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Forums > Associated artists & people > EYE PEOPLE Prince ‘Purple Rain’ Costume Designer Louis Wells, 61, Dies
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Thread started 08/09/18 9:15am

TrivialPursuit

EYE PEOPLE Prince ‘Purple Rain’ Costume Designer Louis Wells, 61, Dies

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Funeral services were held Saturday for costume designer Louis Wells, whose clients included Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole and Bobby Brown, among others.

Wells, 61, died of lung cancer on July 19, according to his brother Charles.

Despite his decades long career with Earth, Wind & Fire, Wells is widely associated with Prince’s “Purple Rain,” which he worked on with his longtime collaborator Vaughn Terry and the costume designer Marie France. While Earth, Wind & Fire’s Egyptian and spiritualism-inspired identity was inherited by Wells and Terry, Prince had not established his on-stage persona. After Earth, Wind & Fire’s management started representing Prince, they tapped Wells and Terry. “They said, ‘Go work with the kid. He’s going to be someone big.’ Begrudgingly, we went with that. That was a down step to us. Prince, c’mon? This was an artist about to be recognized and going on tour on a tour bus,” Terry said.

Taking over from a local seamstress — the sister of Prince’s bass player André Cymone — Wells and Terry were at that time transitioning from groups with “very cartoony imagery” to more stylish statements, Terry said. Their six-year run with Prince helped to define his international influence. “I would say we influenced the world of fashion with Prince. You would characterize Prince’s influence with the ruffle shirt, the purple trenchcoat, the fitted pants with the shearing up the side, the diagonal fly with the big, 20-mm. buttons, certainly the leather jacket with the scarf with the tassels and the motorcycle,” Terry said. “Even now, we’re still using it. I do storyboard references at Coach [where he freelances] pulling out Prince pictures. It’s still influencing fashion tremendously.”

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Reply #1 posted 08/10/18 8:07am

littlemissG

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RIP
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Reply #2 posted 08/11/18 8:01am

anangellooksdo
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61 is young. May he Rest In Peace and thank you for the art.
~Paisley Park is in your heart~
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Reply #3 posted 08/12/18 12:43pm

luv4u

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sad rose

Edmonton, AB - canada

Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
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Forums > Associated artists & people > EYE PEOPLE Prince ‘Purple Rain’ Costume Designer Louis Wells, 61, Dies