Well, I'm back from Toronto! Having arrived late last night after a fantastic trip, I've spent the day doing some boring necessities and getting back in the swing of things. As promised, I did make some fun purchases on my trip, but those will have to wait to be shared. Instead, I want to share the remarkable costumes found in Sweeney Todd.
Colleen Atwood was in charge of that particular aspect of the movie, and she did a fantastic job. Of course, since she has designed for Edward Scissorhands, Chicago, and Memoirs of a Geisha, one would expect no less. She especially outdid herself in the scene where Mrs. Lovett, the pie-maker, fantasizes about a life with Sweeney by the sea. It honestly made me gasp in delight and awe!
See how marvelous? That color pallette! Those stripes! Those polkadots and wild hair! I'm not gonna lie - I, too, would love to live on the beach with Johnny Depp and wear fabulous outfits. It's pretty much a given.
I also, of course, adored the darker clothing found in the rest of the movie. Mrs. Lovett's looks were my favorites.
Said Colleen Atwood, "She was somebody who almost was like a crow. She was always picking a bit of this or that up. Everyone is a little grimy in the movie. As she got more money, she got a couple of new dresses. I used a lot of authentic fabrics. Her dresses were a range of color but subtle and controlled. There was always a hint of red peeking out, but very low-key. A lot of her stuff had a sheen or beading. I thought she'd be attracted to a bit of obvious glitter. Underneath she had fantastic underwear you never see — great bloomers and corsets. As for the fingerless gloves — people wore them in the period. They'd been around."
Sweeney Todd's outfits were also quite memorable - sort of a mixture of Edward Scissorhands and Stacy of What Not To Wear (okay, at least the hair reminded me of her.)
Colleen also had some good things to say about Sweeney's look: "He comes off a boat, crusted with salt. He's been through a terrifying time in prison, and he's hardened to life. He enters the world with a shell on, like an insect shell. His jacket has a sheen. As he starts barbering, he becomes part of the world he's living in, a world where people use recycled clothing. (The) jacket he wears to work was influenced by work wear of the period. I really felt he needed some heavy weight to his feet, like he was dragging weight, and his boots are quite heavy and have nails around the outside of the sole on top. You get a kick of silver when he hits the pedal on the barber chair. His costumes are simple. He's not conscious of what he's wearing. "
The costumes were apparently taken from different parts of the Victorian period, with more concern for the characters than historical integrity. Many may describe the look as Goth, but Colleen said,"to me, the influence was the makeup and styling of the old black-and-white movies. The lips and eyes are dark, and the face is light. That's the feeling we were going for, more than a conscious goth look."
For more information on the Oscar-nominated Sweeney Todd costumes, check out some of my sources for this article. There's a great interview in USA Today, as well as some really fantastic videos (Parts 1; 2) about it on YouTube. As always, The Costumer's Guide had some good pictures.
P.S. Doesn't the first big photo in this editorial (the one with the stripey tights) look freakishly like a costume for Mrs. Lovett? Also, it just occurred to me that the red-and-white striped dress from the fantasy sequence reminds me a lot of Mary Poppins' costume at the fair in the chalk drawing. It makes sense, I suppose, seeing as both costumes appear in Victorian era fantasy scenes. . .