Saturday, December 27, 2014

Costume Design: Colleen Atwood takes us "Into the Woods"



Colleen Atwood, the acclaimed costume designer for Into The Woods, is a ten-time Academy Award nominee with three wins under her beautifully designed belt. Atwood won in 2011 for her work on Alice in Wonderland directed by frequent collaborator Tim Burton. Atwood, currently in England working on the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, with Burton producing rather than directing, also worked with Burton on Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd, and this year's Big Eyes. Atwood also won the Oscar twice for her work on previous Rob Marshall movies; in 2006 for Memoirs of a Geisha, and in 2003 for Chicago. She could very well win again this year for Marshall's Into the Woods, rather than Tim Burton's Big Eyes. It's easier to dazzle 'em with the kind of lavish period fairy tale fare that Into the Woods calls for vs the more grounded wardrobe choices that a film like Big Eyes, set in the 1950's USA, demandsWe've looked at some of the costumes before, at Johnny Depp's transformation from actor to The Wolf  and Meryl Streep's transition from Meryl into a witchy woman. Here's more on the Into the Woods costumes from Atwood herself, beginning with her approach to Cinderella (above), as played by Anna Kendrick.

 “Cinderella is a Cinderella that isn’t based on old fairy tales. 
She’s a Cinderella that’s reluctant, and doesn’t really like big, poofy dresses.


Johnny is my all-time favorite actor because I’ve worked with him so many times over the span of so many years. The wolf to me, is jazzed up, almost like a late Thirties or early Forties swing version,” Atwood said. “I took a lot of elements from the costumes and music  of that period.” Womens Wear Daily



It’s a fantasy-driven piece,” Atwood said, “so it felt more free and more of a creative challenge. I hadn’t seen it on Broadway, so it was a new thing to me.



To me, Rapunzel is sort of this invisible person in the tower, kind of ghost like of herself so, I did something really pale for her, but with bondage kind of ties on it, because I felt she always been trapped in this tower. And her prince, is the bad boy prince, that every mother doesn’t want her daughter to go out with, but it turns out that he has the best heart of all.”


 “I think it’s fun to take materials and things that didn’t exist then and apply them to some of the design and shapes from another time.”


There are so many beautiful textures in the woods. There’s the texture of leaves, the kind of movement that leaves have, how they’re one color on one side and one on the other. The kind of texture of the bark is definitely included in a lot in people’s costumes. It’s just the way the woods light, in one light it looks like one thing, and in another it’s another thing. I was trying to do that with the costumes.

 “I wanted it to feel like the woods, like twisted tree trunks. I created a textile that way, and made her witch costume that way. With her blue fantasy dress costume, I took the general silhouette of the first costume and amplified it and brightened it way up.

Source: DisneyStyle, Dispatch, Womens Wear Daily

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