10+ Things You Didn’t Realize the Costume Designer Was Telling Us in the Harry Potter Movies

year ago

In the world of cinema and television, nothing is arbitrary, especially the color palette and the design. Today, we’ll dive into the customs, the hidden details, the color, and the textile choices of one of the most outstanding shows in the world: Harry Potter.

Fleur Delacour’s wedding dress

“Fleur’s dress is made in organza and decorated with a pair of phoenixes that face one another on the bodice and form the silhouette of a heart”, says Jany Temime, costume designer for the Harry Potter movies.

The scarves of Hermione, Ron, and Harry

The costume designers decided to hint at the character of each person with the help of a tiny detail — a scarf. If you’re paying attention, you know that each character ties it in their own way. Hermione tightens it as neatly as possible, according to the rules. Harry throws the end of the scarf over his shoulder. Ron doesn’t tie this accessory at all.

The friends’ hoodies

In the 3rd part, the main characters turned from kids into teenagers, which should have been indicated in their looks. According to the costume designer, she wanted to give the wizards’ clothes a modern look so that they didn’t look like magicians but like their fans who were the same age, watching them on the other side of the screen. That’s the reason we start to see Hermione, Ron, and Harry wearing ordinary jeans and hoodies in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie.

Also, fans noticed that Ron’s and Hermione’s clothes became similar as the characters grew up. For example, they both wear striped hoodies. Perhaps this is to indicate the tender romantic feeling that subtly appears between them. At the same time, Harry’s outfit stands out in this trio. It’s not for nothing because at some moment he distances himself from his friends quite strongly.

Gilderoy Lockhart’s wig

In Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, attentive viewers can notice that the professor of Defense against the Dark Arts, has a wig lying on his table. As we will later learn, Lockhart is a liar, who was cheating everyone and hadn’t done any feats. That is, he lies about everything and even his golden curls are fake.

Molly Weasley’s knitted dresses

As we know, the Weasley family is not the richest around, that’s why Molly doesn’t buy herself trendy and expensive clothing but instead, knits her clothes herself. For Christmas, she presents her loved ones with handmade sweaters. She herself wears a dress knitted from colorful yarn. It’s safe to bet that this yarn is probably from the leftovers of those endless sweaters, socks, and other things that Molly knits for her family.

In order to decorate her dresses, Molly simply adds knitted details to the hem or the sleeves. After all, just like any other woman, she wants to feel pretty despite her financial difficulties.

The outfits of other schools’ pupils

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we can see the students of other schools arriving at the tournament: innocent girls from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and macho guys from the Durmstrang Institute for Magical Learning. According to the costume designer, she was looking for inspiration in different cultures and folklore, having created a kind of “melting cauldron” in her head.

That is, the girls’ uniform has a reference to France. First, the blue color traditionally plays a big role in the culture of this country. Second, the guests wear hats, which is also typical for French women. It is also not for nothing that they were dressed in light and airy dresses and capes that are not suitable for a harsh climate. This was to emphasize their airiness and ephemerality. It’s no wonder Ron called them heavenly creatures.

The students from Durmstrang were perfectly equipped: warm crimson robes, fur hats, and capes. In order to create their outfits, the costume designers were inspired by Slavic folktales from the Habsburg epoch. This heavyweight uniform was meant to outline that this is an absolutely different culture.

The changing costumes of Dolores Umbridge

In the image of Dolores, it was important to outline that she has power. We see that she, like many other powerful people, is rather conservative. For example, she wears the same hairdo and sticks to the same colors. Umbridge adores the color pink but its hues change as the plot develops.

The costume designer commented on it in the following way, “I started with a lighter pink, and then as the film developed the pinks get hotter and hotter and hotter because she’s getting more and more hysterical.” At the same time, Dolores’ appearance contradicts the stereotypical image of the villain. The designers deliberately played with contrast to make the character more interesting and sinister at the same time: the apparent softness hides absolute cruelty. The costume designer even stated that she had never worked with so much wool and mohair before.

