Tag Archive: Film

Jun 10 2014

Interview: Maleficent Costume Designer Anna B. Sheppard

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When you see Maleficent you will leave the cinema thinking about Angelina Jolie’s amazing cheekbones, the sweetness of Elle Fanning as Aurora, and the incredible costumes designed by  Anna B. Sheppard, who is known for her work on ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘The Pianist,’ both of which earned her Oscar nominations.

I got the chance to chat with Anna about the costumes, working with Angelina, and the difficulties of designing for an action movie like Maleficent.

Maleficent is one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history – what was it like to take on this project?

Daunting!!! We started the prep for this film 10 weeks before the first day of shoot and I met Angelina like 8 weeks before and we started from scratch. Everyone expected one costume, because everyone remembers the animated character, and we created eight. It was blood, sweat and tears, and I had a lot of help from Team Maleficent – I had my assistant costume designer Jane Clive, and lots of young designers who experimented with our costumes – like with the millinery, the shoes, with our leather elements – they helped me a lot.

The original really stays in your memory, everyone as a child has seen Sleeping Beauty and everyone remembers Maleficent, so that was the challenge of this movie to bring this animated version to life and to keep the magic in the costumes.

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What was it like working with Angelina Jolie on the Maleficent costumes?

A bad person never looked so beautiful – she looks absolutely amazing. Angelina really did give herself to this character and think people don’t realise that she is more than just being beautiful, she is also incredibly intelligent. She was 150 percent involved in the creation of the designs.

Were there any challenges involved in Maleficent’s signature costume?

It is practically creating the identical silhouette from the animated movie but the technical details were more difficult because I wanted a more sculptured silhouette, but still very slim. It is like a dress with bat-wings attached with a long train, which needed to be weighted down to make the costume behave like it should. It was made from metres of pleated black fabric and it took weeks to make – day and night. But the results were worth it.

As well as Maleficent there are a host of fabulous costumes for Aurora and Diaval – how did you perfect their look?

With Elle and Aurora, they were very innocent costumes, Aurora is the girl who lives in the forest surrounded by funny fairies, and I thought about her lines with her long hair and it made me think of Ophelia. That was my inspiration to create something like light almost; it needed to be such a contrast to Maleficent’s costume.

For Diaval I wanted him to look like a rock star. Because Raven is black so his clothes should be black, in the first concept he was suppose to be covered in feathers, but of course that didn’t work, so we didn’t have much time to dress he so we went for a cross between a pirate and a rock star – with high boots, leather trousers, frock coat, and an open black shirt.

Is there a particular sequence that you feel the costumes really shine through?

I think the christening scene is quite impressive, I love that and a lot of work went into it, because we had to create the whole ‘court’ of King Stefan and the different types of costumes is great to see.

Were there any challenges making the costumes work for the action scenes?

The last costume, the all-in-one leather costume for the fight, we had to make 25 for that sequence as they were exposed to fires, so they also needed to be fireproof. Sometimes you have to sacrifice beauty of the costume for the practicality of an action movie.

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[Pics: Courtesy of Disney & Anna’s taken by me, Fashionista Barbie]

**Post in collaboration with Disney for the Maleficent hub – for more on the hub visit – maleficentmovie.tumblr.com**

Dec 24 2013

Festive Movie Marathon: A Rom-Com Kind Of Christmas

Christmas movies 2 Festive Movie Marathon: A Rom Com Kind Of Christmas %tagHappy Christmas Eve guys. It is traditional for me on this very day to eat lots of chocolates, generally the Quality Street variety, bake up some mince pies, and watch back-to-back Christmas movies – and you guessed it that is what I am doing right now.

Last Christmas I put up my favourite festive movies – the likes of White Christmas and Santa Clause, plus a whole raft of suggestions that probably only myself and the Hallmark Channel have ever heard of. This Christmas Eve I thought I would go for a romantic-comedy theme – mixing festive cheer with a fuzzy feel good factor. So here goes – my five rom-com suggestions:

The Holiday - Many reasons why this makes the cut each festive season, first who doesn’t want to be Cameron Diaz, secondly it is the only film I actually think Jude Law is hot in, and thirdly I love the contrast between a snowy England and Los Angeles. This is a great feel-good film that even my boyfriend doesn’t mind sitting through.

