Friday - - Fashion -

The Beauty and the Beast cos­tume de­signer re­veals the se­crets be­hind Emma Wat­son’s princess gown. Did you feel a lot of pres­sure de­sign­ing cos­tumes for some­thing as iconic as Beauty and the Beast? Not re­ally pres­sure, it was more like ex­cite­ment – it was such an hon­our to even be con­sid­ered. How did you go about cre­at­ing Belle’s iconic yel­low dress? My aim was al­ways to rein­ter­pret the orig­i­nal cos­tumes, flesh them out a bit and give them tex­ture, but the start­ing point for Belle es­pe­cially was the an­i­ma­tion. We ended up cre­at­ing a sim­ple dress, be­cause what was most im­por­tant was the move­ment of the dress. It was a very soft struc­ture built up with me­tres and me­tres of silk or­ganza dyed yel­low and cut broadly in a cir­cu­lar shape, so that it em­pha­sised her move­ment. We also printed gold leaf on to the dress. The cos­tumes are sus­tain­able, right? There is one scene in the film (a mon­tage of her out­fits, about half­way through) where all of Belle’s cos­tumes are made from en­tirely eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able sources. We learned how to dye with nat­u­ral dyes and what kind of threads and trim­ming to use to make them com­pletely eth­i­cally sus­tain­able. The shoes were re­made from sus­tain­able leather. What is your favourite cos­tume that you’ve de­signed? I re­ally liked the way the green dress in Atone­ment turned out [Dur­ran was Os­car-nom­i­nated for her work on the film]. You’ve worked on many pe­riod films. Do you pre­fer that to mod­ern films? Yes. I love do­ing re­search and im­mers­ing my­self in an­other place and time.

The live-ac­tion re­make of Beauty and the Beast re­leases on March 16.

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