Fancy dress

Oscar-nominated designer discusses Blanchett’s costumes in “Cinderella” and “Carol”

(L) Cate Blanchett in "Carol"; (R) a sketch by Sandy Powell (Carol/Facebook)

Three-time Oscar winner, British costume designer Sandy Powell, has been nominated for two more Best Costume awards this year — for Cinderella and Carol. Carol, a love story starring Cate Blanchett, features clothes from 1952. The collection includes a blonde mink coat that Powell created using pieces from many other coats and Ferragamo shoes made with the help of archival patterns from the iconic company. The Harper’s and Vogue 1952 issues also inspired Powell’s designs.

For Cinderella, Powell put together 1940s-era dresses, that evoke the intimidating aura of the wicked stepmother, also played by Blanchett. For Cinderella’s much-hyped blue ball gown, she layered fabrics in blues, greens, lavenders and lilacs on a constructed wire cage frame. According to Director Kenneth Branagh, Powell combined artistic and mathematical invention to create the flow of the gown.

In the 1980s, Powell dropped out of art school in London to stage shows with mime and choreographer Lindsay Kemp in Italy and Spain. David Bowie and his Ziggy Stardust character also deeply influenced her. Besides Blanchett, Powell has dressed Leonardo DiCaprio and Gwyneth Paltrow. As for her own red carpet outfit, constructed in London, you’ll have to wait and see.

Read the full story at NPR.

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