Without a doubt, Disney is one of our biggest inspirations when it comes to Halloween costumes. There are oodles of delightful and devilish characters, from dressing up as a pretty princess a la Cinderella or Belle to summoning your inner villain like Ursula or Maleficent. Beyond the actual personality traits of these characters, the costumes are a huge part of their spirit. These costumes are the characters. A new book The Art of Disney Costuming: Heroes, Villains, and Spaces Between by Jeff Kurtti and the staff of the Walt Disney Archives pays tribute to these outfits and the people who dream them up.
That said, The Art of Disney Costuming isn’t just a book to flip through for your costume inspo. This is a book to keep on your coffee table all year long. It’s a large format book and includes stunning photos of a wide array of character costumes by some of the best (and we’re talking Academy Award-worthy best) costume designers out there. If you don’t know the names Sandy Powell, Colleen Atwood, and Paco Delgado, you will after you’re done with this book.
One of the most striking aspects of The Art of Disney Costuming is the details. Alongside gorgeous photos of the costumes are close-ups that reveal design elements that you never would have noticed on the screen, from the layers of ribbons in Mindy Kaling’s dress in A Wrinkle in Time to the impressive bead work on Giselle’s wedding dress in Enchanted to the fabrics used in Mila Kunis's Wicked Witch of the West dress in Oz the Great and Powerful (above left) and the structure of Angelina Jolie's Maleficent gown (above right).
Beyond the photographic details are insightful comments from the designers too. Sandy Powell talks about selecting just the right blue for Emily Blunt’s new take on Mary Poppins, while Colleen Atwood discusses how she used silver metallic and leather under the black lace of Meryl Streep’s witch in Into the Woods. Every costume in the book possesses that notable spark of the creative process that takes the form of cloth and thread.
The pages are filled with costume ideas perfect for the season. There’s a whole section dedicated to various Cinderella gowns, as worn by Brandy in Rodger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Anna Kendrick in Into the Woods, Jessy Schram in Once Upon a Time, and Lily James in the 2015 live-action Cinderella. For those who would rather embrace villainy, there’s the animal print madness of Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians as worn by Glenn Close, the black ensemble of Maleficent as worn by Angelina Jolie, and the lush velvety looks of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus as worn by Better Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.
Another striking thing is the wide array of costumes the authors chose. It runs the gamut from Dorothy’s costume in 1985’s Return to Oz, to the Genie, Aladdin, and Jasmine from this year’s live-action Aladdin. The sampling truly gives a breathtaking look at the field of costume design, especially when it comes to the fantasy worlds in which these characters live.
What Disney character would you most like to dress up as for Halloween? Tweet us @BritandCo.
Photos via: Disney Editions and Sunny Chanel