Rafaella Rabinovich shares the essentials every girl needs to channel their inner Laura Jean.
When costume designer Rafaella Rabinovich signed on to Netflix’s romcom To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, she didn’t intend to make its star, Lana Candor, a fashion icon. It just happened naturally.
In fact, the story of Lara Jean Song Covey (Candor), a young woman experiencing romance for the first time, came across Rabinovich’s desk years before a film version was in the works. The designer read Jenny Han’s young adult romance on a plane and felt an immediate connection with the main character –- a girl coming into her own. Laura Jean’s style felt like a direct extension of that coming-of-age narrative and when Rabinovich learned she’d be outfitting the film, she decided to keep things personal by pulling pieces from her own closet to style her YA heroine.To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before production still. Photo Credit: Netflix
“My biggest inspiration was obviously the way that it was written because you could really read Lara Jean off the script,” Rabinovich tells Culturess. “What I saw is a girl that appreciates vintage, appreciates romance. I really went for the cuts that worked in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s. I would describe Lara Jean’s style as vintage, romantic, effortless, and cool, without her knowing. Which makes it that much more badass, in my humble opinion.”
The on-screen look might translate as effortless but Rabinovich and her team scoured the world, literally, for some pieces in Laura Jean’s closet.
“There was stuff that was brought in from the UK, from Germany, from South America, from Israel, from the States obviously, and from Sweden, too,” Rabinovich says. She pulled from Instagram, K-Pop, classic John Hughes films, and a handful of old 1990s Vogue editions to help define the character’s look. Because so much work went into styling Laura Jean, we thought we’d break down some of the most iconic pieces of the film so you too can add them to your closet.
The Bomber JacketTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before production still. Photo Credit: Netflix
Laura Jean wears multiple bomber jackets throughout the film because, as Rabinovich explains, the bomber is timeless: “It’s been around for years and it will be here for many more.”
The bomber Laura Jean wears in the film’s party scene, which marks her first “date” with Peter Kavinsky, is actually from Forever 21. “That specific jacket was purchased for a show and it ended up never going on camera, so I bought it off of production knowing that the stars were going to align and it’s going to end up on camera when I need it to,” Rabinovich says. “So that was the moment for it to go on camera.”
In fact, plenty of pieces from Laura Jean’s closet came from the thrifty, young adult clothing store.
“I say this respectfully because it surprises some people, they have some really great cuts, they have some really great textures, they have a lot of really cool corduroy skirts we got from there,” Rabinovich says.
Vintage ShoesTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before production still. Photo Credit: Netflix
Laura Jean’s mix of romantic and punk rock was on full display with her first-day-of-school outfit. She paired khaki shorts with knee high socks and some chunky vintage boots, boots that got their own shout-out in the film. According to Rabinovich, there a must for every girl’s closet.
“You need a great pair of vintage boots,” the designer says. Or, at least a pair of boots that look vintage. “Those were BP boots. Even though we found them in a vintage store, they’re not actually vintage. They were available at the time, at places like Nordstrom.”
And, for the truly daring, Rabinovich recommends the golf brogues Laura Jean wore when she agreed to fake date Peter Kavinsky at the beginning of the film.
“I saw this perfect pair of gold boots that she has on ASOS, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. They’re amazing,’” Rabinovich says. “It only made sense for her to have them because brogues have such a retro, cool vintage vibe to them.”
The PeacoatTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before production still. Photo Credit: Netflix
A peacoat is an essential in any woman’s closet, especially if you’re trying to channel your inner Laura Jean. Rabinovich took the wardrobe staple and added a pop of color to it to bring out the character’s romantic side. Unfortunately for us, the exact coat belonged to Rabinovich’s sister, meaning we can’t find it in stores. But there is a lesson here: raiding a sibling’s closet in order to achieve Laura Jean’s style is completely okay.
“We were building that color palette with a lot of cyan, yellow and magenta pink, and we [were] looking for this really great coat,” Rabinovich explains. “We end up looking all over the place. We have coats coming in from Sicily and from England. My mom and my sister live in Israel, and I called them up, and I was like, ‘I’m looking for this coat, and I can’t find it.’ She reminded me, ‘Hey, do you remember that coat you bought your sister a couple of years ago in the UK? How about that one?’ So, my sister sent it over.”
For other pieces, like Laura Jean’s bold striped turtleneck and romantic, frilly blouse collection, Rabinovich gave us some standbys of hers, stores like Modcloth, Anthropologie, Free People, the Canadian brand Simon’s, Aritzia, Urban Outfitters, and Dex.
Rabinovich is working hard to help fans dying to get there hands on Laura Jean’s looks. Most of the clothes Candor wears in the film were vintage pieces, things from the designer’s own closet, or items that were seasons-old, meaning you can’t find them in stores.
“I’m trying to get ahold of some stuff,” Rabinovich hints. “I’m trying to work with those companies to get some stuff to some of the fans. I’ve been in touch with some companies. If those things are still available, even though it’s been over a year, and we can find them, and we can do a giveaway, that would make some young ladies very, very, very happy.”
In the end, Rabinovich says the best way to channel your inner Laura Jean is through confidence.
“The key is just having a really great attitude, which I know is a cliché,” she explains. “Not being scared to mix things together and try things out I think we have a relationship with clothes where we think that we just need to take things off the rack and that because somebody tells us that something goes together, that’s what we need to do. But in reality, it’s an opportunity to self-express, and when you express yourself, you’re going to be badass. Just let yourself explore.”
You can watch To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before now on Netflix.