Oscars: How to Turn Angelina Jolie Into Maleficent

Mark Bridges

That is just one trick costume design nominees had to pull off this season, from the medieval to mittel-Europa.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Colleen Atwood's challenge in Into the Woods was to transform Meryl Streep from a bent-over, crooked hag into her younger self -- a sort of operatic, mystical diva in couture. Streep's bedraggled witch look had stretch in the costume so she could drop a shoulder and tuck in her head. The made-over look had a turn-of-the-century silhouette with a cinched waist, built-in boning and sleeves that puffed up to her shoulders, all in a deep blue -- to match Streep's voluminous Gibson Girl hair.

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Mark Bridges based the slick '70s styles in Inherent Vice on descriptions from Thomas Pynchon's book -- and the musicians of Laurel Canyon at the time. "I pored over [THR contributing editor] Michael Walker's book Laurel Canyon for inspiration -- and Paul Thomas Anderson was reading Neil Young's autobiography," he tells THR. "We looked at Neil, Joni Mitchell and the young Linda Ronstadt for flavor and direction."

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Milena Canonero's third film with Wes Anderson -- and she now understands that the director's world is one of his own making, she has said, no matter what the period. She used historical images from the photography of Man Ray and George Hurrell, as well as painters like Gustav Klimt, Kees van Dongen, Tamara de Lempicka and George Grosz, as inspiration points. Tilda Swinton as Madame D. wears a 1930s coat that's a direct reference to Klimt.

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On Mr. Turner, Jacqueline Durran had to dress the 19th century painter over a 25-year period with references to the few existing portraits of Turner. Timothy Spall's clothes were the only ones made for the film; Durran has said she gave him the same silhouette throughout, thinking changing it would be too distracting for the viewer. However, in the scenes from the film's second half, when Turner lives with Mrs. Booth, his neighbors call him "Admiral" -- so Durran added a touch of a naval look.

Maleficent's Anna B. Sheppard (Oscar-nominated alongside Jane Clive) made the animated original Sleeping Beauty from 1959 her springboard: She used the identical silhouette from its animated Maleficent character for Angelina Jolie's iconic Morticia-like costume then made it slimmer. Sheppard has described it as "a dress with bat wings attached with a long train, which needed to be weighted down to make the costume behave like it should."