“You can always paint the roses red.” Colleen Atwood is one of our absolute favorite costume designers here at theSkinnyStiletto. The two-time Academy Award winner has been nominated once again this year for Alice in Wonderland. Atwood reimagined the classic tale by updating some of literature’s beloved characters’ apparel, without detracting from the original story (which can’t be said about the entire film).
Atwood has worked with Tim Burton on several movies, and their creative minds usually produce very unique visuals. She was also the lead designer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 2005-2006. One of our editors is a member of the Museum of Modern Art, and was lucky enough to see the Burton Exhibit last year, which showcased numerous sketches of Atwood and Burton’s combined vision.
Atwood omitted the white apron from Alice’s famous outfit, but kept the bright blue 19th century dress to remind viewers of Lewis Carroll’s original Alice. Her costumes vary throughout the film, as she shrinks, grows and continuously needs new clothes after rabid creature attacks and misadventures. (Our favorite would have to be the Queen of Hearts cocktail dress lent to her while visiting the insane monarch pictured above.)
Alice isn’t the only interestingly dressed character in the movie… Atwood turned the beautiful Johnny Depp into a wacky-looking version of the Mad Hatter with crushed velvet suits and mismatched accessories. Anne Hathaway plays the White Queen in creamy regal frocks with tiny gold detailing. Her vastly dark eyebrows, nails and lips make her a fun and twisted royal. And finally, what’s black, white and red all over? It would be Helena Bonham Carter as the vicious Red Queen. Since the characters of the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts were combined for both the 1951 animated version and the 2010 film, Atwood includes hearts on all of Bonham Carter’s apropos gowns and tiaras. Colleen Atwood is a creative force to be reckoned with, and we’re looking forward to seeing her future endeavors… so we can continue to copy her cinematic fashion choices!