A few weeks ago I attended the press junket for Disney’s new live action Cinderella. I had the opportunity to interview the amazing cast and famous director. Each person we interviewed commented on how much they all love the work of Sandy Powell. Richard Madden talked about how manly he needed to look and that Sandy agreed. His only issue was in the Ballroom at the Ball but he agreed that everything worked quite well together. Kenneth Branagh said there was nothing to worry about with Sandy on the job and Cate Blanchet said she always loves what Sandy creates and that this was no exception. And I have to agree, her designs are amazing.
So how does she come up with such amazing colors?
I kind of chose all the color palettes for each of the characters. And I work closely with the people who design the sets. And the set dressing, so that we make sure that nothing clashes with the curtains. And you know, the, all the furnishings. But no, the colors all, all of my doing. And that’s one of the things I really really enjoy more than anything else…….I pick colors because they feel right. And because I like them.
…….I kinda knew it had to be voluminous. I knew it had to be big and had to be impressive. But without being heavy. Uh, and yet it helps knowing who the actress is and what shape you can make them. Or what shape they are, and then what you can turn them into, as well.
The Fairy Godmother
…that was rather ambitious and to be honest we didn’t have enough time to, to really develop it. It could have gone a lot further, and been a lot more successful. I think the costume as a whole works in the film, but I had this mad idea that she actually literally twinkled, and all over. We got all the circuits made up by this lighting company, but it took a lot longer than I expected. We couldn’t actually really construct the costume till we had the lights done. So, we were waiting and waiting, waiting for the lights to be finished…..So that costume actually ended up being really rather thrown together at the last minute. Kind of, I kind of didn’t like it, it looks like it’s been thrown together. In a way, I think it’s quite funny that it looks like it’s been thrown together……
The Lizard Footman
Yeah, it, it was an interesting process, that. Because it did actually start with the costume, so I had to do a costume that looked like a footman and how can I make that lizard-like? So I used the texture of the fabric, it was a fabric that we dyed first of all the greens and the yellows, and over the top was a lace, like a silver lace which gives that sort of scaly effect. It was put over the top and then again it was painted again once the costume was made. It was like a tail coat but where the tail’s a little bit more exaggerated. The gloves were green and they were dyed with the yellow too. So it was actually all clothes. And then that gave the visual effects department something to build on. Then they designed their lizard, but based on my costume in a way
As she was talking she did mention that sometimes as a designer you have to talk an actor into liking the costume and help them learn to trust your decisions. And she made some amazing decisions.
Cinderella is now in theaters.