|Sandy Powell - Queen of Cinderella Costumes (siting on a prop from the costume display)|
Three time Oscar winner, Sandy Powell is the costume designer for this movie and I have to say the sneak peeks and close-ups are indeed stunning (not things I would wear but the craftsmanship is clear).
But it's the teeny waist controversy that's bugging people out a bit. No matter how independent and strong this Cinderella is compared to her (Disney) predecessor, the fact that star, Lily James couldn't comfortably eat solid food while in her corset, shouts far louder to the public that ideal look and measurements are still the deciding factor for what makes an ideal woman.
This, of course, fits well with the theme of the step sisters doing their best to squeeze their foot into the glass slipper, in order that they will become the chosen bride. The Grimm's version is pretty clear on just how far the sisters may have gone, and currently, the new designer "glass" slippers by famous brand designers all show a slim fit shoe in which there was only one design that was under 4 inches (I may be being generous - perhaps none were), not to mention an inbuilt requirement for having feet that are well manicured and bunion, vein and sweat-free.
Oh, and in case you were wondering? Foot surgeries: still popular.
|What a colorful society this is! Pity real life isn't so much.|
Funny thing is, it turns out that when Lily James had to run she wasn't wearing those Swarovski crystal heels at all, but running shoes. Well that just makes a little too much sense, doesn't it?
If Cinderella lost a shoe because she was desperately loosening her corset and slipping into something more comfortable to run in (or resorting to bare feet) that would actually be quite a statement. Can you imagine? It would change the whole conversation....
I thought I'd share a few other notable pieces of trivia on this shoe and fit business as well:
Powell is very particular when creating designs that the under garments are as close to authentic as possible.
“I want to dispel the myth that corsets are uncomfortable,” Powell says. “Corsets are uncomfortable if they are made badly or if they don’t fit right. If they are made to fit properly, your squeezey bits — like your waist — get pulled in properly and it shouldn’t push on your rib cage. All that it does is that it makes you aware of your posture.”
It took about 20 minutes to get James into the costume, including lacing up the corset.
The corset didn’t hurt James, but there was a side effect Powell hadn’t anticipated. Richard Madden, who plays the Prince, noticed during dance scenes with Cinderella that if James ate anything while in the corset she would have some pain. They would have to stop so it could be loosened.FTNH Interrupt: Hang on a second - how do the phrases "didn't hurt James" and "have some pain" work simultaneously?! Even if you take this as generously as possible how can a corset that "doesn't hurt you" coexist with a corset that makes your body object if you eat?! OK - two cents over, back to it:
...James was able to wear comfortable running shoes because the gown covered her feet completely. She never wore the glass slippers that prove so important to the tale.
Powell designed the slippers based on an 1890s shoe she saw in a museum. The 5-inch heels gave the shoes a modern look that was still suitable for the fairytale. She had casts made of the shoes, which were sent to a company that created the slippers out of cut crystal.
The shoe is made up of three pieces of crystal fastened together. The shoe was only used as a prop. Scenes that show the slippers were added via computers after the filming was completed.Well isn't that ironic?
When asked about the cut crystal shoes, James smiles and says they didn’t fit her feet. She immediately realizes that she’s ruined the fairytale ending and adds, the shoe wouldn’t fit anyone’s foot.
And I'll just leave this last bit here for your reading pleasure:
Most of her work for “Cinderella” went as Powell planned — except for a small issue with the Fairy Godmother design. Helena Bonham Carter would only play the role if the character had wings.
Bonham Carter had to put up with a lot for the costume to work. Her dress is filled with lights and batteries to make her shine. That’s why Powell was finally willing to add a small pair of wings to her look. Director Kenneth Branagh says Bonham Carter joked that every day there was a man to turn her on.This might be the only case in the whole movie where the costume was made to "fit" the person. Even Prince Charming was faced with having his "codpiece" discussed and er, managed (please tell me they didn't CGI him into a Ken doll). Not even the boys were getting away with being 100% come-as-you-are. So in the case of the Fairy Godmother (and Helena Bonham Carter) the costumes had to "fit" the wearer, rather than altering the wearer to fit the costume (what a headache I'm sure, but in principle I say Bravo Helena!).
I'm not sold on the movie yet. I can't see anything particularly revolutionary about it that Ever After didn't already do (and much, much better) but those costumes really do look amazing.
Between those and Cate Blanchett (who apparently reads all sort of fairy tales to her three boys, and not just the boy ones but the girly ones too) I'm thinking I may have to do my fairy tale duty and go see this. Anyone want to go with me? I have a feeling I'm going to want to chat about it after over drinks, no matter how good or bad it is.