A Letter to Barneys From a Costume Designer Stuck in Canada

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

--Guest Post By Sophie de Rakoff

Dear Barneys,

I missed you. It was a little chilly up here in Vancouver, by the time we finished shooting This Means War it was December and it was cold. Even though I was born and raised in London, nearly two decades of California living has thinned my blood. And although my cashmere Marc Jacobs beanie was soft and brought out the green of my eyes, I wanted to burn it by the end of the shoot. And my Marni rainboots that turned from white to black with mud and drudge, I left them on the wardrobe truck, and didn't even look back.

But really, more than anything, I just really, really missed YOU Barneys. Your absence was a hole that could not be fulfilled. Your memory was a like a third person that hung in the air between my assistant and I. And now, with hindsight, I just want to say: I am sorry my friend, I took you for granted. I stopped appreciating how chock full of fashion goodness you are, and the smorgasbord of delight that you offer. I stopped appreciating that you have the a little bit of everything and a lot of some really good stuff. That you are an equal opportunity store, and favor the gents as much as the ladies. No gender bias for you Barneys.

Reese Witherspoon in This Means War - Red Dress, Black Platform Pumps
Reese Witherspoon in This Means War

I also forgot to thank you for having such a perfect selection of shoes. If I needed it, you had it. But did I ever stop and thank you? Did I ever kiss you gently and say "Barneys, you are the one for me"? Nope, I never did, and for that I am truly sorry. It's not that I hate you Canada, you are a lovely country full of very nice people. But in terms of wardrobe, a plethora of grey turtlenecks and some wooly knits do not a good looking movie make. For our movie we needed color, sex appeal, range and vivacity. And Canada, you were not the gal for this job.

Barneys, you however were born to wave that flag, and before I left town you and I were hand in hand. Then I crossed the border, crossed to the dark side and it was a sad day. I cried a river of tears over your absence Barneys. I had to send people over the border just to find a pair of decent sandals. I had to put Net-a-Porter into overdrive just to get a taste of Tucker, a red dress, and a Stella bag. But of course it was Canadian Net-a-Porter and it took 6 days to get anything. Which was almost as crazy as having to make an assistant drive to Seattle to get a pair of sandals. I mean really people? Sandals? Seattle?

Reese Witherspoon in This Means War - Blue Dress, Red Peep Toes
Reese Witherspoon in This Means War

All I wanted to do, Barneys, was get in my car, fall into your welcoming arms, gorge myself on your treats, and work a happy 12 hour day instead of a frustrating 18 hour one. Barneys, you make my job easy and the actors happy. And if by chance you don't have what I need in my LA store, you betcha your big sister in New York has it all. And can send it overnight. That is a thing of great beauty Barneys, as are you. So once again Barneys let me say I respect you, I salute you and I will never, ever again take you for granted.

Your pal,
Sophie de Rakoff.

Sophie de Rakoff
London-born, LA-based Sophie de Rakoff is a costume designer for major feature films. Sophie's credits include Legally Blonde, Legally Blonde 2, Fever Pitch and In Her Shoes. Sophie's most recent film credit is the just-released This Means War, starring Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine.