cnn.com Monique Lhuillier on designing for celebrities …
[It's a] platform for the world to see what my work looks like and they showcase it beautifully. They’re trendsetters and that’s such a positive — to get that exposure. The downside is you don’t have all the control. Sometimes when they put something on, they change the design a little bit to make it their own and our point of view is lost along the way. I love working with Taylor Swift. Kristen Stewart has been amazing. Reese Witherspoon was a dream to work with on her wedding because she knew what she wanted and has a great sense of style. It was a very easy collaboration. via kstewartnews
Colleen Atwood talks SWATH Costumes with Collider.com via fiercebitchstew/ kstewangel
Question: How closely did you collaborate with Charlize and Kristen on their costumes?
Atwood: Initially, the first meeting I have with them, we talk about the character and I show them my ideas and listen to theirs. They were both very open to letting me do my thing. And then, as long as they could work in it, they were pretty amenable and excited by what they saw. Charlize has certainly been a model, but she’s also a great character actress on the inside, so her priorities were really character over beauty, and Kristen’s [were] as well. Kristen is a beautiful young woman, but she isn’t vain in the way that she’s looking at the mirror going “Oh, do I look fat in this?” With neither one of them, that was not where they were going with it. They were very into their character.
Question: How do you make an action hero costume for a woman? What kind of material do you use?
Colleen Atwood: It depends on the woman and what you’re doing, I’d say. For this particular movie, Snow White is hardly an action hero but she does a lot of action in a feminine costume. We started with her dress. At the beginning of the story, it’s a long dress over leggings with the two layers and the same kind of boots. The idea is that it was the look that I created for the servants in Ravenna’s castle where she’s imprisoned. So, she’s been given clothes to match the housemaids’ poorer clothes. Hers has a little bit of a royal touch because I put the gold on it just because I liked it. When she leaves the castle, she leaves through a duct. She goes down through water so the costume is totally wet. She comes out of it in the ocean. So, you have this costume but with a long dress and a long leather cloak over it coming out of the water. It dries off and then the Huntsman finds her. At that point in the story, after they start running through the forest, he realizes this thing is crazy, so he takes his knife and cuts the bottom and we lose that. You end up with a shorter tunic, the leggings and the boots. I knew that was going to happen in the story, so that was the way I backed into it. I put flat boots. I put legging so when she fell and stuff I didn’t have to worry about underwear showing. I made the costume out of materials that blended with the environment and that would hold up under the situations that I had to put the costume through. I made about 20 of those. When you’re doing that, you source the materials that you can find and that you can duplicate times twenty. Within the dress and within the underdress and within the pants, there’s all kinds of stretch panels that are hidden in seams so it’s totally flexible. You’re able to lift your arms over your head. You’re able to shoot a bow and arrow. You’re able to move in the costume which is very important for the actors. Kristen, who’s young and very fit, does most of the action herself, so it was very key that that costume physically worked for her to do the work in. I didn’t put high heels on her because it made no sense and it was appropriate to do the boots. That’s how that happened. I’d say the approach is, you take a concept and try not to compromise the design by making it work physically.
Question: How much did you look to the actresses and how they look for inspiration in designing the costumes?
Atwood: I knew who was going to wear the costume, so you think about them as personas and what they want to do with their characters. I picked things that I thought would suit their character and their look. I picked brown and green suede because Kristen has green eyes and those two colors suited her complexion and hair color and eye color. With Charlize, the character dictated it more than her look. I mean, her look today is so amazing and stunning and that wasn’t what we were doing with it, so not so much.