It’s been 25 years since “Scream” hit theaters in 1996 and terrified those who just wanted to stay at home and watch a scary movie. No one has been able to eat Jiffy Pop in peace ever since.
Now, the slasher film franchise is back with its fifth installment, out January 2022, that sees a new killer donning the Ghostface mask in Woodsboro, Calif. Stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox are making their return to reprise their original roles.
In honor of its 25th anniversary, FN caught up with the “Scream” costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom to talk everything from the Ghostface killer’s boots to Drew Barrymore’s opening-scene look.
Here are 7 things you definitely didn’t know about the ’90s fashion from the film:
Drew Barrymore’s opening-scene sweater was from J.Crew.
Barrymore played Casey, the high school teen who gets (spoiler alert) brutally murdered in the first 15 minutes of “Scream.” Her look was meant to be cozy and comfortable as she prepared popcorn and was ready to watch a VHS tape with her football jock boyfriend, said Bergstrom.
“We knew that we needed the sweater to tell a story, but not tell a story at the same time. And so it was just a simple linen blend from J. Crew. We definitely wanted the sweater to be light in color so it would show blood. When Drew put that sweater on, I remember that she loved the sleeves. The sleeves were long and they came down, covering a portion of her hand and just sort of let the fingers be seen,” she said.
Her lilac pants, meanwhile, were meant to represent love and were by British designer Katharine Hamnett.
Courteney Cox’s character Gale Weathers wore high-end designer clothing.
For her two memorable costumes, Gale Weathers wore a chartreuse suit by Versace and a red Moschino jacket and plaid skirt ensemble.
“I am so not a fan of bright colors,” said Bergstrom. “But the colors were appropriate for her character. Courteney and I sat down and had a discussion about her character. I dove into the psychology of who I thought this person was, and based on that, what she might dress like. Courteney had the same vision. Gale wanted to be seen. She wanted to make her mark in the world. We were also looking at newscasters of the era who had frosted tip hair and the makeup was bold. Gale was villainous, too. When it first started, she just wanted to have this huge explosive story and create an exposé of what was happening in this town. She and Sidney were really against each other so she was the opposite of Sidney.”
Sidney Prescott’s casual look was meant to represent the antithesis of her mother.
Star Neve Campbell’s character Sidney Prescott is first seen in “Scream” wearing a night gown in bed to represent her teenage innocence. Later, she’s seen in Adidas sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt. While her oversized, casual looks were meant to throw off audiences into thinking she could be the killer, the idea behind her costumes was also to portray her mental state.
“We wanted to not really show off her body. But but beyond that, this was a girl whose mother had been violently raped and killed,” explained Bergstrom. “And because it was known that she was sort of like the ‘slut’ of the town, having affairs, there was just a lot of trauma that Sidney experienced. She was the antithesis of who her mother was and she didn’t want to show off and be sexy. Her best friend got to do that. Sidney evolves as time goes on, however. When she goes to the party, she’s wearing a lower cut t-shirt, slimmer-fit pants, she’s got a little kick ass heeled boot on. But it was really just sort of like, ‘I’m sad, I’m depressed, but oh my gosh, I have this budding sexuality about ready to bloom’ [type of character.]”
Rose McGowan and costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom went shopping together.
McGowan’s character Tatum was the sexy, cute, bouncy, yet quick-witted and smart best friend to Sidney. Bergstrom said at the beginning of filming, she and McGowan had differing visions of Tatum’s look. “It was just a matter of coming together and finding the right route that really portrayed the character eloquently. We found it, and she and I did go shopping together.”
For fans of the film, you’ll know a standout look came in the scene when she (spoiler-alert) is murdered by Ghostface and is crushed by a garage door. In the scene, she wears a turtle-neck t-shirt and printed miniskirt with white, buckle Dr. Marten’s boots.
“Your heart kind of is ripped out of your chest,” said Bergstrom of the moment. “She has this sassiness about her so the outfit needed to be like, ‘Hey, I’m out at the party. I’m having fun’ so the audience would not suspect that she’s going to be murdered.”
Ghostface’s workboots were from Sears and his robe was inspired by the grim reaper.
Bergstrom said that the famous painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch “Scream,” inspired the color palette for the film. It was this artwork and the grim reaper that also inspired her creation of Ghostface’s black, glittering robe.
For the killer’s shoes, the costume designer chose a pair of black work boots from Sears that have been since discontinued.
“We wanted the boots just to be really nondescript. Could a woman wear these boots? I remember when I was seeking the boots, it was important that they also came in women’s sizes.”
If you look closely, Bergstrom said you’ll see Stu (Matthew Lillard) and Billy (Skeet Ulrich) wearing the boots in the beginning of the movie. “It was sort of like a red herring,” she added.
Jamie Kennedy’s character Randy wore Hush Puppies shoes.
In a true call-out to ’90s shoe trends, Randy is seen sitting with the gang of friends at school in a pair of green, moc-like Hush Puppies.
Matthew Lillard borrowed a crew member’s robe for the house party scene.
“That was another great collaborative effort,” Bergstrom said. “Matthew Lillard saw one of my set crew wearing his personal robe because we were all staying at a hotel. Lillard wanted to wear it. I said, ‘You guys have to be careful, it’s a vintage robe and we don’t have multiples on it so we have to get him out of it at some point.”
In the movie, Stu is seen in the look at his house party where the final murders take place and the killers are revealed.