Costume Designer Roundtable
What's it like to outfit actors for movies? "Somewhere between a war and a circus," says one of the pros behind this season's best-dressed films, as the craft's biggest names talk about taking direction from Tim Burton and Steven Spielberg, and how too many glimpses in the mirror are a telltale sign of a talent's insecurity.
None of the men and women who participated in THR's first-ever Costume Designer Roundtable set out to become costume designers. Colleen Atwood -- who created Queen Ravenna's sinister, twisted costumes in Snow White and the Huntsman -- came to her career late, after she raised a daughter as a single mother. Jacqueline Durran had a philosophy degree and an entry-level job at a London costume house; this year, she infused Anna Karenina with modernity, mixing early 18th century Russian tradition with '50s couture silhouettes. Mark Bridges, whose work on The Master evoked 1950s normality amid a cult leader's ascent, was a stage actor who used to make his own costumes. In Hitchcock, Julie Weiss, who started in theater as well, brought to life the iconic director, his wife, Alma, and starlet Janet Leigh in early '60s costumes, often using the color red to convey emotion and tension. And Joanna Johnston -- who extensively researched Civil War uniforms and reveals Mary Todd Lincoln's favorite color, fuchsia, in Lincoln -- first envisioned a career in fashion. At the roundtable, the most laughter broke out when Paco Delgado, the force behind Les Miserables' authentic, romantically distressed costumes, recalled starting out in theater set design, admitting that back then, he imagined that doing costumes was "easy."
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