Vintage fashions from Depp film ‘Public Enemies’ come off the rack

BARODA, Mich. (AP) – A vintage clothing store in southwest Michigan provided some of the costumes for Public Enemies, Universal’s new picture starring Johnny Depp as Depression-era gangster John Dillinger.

The studio bought some 400 items of 1930s clothes and accessories from Apparel From the Past, Marsha Ruby’s store at Shawnee Road Antiques in Berrien County’s Oronoko Township. Among the items were shoes, gloves, dresses, hats, earrings and jewelry.

The movie, to be released July 1, also stars Christian Bale as famed FBI agent Melvin Purvis.

Costumer Stella Cottini selected several items from the store and the studio returned what the film couldn’t use. And while Ruby acknowledged that it was a big sale for her, Ruby said her clothes are aimed more at regular wear than for costumes.
“I try to stress that vintage clothing is not just costuming,” Ruby said. “You can pick a classic dress from the 1940s, because they redo fashion all the time. You can buy a classic dress and people wouldn’t even know it was vintage, because it would look like it was straight off today’s racks.”

And the quality is better, Ruby said.

“They were made so much better, and there is much better detailing,” she said. “They would spend so much time on simple little details. The fabrics were different.”

Vintage dresses are great for girls going to proms, and vintage wedding dresses are great for brides, Ruby said.

“You’re definitely wearing a one-of-a-kind dress,” she said.

“The bulk of my dresses run between $25 and $48. You can buy a really nice dress for that much. I do have dresses that go into the hundreds (of dollars), depending on the era. But the majority of my day dresses are very affordable.”


Information from: The Herald-Palladium,

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-CS-06-22-09 1355EDT