The medieval outfits of Bellatrix Lestrange

In one of the interviews, the costume designer confessed that Bellatrix is one of her favorite characters and that working on her costumes was a true pleasure. By the way, Bellatrix’s maiden name was Black — that’s why all her outfits are black. It was also important to emphasize that she comes from an ancient noble family. This is reflected in her outfits, which have iconic elements of medieval fashion.

Pay attention to the sleeves — in medieval times they were not sewn but laced up, just like Lestrange’s dresses. Another important detail is the cropped hem of her skirt. At those times, ladies were wearing dresses with a train. Its length depended on her social status. At the entrance to the city, fashionistas were asked for paper to check and see whether they were really allowed to wear trains of a certain length. If it didn’t correspond to her status, it was cut off.

Perhaps, Bellatrix may have over exaggerated her social status a bit. Also, Lestrange constantly wears a corset — the integral part of a medieval outfit.

Severus Snape and Gryffindor’s scarf

Severus Snape is one of the most controversial characters. It’s not without reason that we see a striped scarf from Gryffindor hanging on the wall in the scene where he is killed. Perhaps he personifies the true inclination of Severus, and in due time he should have gotten to Gryffindor, not to Slytherin.

In the book, Dumbledore once says the following phrase relating to the distribution of students by faculty, “Sometimes I believe we sort too soon.” Perhaps, the professor was right. Perhaps, the scarf hanging in the closet is saying that people can change for the better.

Neville Longbottom’s reminder

Neville is perceived by many as being zany from the very beginning. Yes, he comes from an old family of wizards but he is not good at magic and keeps finding himself in awkward situations.

Thus, in one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, he gets a remembrall that turns red if its owner has forgotten something. Neville confesses to his friends that the problem is in the fact that he doesn’t remember what exactly slipped his mind. However, if we look closer, we will understand that Neville forgot his robes — look, all the students nearby are wearing robes.

However, as he grows up, Neville gains strength and power and in the last part of the saga, he turns into a brave hero. An interesting detail — in the final fight for Hogwarts he seems to have copied a look from an old photo of his father. Perhaps that is what the continuity of generations is all about.

Eventually, it is Neville Longbottom who destroys Lord Voldemort’s penultimate Horcrux — Nagini snake.

Hagrid’s pink umbrella

The appearance of the forest man, Hagrid, is quite deceptive: at first glance, he gives the impression of a contented stern and an unkempt giant in a worn-out fur coat. However, there is actually a kind and sensitive soul hiding behind this rather rough shell.

As we know, Hagrid doesn’t have a magic wand — it was broken at the Ministry of Magic when he was a student. However, he has kept a part of the wand and inserted it into an umbrella. The choice of the color pink says that Hagrid is a tender and sensitive person. Moreover, try to remember how he tried to impress Madame Maxime who arrived at the wizards’ tournament — he decorated his old coat with a huge brooch in the shape of a flower.

Number 7 on Harry’s Quidditch uniform

Avid fans of the franchise might have noticed that Harry Potter plays Quidditch as number 7. Actually speaking, the number 7 is a symbolic number in the world of JK Rowling. Moreover, Lord Voldemort has 7 Horcruxes and the last one, as we know, was Harry, which is quite symbolic too. However, the costume designer noted that the choice of this number for the Quidditch uniform is a reference to David Beckham, who played under this number a while back.

Hermione’s dress color

In the film adaptation, Hermione Granger wore a pink dress to the Yule Ball. However, in the book, Hermione’s dress was described as blue.

The decision to change Hermione’s dress color was made by the film’s costume designer, Jany Temime. Temime wanted to make Hermione appear more feminine as she was previously depicted as one of the boys.

“[Hermione] was always the best of the class. She was a tough girl. She was a girl [who only hung out] with boys. And now she appears at the Yule Ball and she’s in pink,” the designer said.

“People look at her as being a girl, and a very pretty one, which was not established before. It was a lovely dress. It was quite difficult to design because...I didn’t want her to look like she borrowed a dress from her mom or her sister or whatever. It was her sweet sixteen dress, and she loved it”, she added.

Who is your favorite character from Rowling’s magic world? Which costume did you find to be the most memorable?


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