”The unique thing about Tina Turner’s look is the strength it conveys,” says Ruth Carter, costume designer for What’s Love Got to Do With It, whose kicky ’60s and ’70s outfits are, after Ike and Tina, the movie’s biggest stars. ”It takes guts to get up on stage in those micro-minis without looking vulgar.” Carter engineered 90 costume changes covering three decades’ worth of style to transform Tina (Angela Bassett) from a buttoned-up little country girl into the legendary soul lioness. Although Turner gave the designer access to all her clothes, ”Angela Bassett has a longer torso than Tina, and Tina has longer legs,” explains Carter. ”So the only outfit we could use was the red fringe bodysuit she wore in Vegas.” The film’s real fashion star, though, is Ike (Laurence Fishburne), whose flashy styles-from jumpsuits to hot pants-steal scenes. ”I loved his clothes,” laughs Carter, who discovered that Ike was so concerned about his look that he designed his own duds. ”Whenever Larry came on the set, the crew would look at him and groan, ‘You must be kidding.”’ To clothe the Ikettes, Carter scoured thrift shops but was able to buy essentials like platform shoes and bell-bottoms brand-new-just like Tina herself, they’re back in style.
Posted July 16 1993 — 12:00 AM EDT
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