Colleen Atwood Dishes on Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron's 'Snow White and the Huntsman' Costumes

30 May 2012 by

'Snow White and The Huntsman' is officially hits cinemas today - get those Orange Wednesday tickets at the ready, folks! But we’re not just excited about seeing a post-Twilight Kristen Stewart go head-to-head with Oscar-winning Charlize Theron in the reworked fairytale - we're also desperate to see more of those incredible costumes.

Three-time Oscar winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood, is the veteran of all costume designers and has today launched her very own clothing line for US clothing company, Home Shopping Network, all pegged to the release of the film. Considering that Colleen won critical acclaim for ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, we’re not surprised by the attention her 'SWATH' outfits are getting.

Here, Grazia Daily has compiled the best insider quotes from the costume designer from dressing Charlize in ACTUAL beetles to ensuring Kristen didn’t, err, flash…

On the thought behind Kristen’s main outfit…
Snow White is hardly an action hero but she does a lot of action in a feminine costume. At the beginning of the story, Kristen wears a long dress over leggings with the two layers and ankle boots. So, you have this costume, a long dress and a long leather cloak and after the Huntsman cuts the bottom we end up with a shorter tunic, leggings and the boots. I put Kristen in leggings so that when she fell, I didn’t have to worry about her underwear showing!

On making Kristen’s outfit foolproof…
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 them! I put in all kinds of stretch panels that are hidden in seams so that it’s totally flexible and you’re able to lift your arms over your head, able to shoot a bow and arrow and able to move in the costume. Kristen, who’s young and very fit, does most of the action herself, so it was 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. [Grazia says: we bet K-Stew, who notoriously always changes back into her Nikes or Converses loved that!]

On the symbolism behind Charlize’s costumes…
In this movie, there are more symbolic elements in Ravenna’s costume and there’s always an element of trapped death in her costumes, such as the skeletal cage around her shoulders in her wedding costume – which was a one off. The trim of her blue costume is made with beetle wings from Thailand which are beetles that they eat! Another of her costumes has a reptilian quality and throughout the film, her costumes progress from a lighter mood through a dark mood. The feather cape I knew had to turn into birds so that was one of the first things we started with. The gold dress underneath was a dress that goes through a black slick and comes out black, and when it does, it almost looks like old skin. There are all kinds of elements that you incorporate in the textures as you go.

On just how many dresses she made
We made 250 of the Warrior Costume. That one [Snow White] was 20. The Huntsman was about 15. The Wedding dress was a one off. There were three of the gold dress. There were two of the cape, one of which got totally oil slicked out. It looks cool but it’s kind of destroyed. It’s a one off because she wears it for a very short time in the movie. And there’s three of the Reptilian costume because it’s an action costume as well. All the pieces of that come off so you can shoot without the heavy skirt if you want it to be less weight. The shoulder pieces come off so that in between takes Charlize (Theron) can be comfortable in it but it’s also got stretch in it. That dress has huge stretch arm pits in it. There are all kinds of things like that incorporated into it if you know you’re going to [use it that way].

On Charlize and Kristen’s input…
We talked about the character and I showed them my ideas and listen to theirs. Charlize has 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 vane 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. Kristen liked wearing the armour, but once you start wearing it for a long time you don’t like it at all! It isn’t heavy but it isn't comfortable either, she did a great job in all her stuff.

That's our K-Stew!


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Flame Evermore (Wed May 30 14:51:35 BST 2012): Brilliant costume designer!