How The Idea of You Nails ‘Cool Mom’ Style

In The Idea of You, Anne Hathaway’s charming May-December romance with Nicholas Galitzine might be the main event, but her style is a close second. And there is nothing matronly about her wardrobe.

Based on the eponymous book by Robinne Lee, Anne plays Solène, a 40-year-old Silver Lake divorcee and art gallery owner with a teen daughter, who falls for Hayes (Galitzine), the 24-year-old lead singer of the boy band August Moon, after a chance meeting at Coachella. From the get-go, Solène is inherently chic with her blunt bangs, vintage denim, and velvet blazers.

As her relationship with Hayes heats up, her looks become edgier, and at times, a vehicle for her insecurities about their age difference. But there’s never a moment where Solène doesn’t look like a quintessential “cool mom.”(After all, she takes her teen daughter and her friends to Coachella to meet their favorite boy band. What can be cooler than that?)

Ahead of the release of The Idea of You, now streaming on Prime Video, caught up with costume designer Jacqueline Demeterio—who is responsible for Solène’s enviable style. She and Hathaway had collaborated twice before, on the 2015 film The Intern and Apple TV+ series WeCrashed. A few months after working on the latter, when Hathaway shared plans for The Idea of You, Demetrio was “100 percent down.” “It sounded so in my wheelhouse and in her wheelhouse, and we’ve worked so well together and we’d love to collaborate together,” she says.

Here, Demetrio tells us about working with Hathaway, the designers she gravitated toward, and the French muse who inspired Solène’s style.

This is your third project with Anne. How did you approach this style on The Idea of You differently than The Intern and WeCrashed?

I didn’t read the book at first because I didn’t want to get confused [since] I knew we were doing something a little bit different. I didn’t want to have that influence me too much. But then Anne suggested [I] read the book, so I read the book. But the mom in the book is a little more high-end, luxury fashion—she’s definitely wealthier. Michael Showalter wanted the film to be a bit more down to earth and a little bit more grounded with the characters. At first, I thought it was gonna be a little more [of a] glossy look. Once I got the revision [of the script?], [it’s clear] she’s a mother from Silver Lake, but she’s a cool mom. She’s beautiful, she owns a gallery, she’s hip. So we wanted her [to] have that essence but also not be too out of reach. I didn’t want her to be head-to-toe in new stuff all the time. Like, we had a great pair of jeans that we utilized. We had the same shoes and some of the same bags, but everything was cool.

the idea of you

Amazon Studios

Was there anyone you had in mind as a muse for Solène?

One of my inspirations was Jane Birkin. Really, the Parisian street style, bohemian feel was what the inspiration was. Then, of course, adding that to her living in Silver Lake, it fell right into place. Anne pulls that off so effortlessly—so cool and chic. It just worked.

jane birkin


Jane Birkin (photographed here in the ’60s) was an inspiration for Solène’s wardrobe.

How did you balance the artsy side of Solène with the sexier side as she pursues this younger guy?

That was important because there were times where when she’s a mom, she’s with her daughter and she’s with the daughter’s friends—even when she’s at Coachella. In her wardrobe, she has these really, easy pieces that she feels sexy in, but when she decides to go to New York to visit Hayes at his hotel and she’s in that two-piece Fendi sheer ensemble with the trench, she knows that she wants to look and be sexy. That was her [being] like, “I’m going for it.” In her mind, it’s like, “Okay, I’m sexy.” But I feel like it wasn’t overtly sexy—she still looks super chic—and it still landed in her world of this 40-year-old confident mother. So, it was kind of keeping the balance of what she wears at home and at work. For me, it was more about confidence and how she felt wearing the clothes, and you could see that on screen. I think she felt so good in her clothes.

anne hathaway the idea of you

Prime Video

Which designers did you gravitate toward for Anne in the film?

