A (short and sweet) interview with Pulp Fiction and Almost Famous costume designer Betsy Heimann.

Who HASN’T seen Pulp Fiction?! Not many people I imagine. Everyone should have seen Almost Famous as well – a must watch, especially those of you who are interested in fashion, it’s 1970s heaven. I had the privilege of talking to the woman behind the classic white shirt, black high waisted trousers we see on Mia (Uma Thurman) in Pulp Fiction (I need the wig she wears!) and the hippy, denim and aviator sunglasses overload  in Almost Famous Betsy Heimann.

On Screen Fashion: How long have you been a costume designer? What inspired you to pursue it as a career?

Betsy Heimann: Lots of years… the career was suggested to me. That was an inspiring suggestion.

OSF: What is your favourite fashion on screen moment of all time?

BH: Eric Stoltz in his bathrobe and T-shirt and Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia. The scene where he starts as a small speck on the horizon and finally comes face to face with Lawrence for the first time. All in black on a black horse; mysterious and sexy WOW.

OSF: You’ve worked on Pulp Fiction – how does it feel to be to have been involved in one of the best films of all time?


OSF: Can you explain Mia’s look?

BH: Mia is the female counterpart of a Reservoir Dog.

OSF: The suits Jules and Vincent wear are a memorable costume moment in the film – what image were you trying to get across with those?

BH: Quentin and I, were trying to continue the same look from Reservoir Dogs for these characters. We put Vincent in a Linen suit so he would look disheveled and a bolo tie, instead of a black tie, because he was a bit of a cowboy. Jules was the Preacher so I put him in a shinier suit and a button down collar shirt to echo that look.

OSF: What’s your favorite costume moment in the film?

BH: Eric Stoltz in his bathrobe and T-shirt. That was a labor of love.

OSF: You’ve also worked on Almost Famous which is well loved by anybody remotely interested in fashion – which character was the most fun to wear?

BH: Every character in Almost Famous was so well developed by Cameron Crowe. I loved bringing them all to life. It was a feast.

OSF: Were items custom-made or did you source items from vintage places?

BH: Except for the blue jeans, I designed all the principal costumes including the t-shirts and shoes.

OSF: How much research did you have to go through to make sure that you were accurately presenting the 1970s era?

BH: I had access to amazing research; buckets of it.

OSF: Do you have any interesting stories from either Pulp Fiction or Almost Famous in terms of costumes?

BH: I never kiss and tell.

Many Thanks to Betsy Heimann.

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