Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman Costumes

What is it about Snow White? Why do we keep making films, TV shows, and music videos about a heroine whose only claim to fame is her incredibly pale skin and proclivity for harmful fruit? I will certainly think about answers to this question as I watch Snow White and the Huntsman when I go see it.

The costumes for this, what feels like the umpteenth version of Snow White this year, were created by the brilliant Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha). And they are dark, moody and atmospheric, just like the film (or at least the film's trailer).

I'm not a huge fan of faux-medieval chic, but a lot of it looks pretty cool.

Snow White's costume is very practical, if a little dull. I like how it illustrates the character's journey from an imprisoned princess to a strong and self-sufficient warrior. It starts out as your ordinary long dress, but as the story progresses, it gets torn and tattered and turns into a tunic that she improves with some leather boots, leggins and arm-guards. Really love those puffy sleeves.

The huntsman's costume is very basic. Everything looks like it was made by a guy who lives in a forest. Most of the elements were sewn by hand to give it that DIY look. It's leather on leather with more leather.

But it's the Evil Queen's costumes that are really worth a look. They are absolutely gorgeous and very creative.

Ravenna's feather cloak was the first costume that Colleen designed. There are over a thousand feathers hand-trimmed and sewn together.And it looks stunning. It reminds me of Prospera's magic cloak from the recent Tempest film. The dress underneath has this weird embroidery that almost looks like scars tissue.

Ravenna's wedding gown is incredible. It's beautiful and menacing at the same time. Some elements are delicate, like the soft fabric and the intricate embroidery along the bodice, but then there are the strips of leather attached to the skirt to create the contrasting pleats and the exoskeleton sleeves (which I absolutely adore!)

This is the Queen's "battle dress". It's essentially a chainmail with every metal plate attached by hand. It must have taken ages to construct. It does give the dress a very reptilian look, especially when she is walking with every single element moving. The collar is made of burnt and twisted leather. It does not look comfortable at all.

This dress is my absolute favorite. It reminds me of the legendary Lady Macbeth costume worn by Ellen Terry. If you're wondering, yes, those green 'spikes' are actually jewel beetle wings. The skirt and the sleeves look like they're made of cobwebs. there is a general sense of decaying greatness in this costume.

While the plot may be flimsy and the script cheesy, I will definitely go see this film, if only for the costumes.        

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