×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

One Costume Designer Added Color to Both ‘Carol’ and ‘Cinderella’

Costume designer Sandy Powell’s credit appears on two 2015 releases that are generating awards buzz; Todd Haynes’  “Carol” and Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella.”

Since Cate Blanchett stars in both films, Powell used her spare time on the Walt Disney Pictures fairy tale to get a head start on the Weinstein Co. indie drama, which had less than eight weeks of prep.

“I began with the underwear,” Powell says of Blanchett’s early fittings. “It was really beneficial to be seeing her every day, and be thinking about ‘Carol’ at the same time.”

Beyond Cinderella’s beautiful ball gown, worn by Lily James, and the iconic glass slippers, the designer relished the opportunity to conceive the look of Blanchett’s character, Cinderella’s wicked Stepmother.

“She’s the baddie, which of course is the best person to dress in any film, because they are extreme,” Powell says. “I didn’t want her to be in black all the time, but I think every one of her costumes has an element of black in it. It’s the same silhouette for every outfit, but different colors, different fabrics.”

Set in 1952 New York, “Carol” is pretty much the flip side of showy “Cinderella,” with more restrained costumes. Therese, played by Rooney Mara, mostly wears navy, black and gray. Blanchett’s clothes are more muted. This was unusual for Powell, who is a fan of intense color, but for Haynes, the choices were necessary to set the tone of the period.

“The bright accents would be restrained and collective,” Haynes says. “Sometimes there would be that salmon scarf to accent a gray silk outfit. Yes, Carol wears a red coat with a red blouse in one scene, but usually these flourishes of intense color are very select, and stand out somewhat from the overall palette of the film.”

Says Powell: “There are highlights of color, like coral with her scarf and hat, lips and nails. That color for me is ‘Carol.’ ”

More Artisans

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Landscapes, History and Incentives Lure Producers to Austria

    Going back to the sweeping mountain vistas of 1965’s The Sound of Music and the pulse-racing action sequences of 1991’s Point Break, Austria has long been a favored destination for international production. The small, landlocked country boasts medieval villages, fairy tale castles, and the historic city of Vienna, which ruled over various permutations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

  • Spider-Man Homecoming

    Film and TV Productions Are Using Drones for Scouting Locations, Lighting and More

    Since a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 that cleared the use of drones in film and TV production, the acquisition of footage by these unmanned flying machines has become de rigueur for aerial shooting in cases when cranes or aircraft are impractical or unsafe.  As such, drones have been greeted enthusiastically not [...]

  • MTV The Challenge

    How 'The Challenge' Relied on Global Crew to Pull Off Plane Game

    Thirty-three seasons into MTV’s “The Challenge,” the reality competition series has spawned a band of traveling producers and engineers who fly around the world to create one-of-a-kind games. This includes placing cameras, smoke elements and a puzzle inside a plane that was suspended more than 30 feet above water. Executive producer Justin Booth joined “The [...]

  • Chaz Ebert DePaul CHA Documentary Filmmaking

    Chicago Program Gives High School Girls Lessons in Documentary Filmmaking

    At the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, three of the projects screening in the Short Film Corner — “Birthday,” “Phenomenally Me” and “Without Dying” — will be products of the DePaul/CHA Documentary Filmmaking Program, a six-week course co-sponsored by the Chicago Housing Authority in which high school girls learn filmmaking from graduate students and faculty of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content