Archivo de la categoría: fairytale

Anthony Powell´s “Hook” (1991)

Yes, i am on a Villain phase, it´s just that there are so many great ones, i can´t help myself. So i will talk about another one today. Non other than Captain Hook, the evil pirate who seeks to destroy Peter Pan, if you had a childhood, you know who i am talking about. “Hook” (1991), is based on the story and characters of old Disney´s animated film “Peter Pan” (1953).

But first, let me tell you a bit about Anthony Powell, he is a british costume designer, he has worked with directors such as Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg to name a few. And some of the stars who have worn his creations are Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Maggie Smith, Harrison Ford and Johnny Depp. So as you can see, he is kind of a big deal.

You probably will recognize his work from “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom” (1984), “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” (1989) and “Hook” (1991). And im just mentioning the Steven Spielberg ones.

The movie of which i will talk about today, “Hook” (1991) earned him an Academy Award Nomination for best Costume Design, and in a moment you will understand why.

“In the field of obsessive-compulsives, Anthony leads the pack. I don’t know if you can work harder than he works. He gave me the character (of Captain Hook).” –Dustin Hoffman

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Dustin Hoffman as “Captain Hook” with director Steven Spielberg.

This film is filled with amazing stars like the late Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell and Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy.

The movie tells the tale of a grown-up Peter Pan who has forgotten his childhood. Now known as Peter Banning, he is a successful corporate lawyer with a wife and two children. When Hook kidnaps his children, Peter must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy and save his family. It is an amazing adventure, full of life, colors, mermaids and there is a scene with imaginary food that will make you hungry!

Ever since i can remember, whenever i think of Peter Pan and Hook, the only Captain Hook that comes to mind is Dustin Hoffman, there is no one else. The moustache and the curly eyebrows, the red coat and the shinny hook, and that voice, his voice branded the character of Captain Hook forever in my mind.

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This character had so much detail printed on him, everything was designed to the point of perfection. As you can see, the golden embroidery gave an elegant touch to the pirate captain. Hook was one of the most fancy villains of my childhood. He had a hook for every ocation and he even put ruby rings on them. He is an impeccable man, always perfectly dressed despite his pirate status. Of course the black wig and that gigantic feathery hat complemented this look beautifully.

It was a perfect costume. The red coat on top of a black vest with gold emboridery and golden buttons, on top of a ruffled white shirt, and those black with red shoes, i mean he didn´t miss a thing, and i am so grateful for that.

After all, a good design its just as good as its details.

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Lets not forget about awesome Julia Roberts. She plays Tinkerbell on this movie, and it´s not quite the glamorous look she had on the Disney´s “Peter Pan” (1953). Instead, Anthony Powell gives us a more savage Tinkerbell, he gives us a fairy that clearly lives on the woods of Neverland, and dresses according to it. Her look is more natural, but this is a quality that doesn´t mask her beauty. She is barefoot with a simple brownish long shirt and shorts, giving us the impression that she dresses in those colors so she can merge with the woods, so that she can be seen only when she wants to, like camoulage, only nicer.

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As you can see Anthony Powell had all the characters figured out completely, he had this picture of what the habitants of Wonderland should look like and why. Everything had a reason, every color meant something, and every character reflected a srtong personality by just looking at it, this is achieved in a great part thanks to the costume design.

It does take me back, when i used to watch “Hook” on VHS, i waited for 5 minutes until the movie was completely rewind so i can watch it all over again!! And then i did the same thing to Watch Disney´s “Peter Pan” (1953). It was my favourite tale, it had everything a child could want! A place to runaway so that you dont have to grow old, mermaids, pirates, fairys, the lost boys, indians. Steven Spielberg understood the whole idea, and he projected it on screen so good you just have to remember it.

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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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Anna B. Sheppard´s “Maleficent” (2014)

There is something you should know about me, i am a Disney fan, i grew up with all of the Disney princesses and i still own the movies, all of them!! So it´s not a surprise that i liked this movie in particular.

Maleficent was my favourite villain growing up, and when i found out that Angelina Jolie was going to be Maleficent, i was dancing with joy, she was so perfect for the part, it was like she was born to play her!!

You Know Anna B. Sheppard from her work in “Schindler´s List” (1993), the costume design of that movie was nominated for an Oscar. But as amazing as it was, i won´t talk about “Schindler´s List” today.

You know when you grow up, and you are watching “Sleeping Beauty” (1959) wondering what Maleficent would look in real life? Well Anna B. Sheppard was kind enough to enlighten us!

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Isn´t she magnificent!!! I mean she is identical to the Disney´s “Sleeping Beauty” (1959) Maleficent.

The master mind behind the making of Maleficent´s character in the 1959 animated film was Marc Davis, who is credited with Maleficent’s horns and her elegant style. So the costume designers had to stay loyal to that iconic evil figure created many years ago in 1959. That is why, in the “Maleficent” movie, Angelina Jolie wore a lot of capes, the long and magical cane, her loyal crow and of course the peaked collars.

The christening scene in the Disney´s movie, where Maleficent enters Stephan´s castle to curse little Aurora, was imitated perfectly by Robert Stromberg (director), everything was so carefuly made, the chandeliers moving in the ceiling, the sudden darkness, Maleficent´s horns advancing trough the people. I love it when a director takes such good care of detail, because they make you love the movie even more.

