Deborah Lynn Scott: Time Traveler

She's famous for dressing period treats like Titanic, but now costume designer Deborah Lynn Scott is taking a step into the future with Minority Report.


Deborah Lynn Scott has created some of the most impeccable, detailed, feminine period clothes for movies, whether it was Madonna's Marilyn Monroe-inspired dress for Who's That Girl?, Julia Ormond's white picnic attire for Legends of the Fall or Kate Winslet's cornucopia of elegant ensembles for Titanic, for which Scott won an Oscar. Now she's heading in the opposite direction by drumming up ultramodern attire for Steven Spielberg's futuristic thriller, Minority Report, which stars Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell.

Re-creating the past is often painstaking, but building a look for the future is no easy feat, either. Scott had nothing to draw on except her own imagination, and she took extra steps to make sure she went where no man had gone before. "Our wish was to try to stay away from clothes that looked 'Star Trek,'" she says. "We wanted to discover what is modern."

This isn't Scott's first time working with Spielberg. After studying theater in college, then working for years in community theater productions, she moved to Hollywood and was soon hired as a costumer on Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Next she was promoted to costume designer on the Michael J. Fox adventure Back to the Future, and was then hired for the Demi Moore love story About Last Night... Scott has remained versatile throughout her career--how many costume designers can say they worked on both the Sharon Stone sex thriller Sliver and the Mel Gibson historical drama The Patriot? Still, she's hard-pressed to name an era she favors. "I really like doing all kinds of periods," says Scott. "It gives me an incredible opportunity to delve into history, which is a real educational experience."

If what she gets out of her work is the thrill of exploring the past, how much fun was it to be a part of Minority Report? "I will admit that the future is my least favorite era because it's so wide open," says Scott. "But for Minority Report I looked at clothes from the past, namely the '60s. I also looked at costumes from futuristic films made in the '60s because they were often sleek and simple. Actually, Minority Report is kind of an ode to the 1968 Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey."


Jillian O'Connor