high school musicalPeople young and old have become completely consumed in the High School Musical trio. While the first two films were definite successes, the third was our favorite; a completely cool and glam version of high school that we wish we could replace our awkward years of youth with. Seriously though, how many of you had your high school prom dressed designed by a cool costumer like Caroline B. Marx? Yeah, we didn't think so! Lucky for us we got to sit down and chat with Caroline about the cast, costumes, and yes, that infamous prom – which for many of the young cast members was truly the prom.

Before we get into things, let's make one thing clear. Caroline is a costume designer, not a stylist. While a stylist is more into editorials, red carpets, and high fashion a costumer is the brains behind every single solitary look you see on the silver screen. And that is exactly what Caroline B. Marx was for High School Musical 3 (HSM3).

"I put together everything everyone wears in the film," Caroline remarked. "I went to the cast for advice to stay true to the character, to really define each character."

And those characters are what made us completely smitten with HSM3. Each has evolved from freshmen to senior in just a few short years; on screen and off. But what's even cooler is the way Caroline modeled most of the young actors after a Hollywood icon while also including just a touch of each star's real personality.

"Zac was modeled after a modern day James Dean or Elvis, which is still his real life style, only played up for the big screen. Vanessa's character has a great arch. After she goes away to school, her costumes go from floral dresses to a little bit of a boho style; a little cooler and hipper; a look that's more Vanessa in real life. Ryan was my ode to Fred Astaire while Martha was modeled after 80s Madonna with her bandanas, pearls, and rubber bracelets."

But don't think that the ghosts of Hollywood's past were all that Caroline brought to the HSM3 table. Not only did her team coin the phrase "twirlability" (re-watch the Prom scene and you'll get it) but they also brought in "huge trends from all over the world" like manga ("a type of Japanese anime," Caroline tells us), an ode to Gwen Stefani's unique look in the "I Want It All" number, and a crazy blue kimono worn by Ashley Tisdale's character, Sharpay, which can only be seen on the DVD release that was released February 17, 2009.

While the movie can definitely bring back some nostalgia for the older set, for most of the adolescent cast, this was literally their prom and graduation. When talking about the prom, it became clear that this was a special moment for everyone on set and one of Caroline's favorite scenes to deck out.

"The prom was a huge thing. Many of them were being homeschooled and shooting when they were supposed to be going to prom and this was a big deal for them; the ultimate fantasy fulfilled. I made sure all the couples matched ... and that all dresses were knee length and kept that short on purpose so you could see the dancing."

So at the end of the day, after all of this high school hoopla dies down, what does Caroline want everyone to take away from her costumes? "My message was that everybody's an individual and to be true to that and have your own personality." Truer words have never been spoken!

HSM3: Senior Year is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Get your copy here right now!

Caroline B. Marx

Costume Designer, Caroline B. Marx