Colleen Atwood: From Edward Scissorhands to Miss Peregrine, Creating The Looks That Make Stars Soar
Colleen Atwood is among the most celebrated costume designers working today. A total of eleven Oscar nominations (Little Women, Beloved, Sleepy Hollow, Chicago, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Memoirs of a Geisha, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Nine, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman and Into the Woods) and three victories (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and Alice in Wonderland) are the best proof of her talent. Not to mention her iconic works like Hannibal Lecter’s mask in Silence of the Lambs or the leather outfit she created for her friend, Johnny Depp, in Edward Scissorhands, that jump started a long collaboration with Tim Burton. Her talent expands beyond Hollywood to other media like Broadway, fashion design or television. And soon we’ll enjoy her latest work in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Atwood, a native of Yakima, Washington (“land of hippies and artists”) came late to the path that would make her famous: “The idea came to me a little later in life, when I was 28.”, she says. “I saw a movie called The Leopard (dir. Michaelangelo Antonioni, 1963). Piero Tosi is, to this day, the greatest living costume designer. His work really made me want to be like him.”
After decades of acclaimed work dressing actors and actresses, Atwood has a special place in her heart for the women of the craft: “Costume design, like make up, is a girly thing in this industry. They let us have that. As women, historically our role in films is to support men but also support women. And while fitting them, you create a bond, a lot of feeling for these amazing women specially when they pass age 35. It’s getting a little better but youth is still a thing for women in this industry.”