January 24, 2011
The following designers will no doubt be nominated for Academy Awards for their costuming work.
Behind-The-Seams with Costume Designers
by Elizabeth Snead
Colleen Atwood-Alice In Wonderland
Behind-The-Seams: “The Hatter’s look was based on the real hatters who used mercury in their trade which poisoned them and made them go mad. It also caused their hair to turn a very fried red color and their skin to get very pale…
We wanted the Mad Hatter’s bow tie droopy but, when he cheered up, such as when Alice came around, he perked up and his tie would also get happy. It was controlled by Johnny so he could make it happen when felt it…”
Amy Westcott-Black Swan
Behind-The-Seams: “It was Natalie who recommended Rodarte. …I met with Laura and Kate Mulleavy (Rodarte), and I saw their feathered Vulture Collection-I think it was Spring 2010. It seemed very appropriate…
All the lead characters are based on characters in the ballet. Nina, the White Swan, wears pale colors. When Nina loses her innocence, she starts to dress a little darker. By the end of the film, she’s all in black for the first time…”
Louise St Jernsward-Made In Dagenham
Behind-The-Seams: “It was in the script that it had to be a Biba dress and two girls had to wear it, and Sally was quite a bit smaller than Rosamund. …Biba, which was such a great shop and so inexpensive…
Sally wanted to keep her character very low key in the beginning. She’s a working girl with two kids, so it’s clothes form that era, but practical, simple. As her confidence grows, she gets a bit more stylish, but then she also had less money so I tried to do it with color…”
Jenny Beavan-The King’s Speech
Behind-The-Seams: “We had an incredibly short prep time, just five-and-a-half weeks. So thank God for the Internet. There is an incredible amount of archival footage online-Pathe News-of the Duke and Duchess of York. I had no idea and I was very grateful. We also got the spirit in family Photographs that you can find, as well as books and souvenir albums from the coronation…
The Queen mother loved fur. She had fur trim on practically everything. Not to get PETA riled up, we used very old furs, nothing new. Even though she wore a lot of blues and mauves, the colors were too theatrical on film and too strong on Helena so we used muted softer hues.”
Sandy Powell-The Tempest
Behind-The-Seams: “Julie wanted the characters that lived the island to look like they were part of it. So that’s how it started, looking at images of a place [Lanai] I had never been too….
The idea was for Prospera to look androgynous. Her clothing had to be practical and also have this feeling of coming from the landscape. The shapes were inspired by Japanese fashion designers. The colors are natural, indigo, the color of the sky and sea. The browns and sands work with the land, almost as a kind of camouflage…Julie wanted the court costumes to look like those in Goya or Velazquez paintings, very dark but also metallic…”
Nicoletta Massone-Barney’s Version
Behind-The-Seams: “For Minnie Driver, I had to make everything for her. You can’t find vintage dresses for such a tall woman. I had a lot of documentation for her character. She was very spoiled and very rich. One bracelet is not enough, three is better. I love Minnie’s wedding dress. That was fabulous. And she had the body for it. But, as with any costume, without the actor to give it the life, it is nothing…I always assign a color to every actor/character. If you forget the color, a movie becomes like a carnival. It’s terrible. Giamatti was brown. To show the confusion and gradual loss of Giamatti’s memory, we would leave a button undone or make the cuff a little destroyed or the shoulder pad a little off.
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