Thursday, August 21, 2014

Costume DesignBarbarella (1968)

by Paco Rabanne and Jacques Fonteray

Monday, August 4, 2014

Anonymous said: Have you ever considered writing posts on your LJ about the costuming in Harry Potter? I know you mostly write them about recently-released shows/movies, but I'm wondering what kinds of things you would have to say about the HP films.

i assume you mean my blog?? i haven’t posted on livejournal in years. but in answer to your question: i wrote a two-part blog post about costume design and worldbuilding in the HP movies (related to the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie) but i haven’t actually gone through all of the individual films and reviewed them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interview with Snowpiercer costume designer Catherine George.

HelloTailor: Could you tell me a little about the process for designing the lead character, Curtis? I remember reading that Chris Evans had to wear sleeveless shirts under his coat in an attempt to make him look less muscular and healthy. That made me wonder how much of an active effort there was to visually distance Chris Evans the actor (who is now so recognizable as Captain America) from Curtis the character.

Catherine George: We talked and worked on Curtis’ outfit for a while before Chris came to Prague. We wanted to make Curtis look very recognizable but at the same time anonymous, the common man who can’t take the status quo any longer — and yes, quite different from Captain America.
We did have to fight against his physique and had to cut away the under-layers, his t-shirt, shirt and sweater. We had so many multiples made without sleeves for different scenes.
Chris was available pretty early on to us. He wholeheartedly embraced his role and was in Prague rehearsing the stunt scenes, most of which he did himself. So luckily we were able to have more than one fitting and have more of his input, which was really helpful.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Interview with Snowpiercer costume designer Catherine George.

HelloTailor: When you were creating the look for each of the main characters, how much input did the actors have? I read an interview with Tilda Swinton where she mentioned you visiting her house to discuss what her character would look like, so I’d be really interested to hear more about that. 

Also, I was wondering if she was intentionally designed to look slightly like Ayn Rand, which is a comparison I’ve heard from a few people already.

Catherine George: In Tilda’s case, Mason’s look was so drastically different that we needed to have clothes and prosthetics made in advance in order to camera test. So we travelled to Scotland with a couple of suitcases of clothes, wigs, glasses and teeth and really had fun with the wardrobe, all while Tilda’s fish pie was baking, and we also got to enjoy the Scottish countryside.
I had collected pictures of dictators wearing elaborate uniforms and crazy hand-made medals. I hadn’t looked at Ayn Rand specifically but I had collected some images of old ladies from that period who would wear their fur and look down their noses at people who were less better off, a bit like Thatcher. But now people are mentioning it, there are similarities to Ayn Rand.

Interview with Snowpiercer costume designer Catherine George.

Catherine George: In the prison section, Nam and Yona wear the darker-coloured intense black that we don’t see until we get there. Nam’s costume was inspired by train engineers from the early industrial period. We had discussed at length the global aspect to the mix of people on  the train, and this was elemental in the making of the film. The cast was international as well as the crew, and we did a lot of research into bringing details from different cultures into the wardrobe.

HelloTailor: Did you take inspiration from other dystopian and post-apocalyptic movies? Or alternatively, were there any particular aspects of the genre you were trying to avoid?

CG: I loved Tarkovsky’s Stalker, how the colour changes and becomes more intense in the two different worlds. But mostly we talked about how we wanted Snowpiercer to start off at a point of realism and not go in a futuristic sci-fi direction. I love Children of Men and how realism is strong in that movie.


Monday, July 28, 2014

On Wonder Woman and Heeled Boots


Yesterday Warner Bros. revealed the costume Gal Gadot will wear for her role in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The costume has her wearing boots. I don’t care for the inclusion of boots. Yes, she’s been drawn wearing heeled boots (including her first appearance)


but she’s also been drawn wearing greek sandals


and boots with no heel.


So there is no continuity over the last 70 plus years although there certainly has been some rethinking of how female characters are presented in media during that time. 

A few years ago when they were making the disastrous NBC pilot they also had Wonder Woman wearing a heel. Here’s what I said then:

Wonder Woman is free of vanity. For her a costume should be utilitarian — to cover what needs be covered and to make her recognizable to scare off weak-willed adversaries and alert others to her involvement. 

Having heels on her boots adds nothing. A boot heel will not make her run faster or kick harder or assist her in doing her job or make her recognizable. The only thing a heel does is please the eye. And that is something Wonder Woman should not care about.

A few folks have stated the heel is required to give her the height to stand with her co-stars Affleck and Cavill. That also does not require a costume with a heel as we’ve seen from dozens of films starring actors who are shorter than their female co-stars.

This is not about hating high heeled boots; I love high heeled boots. It’s fine if Wonder Woman wore them in her “civilian” identity. Rather, this is about questioning a costuming choice which puts the emphasis on Hollywood’s requirements for a Woman rather than the Wonder of the character.

Snowpiercer costume design

I’m going to be publishing an interview with the costume designer of Snowpiercer next week!

As far as I know this is the only time she’s given an interview about the movie, so I’m pretty psyched to have spoken with her. :) Check back to HelloTailor over the next couple of days if you’re interested!

P.S. Here’s my original post about Snowpiercer. I published it a few weeks ago, but I know a lot more people have seen the movie since then. It contains spoilers, so I only recommend reading it if you’ve already seen the film.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


How to Stand Out in a Crowd, by Diane Lockhart

Diane Lockhart’s Life Manual

Saturday, July 26, 2014

(Source: nothingeverlost)