur Dior after his death in 1957 – in Cruella , a bespectacled doppelgänger for the young YSL serves as personal assistant to the baroness. Talking to Vogue , Beavan revealed her inspirations for the clothing Cruella wears and the designs she sends down the runway. “In terms of references, we had masses including [Vivienne] Westwood, [German singer] Nina Hagen, [fashion label] BodyMap and Alexander McQueen ,” she said. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cruella (@disneycruella) Indeed, many commentators have highlighted the obvious allusions within Cruella’s designs to “Vivienne Westwood’s deconstructed punk Victoriana and Alexander McQueen’s high-octane extravagance,” as Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times put it. But there are also touches of Jean Paul Gaultier , Cruella’s fellow enfant terrible (Estella through and through), and the hyper-theatrical couturier John Galliano. When Cruella upstages the baroness by arriving at an event in the back of a garbage truck, with a 20-metre train of trash-chic trailing behind her, it’s a double homage. First, to the fictional homeless-influenced “Derelicte” collection from classic fashion parody film, Zoolander . And secondly, to the real-life inspiration for “Derelicte” – Galliano’s controversial spring 2000 collection for Dior, which featured models dressed in newspapers and black silk garments redolent of repurposed bin liners. 9 key moments from Netflix’s Halston – and what really happened IRL Explainer | Netflix’s Yasuke IRL: who was the black samurai that inspired the anime? It would take reams to detail every garment worn by the film’s two protagonists: Emma Stone undergoes 47 costume changes as Estella/Cruella, while Emma Thompson’s Baroness wears 33 outfits. Suffice to say, while neither the anti-hero nor the villain could be classed as “good” – there’s not one scene in this movie where either of them look bad. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .