Archivo de la etiqueta: Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood´s “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004)

This is one particular movie i love! It´s a great story succesfully transfered into motion picture. It has has an amazing cast, Jim Carrey is particularly brilliant as Count Olaf. Every scene in this movie is absolutely beautiful. I hope you do see it.


This movie is based on the first three novels, The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room and The Wide Window in Lemony Snicket´s books series.

So… as always a brief intro about the movie. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three intelligent young children who receive terrible news that their parents have died in a fire and have left them an enormous fortune not to be used until the eldest child is of age. When they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a greedy distant relative, they soon learn he is trying to steal their fortune for himself.

They said that the story is very episodic, so they picked a different color scheme for each section. For example, Count Olaf’s house has a lot of greens, blacks and grays; the house of Uncle Monty has a lot of greens and browns and a bit of yellow; and the house of Aunt Josephine has blues and blacks. I think the color palette is very importants in any movie, it sets the mood, a well chosen palette can really make you believe you are part of this story. This movie makes me think about a darker side of fantasy. Here is a brief visual demo about this point:

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The characters are so detailed that Jim Carrey´s make-up and hair took three hours to finish. And he has many costumes, he desguises himself many times that allows us as viewers to appreciate every single one of them, and in this movie the sets go along with the costumes, it is really beautiful.

Clearly in every book adaptation to film there is room for the costume designer and the director to make it different, to make it their own version of the tale. So for the fans of these books you can all see that each Baudelaire orphan has one major difference between their movie costume and their wardrobe as described in the books. Klaus in the books is nearly blind without his glasses while, in the movie they are only needed for reading. Sunny in the books hated wearing a pink dress, but in the film her dress had a lot of pink in it. Violet in the book was unable to put braids in her hair because they would stay together, but in the movie she has braids nearly the entire time.  According to the illustrations in the original books, Violet wears a dress with the V-cuffed lower sleeves, Klaus wears a sweater with a button-down shirt underneath, and Sunny wears a small dress. The orphans’ costumes in the movie are noticeably different.  And because of this re interpretation, Colleen Atwood received an Oscar nomination for them in 2004.

Baudelaire family in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Eventslemony-snickets-a-series-of-unfortunate-events_01

I always like to look up the opinion of the actors who worn these amazing costumes, for example, Emily Browning said this about the costumes in an interview: “The costumes were brilliant, Colleen Atwood is a genius. She is an evil genius because the clothes were so uncomfortable (laughs). They weren’t uncomfortable like a full corset but it was sort of a bodice. I needed heels because Liam was so much taller than me. It didn’t help much because he is so tall. I was so excited when I saw the dress and I thought “I can’t wait to wear it” and then after a week I couldn’t wait to get it off. This was the black dress. The wedding dress I wasn’t allowed to sit in because the material was so fine that it got creased and you couldn’t un-crease it and also the train was so long that it would always get caught on things.”

f031050f915708d75993e47105186db9ca8a4515c42c99d0a8702cec5c5b2dd7 39321_bd Look at Jim Carrey´s costume for the wedding!! It´s amazing, makes him look creepy but elegant in a darker side, he is wearing white jacket, pants  also white wig and pale face! It makes it theatrical enough to believe i´ts fantasy but not enough to be exaggerated, a brilliant balance. And this goes for the rest of the costumes.

So please… check it out you will have fun i promise you that.


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).


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.
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.


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.