When I grow up, I want to look like Colleen Atwood. She has a striking and beautiful sense of personal style.
But that’s merely a sidebar. What we are really discussing here today is her work.
I’ll tell you why I’m a Tim Burton fan aside from his aesthetic, he collaborates with lush, talented people who have this striking aforementioned sense of personal style. A true genius knows who to hire. And Tim Burton hires Colleen Atwood.
But he’s not the only person who hires Colleen Atwood. Rather than list these collaborators, feast on this:
And friends, that’s just a few.
The work of Edith Head, another Movie Hero of the Week, comes down to tailoring, line, and structure. A character costumed by Edith Head immediately gives a sense of grace, being “put together”, rich. Colleen Atwood’s work has a larger sense of movement. She’s quoted as saying, “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.” She’s influenced a bit more by current fashion. You can see that she wants to push boundaries and really inform the audience of who this character is.
My favorite thing about Atwood’s work is her use of color, which runs into the deep jewel tones (my personal fave) and her use of sparkle and glitter. Rather than head in the drag queen direction, she moves in the fantastical, elegant, and lush direction.
Check out this episode of Threadbanger wherein we get an interview with Colleen Atwood, plus two AWESOME Victorian-Punk-Trash sewing recipes. Bon Apetit!
Says Ms. Atwood, “I’ve always loved movies, art and clothes.” Me too, Colleen. Me too.
*What is a movie hero? An un or under-sung member of the film making community who deserves more of the spotlight. And yet lack of such a spotlight often adds to their charm.