Top 71 Quotes & Sayings by Colleen Atwood

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Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood is an American costume designer.

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I always have a moment when I know I'm designing the last costume that gets made for a movie, and it's always been floating up there, but it's kind of the last one. That's always probably the hardest one for me.
Costumes are the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth-it really does establish who they are.
The exposure I have had to beautiful materials across the world, from Japan to Italy, enables me to pull design ideas together. This, combined with years of historical research, has created a great fountain of ideas for me.
On Planet of the Apes, I had a very knowledgeable team who knew good materials, but I had one main source person who worked online and on the street continually looking for the proper materials.
I have watched 'Project Runway,' but I'm not a devout watcher of it. But I think it's a great show, what I've seen of it, and I think Tim Gunn is a very positive, amazing guy.
Each simian had a much different body suit, so besides trying to define class across species, there was a definite attempt to dress each group in different styles. — © Colleen Atwood
Each simian had a much different body suit, so besides trying to define class across species, there was a definite attempt to dress each group in different styles.
I love designing costumes that I can actually construct, working to create an environment that people want to be in.
Sleepy Hollow had a lot of action in it, even though it was a fairy-tale movie.
The costumes had to serve the choreography.
Every story is different, so what is a detail in one might not be in something else. Diversity is something I embrace and love about my work.
The right costume determines the character, helps the actor feel who he is, and serves the story.
Inspiration comes from everywhere: books, art, people on the street. It is an interior process for me.
Knowing who the actors were as you were designing them helped, with Catherine's beauty and Renee's frailty, they directed me visually just by who they were.
I don't design my own clothes. It's so not what I think about.
I always loved clothes, just not clothes that were appropriate to the place I grew up in.
I can create clothes for so many different time periods. I've always tried to avoid being pigeonholed. Plus, everything I learn about design and costume from one movie somehow works its way into something else.
Planet of the Apes was a gigantic challenge, making the clothes work so people could do stunts and action in the clothes. I really learned a lot about that in that movie.
If you want someone to feel warm, you dress them in a warm color and put a warm light on them and you get the picture. Sometimes, all that needs pushing a little bit to help tell the story.
I wanted to be a painter when I was a kid. And then, I had to make a living. I had a child when I was in high school, so I kind of had that work phase in my life. — © Colleen Atwood
I wanted to be a painter when I was a kid. And then, I had to make a living. I had a child when I was in high school, so I kind of had that work phase in my life.
I grew up in the age of polyester. When I got to touch real silk, cotton and velvet, the feel of nonsynthetic fabrics blew me away. I know it's important how clothing looks, but it's equally important how it feels on your skin.
I like the architecture of lingerie.
I'd say probably the most expensive costumes I've ever made were the costumes in 'The Planet of the Apes,' because of the research and development that went into them and the amount of layers.
When I do period work, I really like to read about the period as much as I like to look at pictures because sometimes the written word is much better at conveying what their lives were really like and how much they had and where their clothes came from. Because, a lot of time, people dressed in their Sunday best to pose for a picture.
Costume design allows you to do a different type of research and create characters, whereas in fashion, you create an image and clothing for the masses.
It's fun conjuring what people will be wearing in the future. We exist in this world today, and yet there are people walking around who still look like they're in the '60s.
It's great fun that my grandkids get to see the costumes in 'Alice in Wonderland' or a doll with grandma's dress, but then they also let me know they're bummed I didn't do any of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies.
For contemporary fashion, I'm a huge fan of so many of the people out there. I think Azzedine Alaia holds up through three generations of very specific, beautiful design. I think Jean Paul Gaultier also is very interesting with a long span.
Some of the kimonos took as long as four to five months to make, with all the layers that go into it.
As for futuristic costumes, I loved doing 'Gattaca' because I'm a minimalist at heart, and it's a very minimal film. Plus, with Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, how could you go wrong?
It's often said that costume designers are a faceless group of people. But we can contribute to fashion in a way that might be new and different.
I design for the movie and the character as well as the person wearing the costume. I show the ideas to the actor, then do fittings for shape and technical things such as movement in the costume. Once the costume in this form is on the actor, you have a sense of their connection with it. I then take it to the next level with the final fit.
I worked in fashion, but I worked more in the sales side of fashion than in design. I was an assistant buyer for a department store back in the '70s and the early years of Saint Laurent. And I used to have a lot of private clients that I bought for.
In Chicago, I walked in knowing what the dancers were going to need.
One of the challenges with period costumes is, on a technical level, making the scale of different periods work on contemporary bodies. We're much bigger than what people were in older times.
My work space is so visually crammed. It's like an insane candy store. The number of textiles I'm surrounded with is mind boggling. It's a treat to come home to a nice negative space.
It's true that I'm not cozy. I'm more reserved.
I really don't over-theorize about design. I'd rather feel it than talk it to death. A lot happens as you unroll the design.
In real life, a lot of people at that level will have their kimonos made especially for them.
I am always looking for ideas, whether it is in art on the street or in my world travels. It comes to me randomly and unexpectedly.
I think a lot of young girls go through that period in their life of finding who they are, and at that point, looking good matters the most.
People like to stir up the fashion vs. costume world, and I think what they mean by 'too costumey' is that it's too much, or not real enough for everyday wear. You couldn't say that about John Galliano's shows, right? I mean, they're awesome, and they're total costume.
One thing about costume design - and I think design in general - but especially costume design, is people have a misconception that it's very glamorous work. — © Colleen Atwood
One thing about costume design - and I think design in general - but especially costume design, is people have a misconception that it's very glamorous work.
I choose colors I like and will photograph well. I don't do color theory!
I think that sometimes people don't understand that a costume that has to be worn every day and doesn't change the whole movie becomes iconic. It's very important because it requires a different design process, since you have to make something that people aren't going to get tired of looking at.
I'd seen the current stage production and the 1975 production of Chicago. I liked them both very much, but I didn't use them necessarily as inspiration.
The thing that's great about being a costume designer is you never know what's going to be next; you never what world you are going to enter.
I grew up in a small town in Washington State, so I wasn't really aware of costume design as a career growing up, but I loved clothes. I remember I saved all my money, and the first thing that I bought was a white blazer, which was to the horror to my parents. But I have always had a strange connection with clothing.
My own style is pretty classic; I much prefer to design for others.
I've always loved movies, art and clothes.
I have always loved beautiful leather objects, especially the detail that goes into designing them both inside and out.
I get more distracted by hair or a really bad wig than I do costumes any day of the week.
It actually is as fun to make men's costumes, especially if they are as good-looking as Chris Hemsworth.
The designs were based on quite a lot of research of what a movie musical is, filtered through the eyes of today. If we'd gone strictly with the '20s, the movement would have been impaired.
I had to work out that it was something that could move, without having everybody in spray painted leotards. — © Colleen Atwood
I had to work out that it was something that could move, without having everybody in spray painted leotards.
Costume, hair and makeup can tell you instantly, or at least give you a larger perception of who a character is. It's the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth, so it really does establish who they are.
As a designer, you have to solve a lot of problems. Even though people are wearing clothes that are supposed to look beautiful, they'll have to do all kinds of things.
The reward is that you can actually create a world separate from reality with a story, actors, music, and camera design. When it works it can entertain, move people and teach us all.
I think the silhouette of the kimono costume will become engraved in people's minds. I do think there'll be lots of red accents in the near future. For me personally, I can't see myself flaunting around in a geisha uniform but it'll make me smile when I see what others do with it.
Be really good with budgets because they keep getting smaller.
I think what's fun about the fairytales is just seeing what everybody interprets them as, which comes from the different directors and what they want to do with them.
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