Colleen Atwood´s “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012)

Since we are in the Awesome Villains topic, let me introduce to you, the evil queen Ravenna of “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012).

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Yes guys! It is Charlize Theron playing Ravenna, the evil dark queen in “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012). I do think Charlize Theron is one of the most beautiful women that walks this earth, so naturally this role was perfect for her.

Not just any Costume Designer could turn Charlize Theron into Ravenna, so, clearly they called one of the best, non other than Colleen Atwood. She is the Alexander McQueen of the costume design world, and she NEVER disappoints!

You know Colleen Atwood from her multiple collaborations with Tim Burton and Rob Marshall. She was the Costume Designer on “Edward Scissorhands”1990, ” Sleepy Hollow” 1999, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” 2007, “Alice in Wonderland” 2010 (she won an Oscar for this one), “Chicago” 2002 (she won antoher Oscar for this one) and “Memoirs of a Geisha”2005 (and another Oscar for this one).

She was part of the team that brought this version of Snow White´s tale to the big screen, and it was really awesome. But this time i won´t be talking about all the costumes in this movie, least of all, Snow White´s. I will only talk about Ravenna, because let´s face it, she outshines everything and everyone else in this movie.
Besides, the complexity of her costume implies that she is the most important character of the whole movie. I saw this movie always following Ravenna´s story, i never tought of Snow White as the lead character or something essential in the story, she was more like the excuse to bring Ravenna to life. After all, you can´t have a villain without a good guy.
When i saw this movie, i simply couldn´t stop staring at Charlize! She was magnificent, and the costume looked as perfect for her as a second skin. The costume design made me believe that someone so beautifull, could actually be that evil and cold.
As you know (if you watched the movie , of course) Ravenna starts as a beautiful bride to be, that evolves into an evil queen, so naturally Ravenna´s costume starts bright, with golden shades and ivory fabrics.
This golden/white wedding gown has this amazing shoulder piece that looks like very thin branches of wood braided together giving us the impresion of a cage.
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As the movie goes on you can actually see her getting darker, and i noticed that there´s always an element of death in her costumes. Her blue costume is made with beetle wings from Thailand, another of her costumes has a reptilian quality and the feather cape looks like thousands of crows gave their lives simply to dress Ravenna.
All of these costumes are so loyal to Ravenna, that we can actually see this persona come to life! We can imagine all of these gowns, hanging in her closet.
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All of the accesories are designed to make her seem more deadly, like her fang shaped rings, the cleavage in this dress appears to be made from tiny skulls of some kind of bird, and the metallic dark crown that gives the final edgy touch to the look.
You can see that all the crowns are made from darker shades of gold and silver, and they are all really sharp. You cannot associate Ravenna with amazing shiny gold crowns, there is always that dark and deadly element of her nature impregnated in her looks.

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As you can see, costume design helps us to understand the nature and personality of each charcater. And, if you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Each of us dresses according to our own personality. We feel off when we use something that isn´t ours or comething that doesn´t go with our style, we actually feel uncomfortable. It is the same with characters from a tale or a movie.

All the costume designers have to ask themselves ¿What would this character wear for this scene, and why? ¿How would he/she feel about wearing this particular color or fabric?¿Would he/she buy this necklace?
The more loyal the designer is to a character, the more we can understand it. So in a way, the designer has to become the character itself.
So think about it the next time you go to the movies.
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