While You Were Sleeping – What I love about this film is that it is a little unconventional when it comes to a festive romance film – as instead of eyes meeting across a crowded holiday party, Lucy played by Sandra Bullock actually saves her commuter crush and gets mistaken for his fiancé while he is in a coma and then falls in love with his brother. Not only am I huge Sandra Bullock fan but I also have a soft spot for Bill Pullman.

Love Actually – This film is British comedy at its very best. I love the interwoven little storylines, the incredible cast, I adore Bill Nighy as an aging rocker, and most of all I love that Hugh Grant as Prime Minister falls in love with his tea girl. You can’t help but laugh, cry and feel good when watching this film.

Serendipity - This is a film that doesn’t just come out at Christmas for me, I love the idea of Serendipity meeting a stranger and having a connection but the not so perfect timing means that they don’t stay in touch, rather they see if chance brings them back together again. If the story doesn’t get you the chemistry between John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale will!!!

Miracle on 34th Street - No Christmas list is complete without my favourite festive film – come on Richard Attenborough is the greatest Father Christmas and I don’t mind admitting it ‘I Believe’!!! OK so the main story isn’t a romantic one, but who doesn’t want to see Dorey and Bryan get together – how did she say no the first time that rock was perfection.

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A couple of favourites I don’t have on DVD yet but I adore and search out each season on Christmas 24 and Sky Movies has to be ‘Christmas in Boston’, ‘His and Her Christmas’, ‘Boyfriend For Christmas’, ‘Holiday Engagement’ and one I found this festive season is ‘Hitched for the Holidays’ it has Joey Lawrence from ‘Blossom’ in it – I do wish I could get the Hallmark Channel here in the UK!!!

Which romantic Christmas movies is your favourite?

Oct 26 2013

Editorial Flashback: Remembering Steve McQueen

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When we talk about male Hollywood legends surely at the top of everyone’s list is the incredible Steve McQueen – not only for his rugged good looks but also his long list of amazing films. My favourite is hard to choose, I love The Great Escape, The Towering Inferno and the original The Thomas Crown Affair – but I think if I had to watch one right now I think it would have to be Bullitt. This gritty crime drama has it all – a great backdrop in the city of San Francisco, 60’s fashion, and one beauty of a car – the Ford Mustang.

It was because of my love of his films that when I came across this editorial he did in 1965 for Harper’s Bazaar with Jean Shrimpton that I just had to share. Shot by Richard Avedon – I love how the editorial shows off his cheeky side as well as even with a few wrinkles that he was one good-looking guy.

The shot with him looking into Jean’s eyes is my favourite – not only are her eyelashes incredible but I reckon it took a while to capture as he looks like he couldn’t stop laughing.

Are you a fan of Steve McQueen?

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[Pics: Harper’s Bazaar/Richard Avedon via thefashionspot.com]

Oct 10 2013

Barbie Loving: The Hunger Games Catching Fire Dolls – Including Katniss & Effie

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It isn’t long now until The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits cinemas, I have even started rereading the trilogy to prepare, and Barbie has done a followed up to the amazing Katniss doll from the first film, with the leading lady being joined by Peeta, Effie and Finnick wearing costumes from Catching Fire.

Of course I’m excited to be adding another Katniss doll, the first one sits pride and place in my office next to Bella from Twilight, but as they didn’t go for one of Jennifer Lawrence‘s characters more flamboyant looks from the film – like her wedding dress - the one I most want to add to my collection is Effie Trinket.

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As you would expect Effie is one striking Barbie doll, wearing a metallic blue dress accented with black feather sleeves and gold detailing around the collar and waist – it is a complete replica of one of her extravagant Capitol fashions worn in the film. I love that the bold design also captures her signature hair style, striking make-up and finishes off the look with OTT shoes and glitzy tights. For $24.95 she is a real bargain.Barbie hunger games effie Barbie Loving: The Hunger Games Catching Fire Dolls   Including Katniss & Effie %tag Barbie hunger games effie  Barbie Loving: The Hunger Games Catching Fire Dolls   Including Katniss & Effie %tagBarbie hunger games katniss Barbie Loving: The Hunger Games Catching Fire Dolls   Including Katniss & Effie %tag

The Catching Fire Katniss doll is great, but just doesn’t have the wow factor of Effie as it is too similar to the first doll. Once again she is carrying her bow and wearing her hair in a side-braid, the only difference is the leather jacket has been replaced with her fitted black bodysuit with knee and elbow pads that she enters the arena of the Quarter Quell in.

As well as the two favourite female characters, Barbie has also moulded Peeta and Finnick into dolls, with both wearing their Tributes outfits for the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Peeta’s of course matches Katniss in black, while Finnick carries his signature trident.

