“Sing sweet nightingale! Sing sweet nightingale!” Good evening readers. A trip to the movies this past weekend inspired me. I hope a special two-part Cinderella blog post will make up for my absence this past month. I am starting here on my art blog, talking about costume designer Sandy Powell and her flawless work in Disney’s live-action adaption of “Cinderella.”
During the movie, all I could think of when I looked at Lady Tremaine’s fashion was “Mad Men”, which takes place in the 1960s. Her costuming, especially the shapes and the shades of color, are reminiscent of the early 60s; I would describe the shapes as sophisticated and the colors rich. Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine evoke the same decade, but the colorful, psychedelic aesthetic of the colors and patterns is more suited to the late 60s and hippie subculture.
Sparkly and larger than life pretty much sum up this costume. The Fairy Godmother’s role is brief but a crucial part of the storyline. The gown should and does gives her a memorable presence; it also enhances Helena Bonham Carter’s young, quirky version of the character.
Prince Kit Charming’s outfits are classic. The style is expected, but the colors correspond beautifully to both location and scenario. When Kit is in the forest, his tailcoat is deep green and accented by gold appliques and a teal ascot. At the ball, his soft white tailcoat is accented by silver appliques and a baby blue collar and cuffs; this understatement allows Ella’s periwinkle gown to sparkle and shine. Let’s be honest though. His best accessory are those piercing blue eyes. Sorry men! That is an undeniable fact.
The ultimate moment in the story of Cinderella is her transformation from rags to princess. Sandy Powell did a great job creating a magical ball gown. There is a mixture of dark and light shades of periwinkle blue as well as some subtle purple; this adds depth. I appreciate that the shimmer of the gown was enhanced with body glitter and hair jewels. Go big or go home! The finishing touch is butterflies on top of the bodice; the colors and placement are so soft that the insects appear to be real. The dress is breathtaking but not too much of a showstopper that it takes away from Lily James/Cinderella.
I kid you not! I started tearing up at the first sight of Ella’s wedding dress. I had already seen it online but still got choked up. I love the trademark blue ballgown, but the wedding dress stole the show (in my personal opinion). Take it all in: a creme a-line gown with long, gossamer sleeves, blue, pink, and yellow flower appliques, a long, sheer veil, and a crown of flowers. The dress is stunning, but Prince Charming in no way looks shabby. The cool tone of his soft blue tailcoat and brass/gold accents are the perfect color complement to Ella’s warm ensemble.
For more information, here is an interview with Sandy Powell conducted by Elle Magazine: http://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/news/a27274/cinderella-sandy-powell-costumes-interview/
As an added bonus, here is a Disney article regarding the Cinderella Exhibit at the Berlin Film Festival: http://blogs.disney.com/disney-style/news/2015/02/13/the-cinderella-exhibit-at-the-berlin-film-festival-takes-you-inside-the-world-of-the-film/
If you want to see more of the costumes, I could recommend that you do your own online research. However, I am not going to do that. If you want to truly experience Sandy Powell’s handiwork, GO WATCH THE MOVIE!! I will get you started with the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DF6U1HcGQ
Keep an eye out for part II of this blog post! It will be posted tomorrow on my personal blog.
“Just like the Fairy Godmother, we can do magic.” – Sandy Powell, Costume Designer
– Lauren Michele 🙂
Personal Blog: https://laurenmichelepoetry.wordpress.com/