At the start of the film [when] she’s in that linen, navy dress with the balloon sleeve, that dress was Chloé. Chloé was a great designer that checked all those boxes that you just said. It’s the Bohemian granola but she’s still beautiful. I used Isabel Marant on her. That two-piece was Fendi. I use Saint Laurent when she started going on tour with them, [and] those pieces were a bit [edgier] for her. But again, Anne and I didn’t want it to feel like it was not Solène. I didn’t want it to be like this full makeover because we still want it to feel authentic to Solène, and she’s, again, this confident woman and would choose pieces that she feels great in. It had to feel authentic. So those pieces were a little edgier, but still in her wheelhouse. Those were more Saint Laurent. I used vintage Versace leather pants, when she’s on the side of the stage, Tom Ford, or Gucci. The dress with the chenille on the top and then the floral when they go to the warehouse, that’s vintage Chanel. Then we had these great vintage jeans, so there was a mix of high-designer vintage and then some current collection pieces.

the idea of you anne hathaway

Alisha Wetherill

Before Solène ends up at Coachella, she’s supposed to go solo camping. How did you land on that look?

She had a pair of shorts on and she had a RE/DONE tank top on and that was an Elder Statesman overshirt—that cashmere ombre tie-dye shirt. It [had] to make sense that this is what she’s wearing to go camping with her hat—her sun coverage—and then she accidentally gets kind of forced into taking the kids to Coachella. So I didn’t want it to look too foolish that she’s in this camping outfit and then she’s at Coachella, but I kind of wanted it to blend. So it wasn’t like she was sticking out like a sore thumb at Coachella, but it also worked if she was going camping. I didn’t want it to draw too much attention to being so jokey because there were such good scenes at Coachella between her and Hayes that I didn’t want all the attention drawn to what she was wearing. So we found that balance. She actually had boots on when she was gonna go camping and then she’s like, “Let me grab my sandals,” and she grabs a pair of Alaïa vintage sandals to wear to Coachella. She’s not gonna wear the hiking boots there, so she grabs her sandals at the last minute.

the idea of you

Alisha Wetherill

When Solène is in a hotel with Hayes, she has a moment with a stylist in the hotel room and racks of clothes to choose from. Tell me about that makeover montage-esque scene.

She has that moment of like, “Oh my god, there’s everything that I could possibly want at my fingertips. This world is so foreign to me.” Every designer piece of clothing is coming in because they’re the biggest band in the world, and she’s able to choose from what she wants. We, again, were careful about picking the right pieces that Solène would still gravitate towards without it being too over the top or too much. So, in that scene, she’s wearing a pair of like Saint Laurent crushed velvet pants and a Gucci vintage, blue and green bomber jacket that she has off her shoulder. That was supposed to be a really fun scene of her just being able to peek into his world. They’re so different, but she’s in that fantasy, and she’s just going with it as I think all of us would love to do.

In the film, there’s a pool scene where she feels really insecure about her swimsuit while hanging around these young girls in their bikinis with August Moon. What was your thought process behind her sporting that one piece?

She is trying to decide [on a swimsuit], and then she looks out the window and sees all of the young girls and they’re in their thongs. It’s everything that she doesn’t wear. So, all of a sudden, as confident as a woman as she is—and I feel like this happens to all of us—you have these moments where you all of a sudden feel insecure and something can just set you off. I think she has that moment of insecurity and also like, what am I doing here? So, she chose that Camilla one-piece bathing suit, and then we threw that Valentino caftan on top of it with the hat and the scarf. Then she comes out and she’s like, “I’m careful with my skin,” but it was also her sort of protection against having the insecurity with all the young girls at the pool.

anne hathaway the idea of you

Prime Video

Tell me about the final look Solène wears in the film and what that symbolizes.

We chose a Gabriela Hearst red suit. We were really attracted to the color, and it’s also a woman in a red suit—it’s a powerful statement. I think she was in a place five years later now where she felt so confident with herself, her life, and her family and everything fell into the right place. Throughout the movie, we stayed in these purple and jewel tones that we loved for Solène and then we wanted to end with that red. First of all, it was a beautiful color on camera, but when he walks into the gallery and you see her, she just looks so at ease with her life.

anne hathaway the idea of you

Prime Video
Shop Solène’s Style

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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