Atwood conjures up more magical costumes for Fantastic Beasts sequel
Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood says Parisian setting for Fantastic Beasts sequel is great for design
J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is made for Colleen Atwood, who is no stranger to creating fantastical costumes in Hollywood blockbusters, having worked on Sleepy Hollow (1999), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007), Alice In Wonderland (2010), Snow White And The Huntsman (2012) and Into The Woods (2014).
Indeed, the four-time Oscar-winning US costume designer's latest Academy Award was for 2016's Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, making it the first film in the Harry Potter author's fantasy media franchise to win an Oscar.
The late Parisian 1920s setting in the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, is the perfect canvas for Atwood, 70, who relished the opportunity to stretch her imagination with respect to the era and setting of the film.
"The Crimes Of Grindelwald is a magical story set in Paris with multiple layers of humanity. I was able to create a society of wizards set against the backdrop of Paris at a time where modernity and antiquity were colliding," she told The New Paper via an e-mail interview.
"I was excited about the prospect of exploring fashion in Paris in the late 20s. I pushed it into the early 30s because Paris is always ahead of the fashion curve; it's a city known for its elegance and style and that was a great period for design."
Now showing here, The Crimes Of Grindelwald continues the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who, under the instructions of his former Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), goes on a mission to find Credence (Ezra Miller) before evil dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) does.
While the sequel marks the 10th time Atwood has collaborated with Depp since 1990's Edward Scissorhands, this was the first time Atwood worked with Law, whose Dumbledore character is an icon in the Harry Potter universe.
A Potterhead herself, Atwood was excited that she could help define the younger professor before he became the wise old Hogwarts headmaster-turned-fan favourite.
She said: "Dumbledore's wardrobe is a combination of comfortable elegance and professorial simplicity.
"(Director) David Yates and I wanted Dumbledore to be the professor the kids all love, their go-to guy. He needed to look professorial but at the same time approachable, so I used softer fabrics and textures in tones like heathery greys, which add to the approachability of the character. I also love corduroy, so I made a wide wale corduroy coat for him and Jude just loved it."
It helped that the English actor himself is quite a dapper man, and embraced the costumes Atwood gave him.
She said: "In the moment of the fitting, the two of us often think of new things for the costume. It is as if it comes to life in the room."
Some costumes took three to four days to create while others took up to a month.
Atwood created "close to a thousand costumes" for this movie, which has made more than US$440 million (S$605 million) globally.
She said: "The amazing thing about Rowling's world is that it has such an eclectic combination of so many diverse and wonderful characters."
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