Certain ppl seem meek as a mouse when you meet them, HOWEVER when you look at their body of work you can see that while Colleen Atwood may be quiet she is extremely talented, super creative, and a force to be recokend with. Her styles range and each piece tells it’s own unique story.
Colleen: Every project starts with a story. I get the phone call and the script and I read the script and think. Kind of have a little dream about what I- sometimes when you get a script you sort of see different things right away and sometimes it’s a different process. I start thinking about it and then the next step is usually meeting with a director and having a kind of a conversation about what he’s thinking it is, because ultimately that’s the person that I collaborate with the most on a film is the director.
So you’re there to kind of serve his vision of the story. The next step is going off and doing research, design, costume textile development which I’m huge on because I love the craft. People doing things with their hands is exciting and sort of inspiring for me. Then I take those things once I put them together and present them to the director. As actors are cast in the film and I have meetings with them, I usually show them.
Before I give them clothes at all, I usually try to meet with them and show them my ideas so if they have something they don’t like, they object to, I kind of figure it out there and- and sort of talk to them about it.Get to what the heart of what their feeling is and then I start the actual making of the costumes and fittings and that process.
Q: This film had so many amazing characters and costumes to go with the characters, which was your favorite to work on?
Colleen: You know, it’s kind of like children, it’s a weird question to ask, because I never- like one day some of them are definitely not my favorites. [LAUGHTER] I had a great time of course with Meryl’s costume because of the textile art that was involved in it. It involved not just my ideas but the hands of a lot of really talented people, mainly women. Each one has a different beat, so it’s kind of fun to- the thing that makes it great for me because I kind of bounce around. It’s great that you can go from Meryl’s costume and walk over to Billy’s costume, and walk over to the baker and his wife’s costume. You know, the vocabulary is so varied that, that when you walk around and go from one thing to the other, you’re thinking about each thing as you go, and you kind of as you hit one, you go oh, and you kind of go back to the other one. It’s nice ’cause they’re so varied and you can always take from one and sort of lend to another when it’s something isn’t working in the room.
Q: Has there ever been a costume that you were stumped on and that took some time?
Colleen: You know what, a lot of times for me, when you work on a movie, all the costumes aren’t done the first day of shooting. You’re still continuing making as you’re shooting. Because the schedules for preparing are pretty tight and sometimes the casting doesn’t happen at the beginning, and you get the actor later in the story.
The costume that kind of stumps me the most is when I know it’s going to be the last costume. Then you’re sort of it’s a weird thing, it’s like psychological, you don’t want to let go of that costume or something, it’s like the baby of the family. [LAUGHTER] Traditionally with me the hardest costume to kind of like say, oh it’s at the right thing. Like I get more anxiety about that than the first one, it’s funny.
Q: Whose costume would you say involved the most from your first thoughts to the finished product and why?
Colleen: Well I’d say Emily’s because she was pregnant. [LAUGHTER] it changed the most of any costume. It had a lot of panels and when I got her, she was just barely pregnant. All of a sudden she got into that like kind of fifth month kind of thing. She came to work after a weekend and it was like she’d grown I swear. She’d grown like two or three inches I’m like what happened over the weekend, the baby just kind of… So I was continually kind of modifying her costume because her bust was bigger and her belly was bigger and you’re kind of- even though she was incredibly small for how pregnant she was. I was continually like making the body- the apron bigger and all that. Thank goodness she was in an apron from the start [LAUGHTER]
Q: I read that Meryl is- went to school for costume design, so did she have any input or involvement in her costumes?
Colleen: Well there’s not a aspect of a character development that Meryl isn’t involved in. [LAUGHTER] She is the Meryl Streep.
But, in fact she understands costumes really well, which doesn’t like mean she designs them on any level, but she feels them. AAny request she made to her costumes were all sort of related to movement in the costume and what it had to do for her. She embraced all the textiles and stuff in a way that somebody that really knew what it took to make it appreciated it, so it was a really gratifying collaboration to not only work with someone of her kind of amazing talent.
But just somebody that kind of just loved going in the room and seeing what everybody was doing and, you know, was really great with the stitchers. Like she actually acknowledged they existed, which is really nice for the people that make the costumes, because a lot of times I always try to like get the actors to kind of walk through when it’s done, just to give them that gratification. But a lot of times actors, they’re like, reluctant to do it, and Meryl was just so kind and- and generous in that way.
We all can see how talented Colleen Atwood is. Hopefully that means we will see her win her 4th Oscar for Costumes in Into The Woods. Maybe just maybe Into the Woods will be nominated itself to win for BEST PICTURE! Keep your fingers crossed!
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***Disclosure: I attended #IntoTheWoodsEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***