When it comes to prom dresses, the snappy little number that Molly Ringwald wore in Pretty in Pink might be the most memorable one of all time. Partly because of its design, and partly because it symbolizes so much more than a prom dress—it’s a declaration of independence, and a big ‘ol “eff you” to the popular kids. And it totally works for her character Andie. But in real life, Molly wasn’t too excited about wearing it.
“Oh boy. Molly hated that dress,” costume designer Marilyn Vance told The Huffington Post. “She wanted to be like the other girls, you know, in a strapless dress with kind of a full skirt.”
Of course, if Andie had worn a dress that looked like the other girls’, it wouldn’t have felt authentic to her character. The same goes for dressing her in something that was considered trendy at the time. A hybrid frock she made herself was much more fitting.
“I just went in the other direction,” Marilyn continued. “I didn’t want to date anything.” And it totally worked for the film. The pink dress is unique in its own way, and is definitely something that a modern-day Andie would wear to prom too. Couldn’t you totally picture it being prominently displayed at a vintage store, or going viral on Instagram?
Marilyn revealed that she didn’t love it either, but that she always kept the bigger picture in mind. “I won’t say that I was in love with it. But that’s not the character. The character was so original. She had a mind of her own, she marched to a different drummer,” she said. “I said, ‘This is Molly! I can’t just give her a prom dress.’ So, anyway, John [Hughes] came in and said, ‘It’s the character. That’s it.’ There she was.”
Love it or hate it, the pink dress is super memorable. Polka dots AND netting? With a high neck and exposed shoulders? It’s quite a look!