She has been nominated a dozen times, including 2015’s Into the Woods which we covered extensively here. She’s won three times: for Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago. This year she designed the costumes for two big splashy period fantasy films, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. We took an extensive look at the costumes of Miss Peregrine’s Home earlier this year here and the birdlike clothes of Miss Peregrine, in particular—played by Eva Green—here. But it’s the latter for which she’s been nominated this year.
Atwood spoke with IndieWire about her work on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them based on the Potteresque book by J.K. Rowling.
“New York was all about diversity, and [director] David Yates wanted [to express that]. There were people new to New York and there were people that had been there for a generation — and it was an open-minded time.”
Speaking of Scamander, when it came to designing his costume, Atwood conjured an ill-fitting suit and a turquoise coat. “The color has the vibe of some of his fantastical creatures,” she said. “But also the shape wasn’t too big so Eddie could move around quickly from sitting to standing still. So I designed it a little shorter and made it longer in the back.”
However, for Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves, president of the Magical Congress, Atwood studied footage of the legendary New York mayor, Jimmy Walker. “He was kind of my poster child for the character,” she added. “I thought it was an interesting take on the period and he was quite a dresser. He always looked smart and on the edge of style. He has a dark, flashier suit than the rest, and I gave him a coat that really pushed the period. It looks like Jimmy Walker meets Joan Crawford.”
Kowalski, by contrast, was dressed very humbly. When he goes to the bank for a loan, he wears a suit that was borrowed from a couple of friends. “He doesn’t have a coat and that makes him look vulnerable, and his clothes have little mends and patches on them that you don’t see, so he had a ’20s comic look,” Atwood said.
Will Atwood take home the gold for the fourth time or will the prize go to one of Atwood’s fellow nominees?
ALLIEDIt’s probably worth noting that at the Costume Designers Guild, where they break the categories down into contemporary, period and fantasy film, and where Colleen Atwood was nominated for both films in the fantasy catagory, Alexandre Byrne won for Doctor Strange. The other nominees were Kubo and the Two Strings, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
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In the CDG’s contemporary category, LaLa Land won where it was up against Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Captain Fantastic, Lion and Nocturnal Animals.
In the period film category Hidden Figures, not even among the Academy Award nominees, took home the prize. The competition included two of this year’s Oscar contenders Jackie and Florence Foster Jenkins, along with The Dressmaker and Hail, Caesar!