Anna B. Sheppard did not work alone for this film, as a matter of fact, there was a team of designers, each member of this team had a different specialty, and they were all hand picked by Angelina Jolie herself. The team consisted in Anna B. Sheppard (of course), Manuel Albarran, who is known for his leather, corsetry and metal works. Justin Smith, an amazing hat maker (responsible for making Maleficent´s horns beautiful) and Rob Goodwin.

The costume designers took inspiration from the Disney film, the 15th century to the Renaissance period of French and Italian art and Alexander McQueen, to name a few.

The costume had to be amazing, when there is a team of super talented designers, working specifically to make an iconic and amazing character, the clear result has to be perfection, every detail, every color and fabric were carefully tought of. Nothing felt out of place nor unbalanced.

One of the most beautiful things in this movie are the head pieces. Even when i don´t really aprove of the use of snake skin, fur, feathers or any kind of animal skin used in the amking of clothing i have to admit, the head pieces and accesories were incredible.

The head pieces were made from many diferent materials such as python skin, fish skin, fine leather, and many more. There were pieces that corresponded with the seasons, this made Maleficent look savage in each scene but never substarcting her natural elegance.

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Manuel Albarran was responisble for the accesories worn by Maleficent in the movie.

The accesories were animal skeleton rings, claw bracelets and feathered shoulder pieces. Precious stones, crystals, leather, bits of bone, teeth and even some human hair were used in the making of Maleficent´s costume.

They took into consideration the accesories worn in the animated film and made them a bit more modern. They added more jewelry, and put some of it on the horns and the head wraps.

The shoulder pieces were really important, they made us believe that Maleficent actually uses elements of the nature around her to dress herself. There was a shoulder piece made from duck feathers attached to a bone spine, another seemed to be made out of fangs and another made of bones and feathers.

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As you can see, this film had a gigantic production, and a great team working together to make it as awesome as it was. Afterwards there was a fashion line for children inspired in the movie, this line was designed by Stella McCartney and Angelina Jolie. Also MAC made a makeup line inspired in Maleficent, also shoes inspired by Maleficent were made by non other than Christian Loboutin.

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If all this didn´t made you want to watch this movie, then nothing will!!

 

Eiko Ishioka´s Mirror Mirror (2012)

You should know Eiko Ishioka´s work from the movie “Bram Stoker´s Dracula” (1992), or at least i hope you do, she actually won the Oscar for the Best Costume Design in 1993 for that movie.

“Bram Stoker´s Dracula” (1992) has one of the most amazing costume designs of all time. Well duh… it was made by one of the most famous costume designers of our time and i dare to say, one of the best in history.

Eiko Ishioka is my personal favourite Costume Designer, i love her work, she had such a master mind. She was born on July 12 of 1938 (funny… i was born in July 12 of 1989) in Japan and she died in January 21 of 2012 in Tokyo.

“Mirror Mirror” (2012) Was the last film she made before she died. I was really sad when she died, i do think she made the world better in a way, i know it made mine better.

On my Intro i said that “Mirror Mirror” changed my life, and it did, i will try my best to explain why.

This is the first looks we see Snow White wear in this movie:

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First of all, what you can see is that this look is basically all Yellow! It is not an easy color to wear or use in the making of a dress, but i fell in love with it right away, not in the way you fall in love with an Ellie Saab´s gown, it´s a different kind of love, a love that makes you believe that you can actually see all your dreams take life.

I fell in love with Snow White in that moment, it didn´t matter that she wasn´t one of may favorite Disney princesses, didn´t matter if the actress was good or bad, all that mattered to me was that beautiful gown and the yellow hood.

I was hooked! I couldnt wait to see what she was gonna wear next! In this movie there is a scene of a dance, kind of themed ball, where all the guests came in couples and they were supposed to be animals, believe me when i tell you that EVERYONE and i mean EVERYONE in this scene wore an amazing costume. To my surprise, it was the Evil Queen´s dress that blew my mind in this part of the movie! She was suppossed to be a peacock:

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Eiko Ishioka made this scene so the only thing that you see is the Evil Queen, i had to watch this movie twice to notice all the details and awesome headware used by the “guests” in these scene.

The Evil Queen wore a red and white peacock dress, this was a beautiful scene, the colors in the scene were perfectly balancedby the designer. And the details on the dress were magnificent, the feathers and the embroidery were flawless.

I won´t show you every costume that i loved in this movie because i would have to upload the entire movie, and i dont think it would be practical. But everytime i used to think of Snow White, my mind took me directly to the Disney movie. Thanks to this dress, my mind never takes me there anymore:

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Can you see the gigantic bow on the back of the dress? I´ve never seen orange and blue used together so beautifully. All the details in this dress are impecable, i can assure that it´s the best Snow White´s costume i have ever seen!

This movie is filled with bold and daring colors, we can see that the costume designer wasn´t afraid of using flashy colors and enormous headgear. It is a fantasy movie based on one of the Grimm´s Brothers tales, it should have color, it should emanate life, it should be everything you have ever imagined.

To me Eiko Ishioka sends a clear message, that is reflected on all the work she has ever made :”Either go BIG or go HOME”.

Anyway, i will write more about her work, and of the work of many great costume designers.

I hope that everyone sees this movie. Eiko Ishioka´s “Mirror Mirror” is definitely worth watching!!