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Colleen Atwood for “Snow White and the Huntsman”

Colleen Atwood for “Snow White and the Huntsman”

Rupert Sanders’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” hits theatres June 1st, and while the film promises to be a summer must-see, veteran costume designer Colleen Atwood’s creations are sure to offer the true visual appeal.

With years of experience as a three-time Oscar winning costume designer and her own clothing line for HSN behind her, the ability to work on the dark retelling of the Disney classic, “Snow White” gave Atwood the chance to try something new.

From the simple frock worn by actress Kristen Stewart to the beetle winged dress whose sharp nature suited the treachery of the character of Queen Ravenna, played by Charlize Theron, Atwood’s designs appear to be something out of make-believe.

Atwood envisioned and perfectly executed every detail, especially the ornate, hand-cut rooster feathers and iridescent beetle wings imported from Thailand emblazoned on the queen’s dresses. The looks were complimented by custom-made jewels from Cathy Waterman; adding the perfect finishing touch to Atwood’s dream-like masterpieces.

But it was the queen’s wedding dress (above) that really cast a spell. With high, architectural shoulders that resemble a bone-like structure and leather-piped pleats, the cream and gold embroidered gown is elegantly simple despite its intricate detail.


Atwood is no stranger to the cinema and has been nominated for nine Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, receiving awards for movies such as “Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Her unmatched, six Costume Designers’ Guild Awards and her production work on over 50 films solidify her resume as she continues on to future projects.

“Snow White and The Huntsman,” however, was a far cry from the eccentric fashions of her most recent projects – director Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” and her earlier work on Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The elaborate embroidery and carefully placed trimmings of Atwood’s designs for “Snow White and the Huntsman” rival Paris couture and create a sharp contrast from the Elizabethan synched waist, high neckline and crinoline skirt looks worn by the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland.”

From the opalescent sheath, the raised shoulders to the gauzy, aquamarine metal trim on the beetle-wing dress (above-middle), it’s not hard to see that Atwood had fun experimenting with materials for Sanders’s dark take on the classic fairy-tale.

For her next project, there’s no telling what creations she’ll dream up; but audiences beware, her work on the modern telling of Rob Marshall’s the “The Thin Man” is sure to be a hit.