What do you think of the new The Hunger Games dolls? Are you happy that they included Effie this time?

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Jun 17 2013

Film Review: Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

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At the weekend I went to see the much-anticipated Joss Whedon take on William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, which was shot over the course of only 12 days in the director’s Santa Monica home, and if you are a fan of Whedon’s past TV shows and films you will spot a few familiar faces in the incredible cast.

I saw a number of interviews with the guy who brought me Buffy, Angel, Firefly and of course last year’s Avenger’s Assemble, and nearly everyone seemed surprised that he would do something different, unexpected, and that it would be incredible. I wasn’t surprised by how good it was, but I wasn’t expecting the film which is filmed in black and white and uses the original text that it is written largely in prose, to be so modern, fresh and charming.

The comedy is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, I love how it portrays romance, politics, family and most of all the love-hate relationship between Benedick and Beatrice, played by Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker, who really were the standout stars of this production, especially with their screwball comedy performances. Amy Acker, best known as Fred in Angel, really did shine in this film and for me had a touch of Katharine Hepburn about her.

As well as great performances from Denisof and Acker, another highlight had to be Nathan Fillion aka the evil creepy priest Caleb from Buffy and of course Kate Beckett’s sidekick in Castle, as Dogberry and Tom Lenk, also from Buffy, as his sidekick Verges – both were hilarious as the bumbling clownish night watchmen.

Unlike other adaptations of classics that have been given the glossy treatment, with over done staging, costumes, and music, Whedon kept his version contemporary and in keeping with Shakespeare’s story, and even though on paper it maybe shouldn’t work it so does and I am sure it will be used by many an English teacher to make Shakespeare look cool!!!

I love that Whedon kept the original words, that he didn’t make the cast put on fake English accents, and that he had them wearing modern dress, and I thought the constantly drinking throughout really helped understand why the characters make the choices they do.

I went to see this with a friend and we both agreed that the only thing missing was Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy and Summer Glau from Firefly, but really that is just us both being uber geeky Whedon fans and dreamers!!!

I am going to have to say this has to be the must-see film of the summer and I can’t recommend it enough, I just hope that more cinemas put on screenings as so far it looks like it is going to have a limited run. Check out the film’s website to see if it is on at a cinema near you, trust me you will love it.

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Still undecided? Why not check out the trailer:

[Pics: Much Ado About Nothing]

May 24 2012

Video Loving: The Great Gatsby Trailer

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As soon as I heard that Baz Luhrmann was going to be bringing the classic book Great Gatsby to the big screen I was excited, as he directed two of my favourite films Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, I was bursting when I found out that Cary Mulligan was going to be playing Daisy, she is perfect for this role, and then add in Leo Di Caprio into the mix and I was completely hooked before I had even seen the trailer.

The film might not be out until Christmas, but this week the first trailer was released, I know what a tease Baz is, and I was completely blown away by the whole production – from the sets, to the cast, and of course the stunning modern interpretation of Twenties flapper fashion!!!

Already being billed as the ‘most stylist film ever’, I can see why so many fashionistas are getting excited as the roaring Twenties was such a vibrant period in fashion, with romantic and glamour rolled into one. I love all the embellishments, the high glitz, the drop-waist flapper-style dresses, the flamboyant head pieces, lashes of beaded fringes, and of course I can’t leave out the gorgeous hairstyles.

I know that this trailer is instantly going to be picked apart for whether or not the costumes are accurate to the period, granted I saw a few things that weren’t, but what I also saw was that this is a modern interpretation that Baz Luhrmann does so well.

Roll on December, I can’t wait to watch this film in full, but I have to ask does it really need to be in 3D?? Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.

Apr 25 2010

Fashionable Films: How Many Have You Seen?

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The Times online have written this great article on the 25 movies that shook the fashion world – and it got me thinking how many of them I had actual seen.

The list ranges from West Side Story, Keira Knightley’s 30s outfits in Atonement, Factory Girl, Pulp Fiction who could forget Uma Thurman’s style, A Single Man, The Thomas Crown Affair and of course The Devil Wears Prada.

But one of my favourite fashionable films, and one of Grace Kelly’s best, To Catch A Thief made the cut and I was so glad to see it. I think the French Riviera setting helps.

But out of the 25 flicks I am disappointed that I’ve only seen 15, but hey at least I have 10 films to track down, dissect and enjoy!!

Check out the full list at The Times here.

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