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Creating Costumes for Into the Woods with Colleen Atwood

We attended the interview as a guest of Disney

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

While watching the film “Into the Woods,” I was overwhelmed by the beauty and detail of the costumes. The costumes were a part of the characters adding a new dimension to the movie. The creative mind behind the costumes in the film was the Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood. She is well-known for her costume design in the films, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland (2010), Memoirs of a Geisha, and now Into the Woods.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

It was an extreme honor to have the unique opportunity to sit in the room with one of the most creative women in the world to talk about the film “Into the Woods” last month. My admiration grew when witnessing her grace, beauty, and poise. Everyone in the room, who joined for the interview, had so many questions, and my biggest question was about her inspiration for Cinderella’s dress. When she watched some of the rehearsals, she immediately went for an eighteenth-century reference. “I wanted a little more modern kind of take on it, not so over the top and very peasant aged and dirty. What you wouldn’t expect Cinderella to be in a way,” said Atwood. In the Grimm’s Fairy Tale Cinderella’s dress was created by her mother and the shoes were gold vs. glass. Anna Kendrick had to do a lot of running in the dress, “so I wanted it to have that kind of flighty quality to it,” said Atwood.

“I found this thirties vintage fabric that I’d been hoarding for a while. I wanted it to be when it went through the forest kind of like a butterfly wing, like when you see a butterfly in the light and it goes into the dark and you don’t see it.” Colleen Atwood

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

There were no favorite costumes in the film, “It’s kind of like children,” said Atwood, but one costume that she enjoyed designing was Meryl’s, “because of the textile art involved in it,” said Atwood. She went with a blue costume because of the blue moon in the film and “when you’re doing a film with a lot of dark and you’re using black, it’s really easy for the black to just turn into a flat blob with the digital photography and lighting. I put color behind it to make it not just a dead black thing and the blue came forward,” said Atwood.

“It felt good with the night sky and sort of the elements of witchery that went with her.” Colleen Atwood

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

The one costume that was the most challenging, was the baker’s wife who was played by Emily Blunt because she was pregnant during the making of the film. “I was continually having to modify her costume because her bust and belly were getting bigger. I was continually making the apron bigger. The little jacket, I kept raising where it was buttoned and painting it darker on the side. I used a lot of tricks of the trade, but that costume I was continually changing and touching the whole time,” said Atwood.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

Don’t miss seeing the incredible talent of Colleen Atwood shine in the film “Into the Woods” that is currently in theaters now.

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