Designer Colleen Atwood spills the tea on ‘Dumbledore’s Secrets’ costumes


Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood has returned to the wizarding world to weave her magic on the fantastic beasts franchise. Through an exclusive with A.Frame, Atwood gives creative insight into the costume choices for three of the main characters in Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets.

The fashion and costumes of Dumbledore’s secrets follow the historical base of the film’s setting, which is 1930s Europe. This was a time when women’s fashion was svelte with flowing silhouettes of satin and chiffon, while men’s fashion was the classic wool suits and tweeds. Atwood used this foundation and then took creative license, illustrating how wizard fashion would have varied slightly from its Muggle counterpart.

For the character of Albus Dumbledore, Atwood chose the softer grays of his costumes to reflect the color tones worn by the two actors who played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies (Richard Harris and Michael Gambon). She also wanted Dumbledore to appear approachable, and this was visually manifested with sumptuous pieces of cashmere.

Atwood’s original sketch of Albus Dumbledore’s costume with the final film version worn by Jude Law

For the character of Queenie Goldstein, Atwood presented a hyper-realistic twist on women’s fashions of the 1930s. To symbolize Queenie’s turn to the “dark side”, Atwood took the pink tones of Queenie’s costumes in earlier films and has saturated with deeper and precious tones.

It is his most serious and darkest look. I didn’t want to say ‘Oh, well, she’s black, so she’s going to wear black.’ I wanted it to still have a richness and something that reflected power, but in a different, more moody way.

Queenie Goldstein costume sketch

Atwood’s original sketch of Queenie Goldstein’s costume is shown alongside the final film version, worn by Alison Sudol.

For the character of Jacob Kowalski, Atwood took his costume from previous films and made it more “everyone”. She used Shetland and similar materials to give her costume more volume and substance, as actor Dan Fogler had lost weight since filming the last film.

Costume sketch by Jacob Kowalski

Atwood’s original sketch of Jacob Kowalski’s costume is shown alongside the final film version, worn by Dan Fogler

For Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, Atwood originally shows her in a haggard navy dress when she first appears to Jacob as a helpless, harassed woman. Subsequently, however, Atwood wanted to bring out strong African red and orange tones and did so for Lally’s tweed suit costume for the remainder of the film.

Lally Hicks costume sketch

Atwood’s original sketch of the Lally Hicks costume is shown alongside the final version from the film, worn by Jessica Williams.

Which costume from the film was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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