The magical costumes of Harry Potter part 2

If you have read my previous post, you will be expecting the second part of the Harry Potter special, as I delve into the wonderful costumes shown throughout the films.

Here, Harry wears a brown corduroy jacket due to it being a hard-wearing fabric and indeed a lot of wear it had. This is the jacket he wears before and after the Battle of Hogwarts which required many duplicate costumes to be made to show the stages of the battle. The costume breakdown team broke down the costumes using an aging and distressing process which included washing the costumes with stones, rubbing the fabrics with sand paper and shaving holes into the fabric to make them look more realistic and true to the script.

Emma Watson has admitted to really disliking Hermione’s costumes in earlier Harry Potter films, like the endless amount of ugly jumpers she seems to own but Watson has grown to embrace the costumes to help her get into character. Due to the amount of action in the Deathly Hallows it was an important decision to have Hermione’s costumes as comfortable and practical as possible while still remaining true to the character. As many as 12 duplicates of the costume had to be made for the stand-in’s and stunt doubles which luckily for the breaking down department didn’t have to be overly distressed due to Hermione not getting overly hurt in the battle.

Ron Weasley isn’t well-known for his fashion sense throughout the films, he’s teased by Draco Malfoy due to having his older brothers Fred and George hand-me-downs. What he does wear completely suits Ron’s character and personality – the casual and earthy colours represent him in his messy, scatty ways with his non-ironed … everything and dare I say it, slightly ‘rugged’ look later in the films. All of Ron’s and the rest of the ‘children’ in the film have their costumes sourced from high-street shops and the rest are hand-made.

Oh the work that goes into Mad Eye Moody’s costume is quite something! This jacket or ‘mac’ took all of one month to create the look of it being worn for 25 years and ‘lived in’ to stay true to the books. The process consisted of fabric dye, acrylic paint, enamel paint, latex, rubbing the fabric with sandpaper, using a blow torch and repeating the process over and over again until the desired look was completed … and then this was repeated on the duplicates which had to be exactly the same to prevent any hardcore fans noticing mistakes in the film.

The Death Eaters had a great deal of detail that may have gone unnoticed by fans of the film due to the dark colours and dark lighting. Jason Isaacs who plays one of the Death Eaters, Lucius Malfoy had even admitted to being spooked by the masks that they wear to intimidate Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of Hogwarts. The masks were created by concept artist Rob Bliss which had different motifs and patterns on each one in order for them to identify one another. The details of the masks were then transformed onto the leather ensemble they all wear, as well as the capes. There were 40 Death Eater costumes in total which meant the embroidery had to be exact to the detail on the masks, this meant expert embroiders did so by hand. The embroidery on the robe could take around a day whereas the leather could take up to a day and a half. After all of the beautiful, specific details were complete … all 40 costumes were taken down to the break down department to go through a whole other process of aging and distressing.

Sirius Black looks quite stylish in the films or as Gary Oldman said ‘somebody to take home to your parents’ and not surprisingly a lot of detail went in to create his costumes. Sirius has a transformation from when we first see him after escaping Azkaban when he is dressed in rags to becoming a smart, even stylish godfather to Harry. The waistcoat shown in the above image was hard work for the costume team, it was made from velvet which was then dyed and then used in a printing technique called devore which burns the pattern onto the fabric. The tiny flowers on the waistcoat were hand painted by the costume team which was very time-consuming and let’s not forget the duplicates they had to create and then repeat the same process. The poor costume team, it’s a hard task working on set of the Harry Potter films but I’m sure we would all kill to be apart of it!

Dumbledore’s costume is quite prominent in the film, the dusty lilac floor length robe stands out much more than other characters at Hogwarts. The silk twill robe has a shawl collar with purple and grey embroidered flourishes down the front which creates a very luxurious look. The design of the sleeves required a lot of needlework – the braid and embroidery detail coincides with the flourishes down the front of the silk robe. Dumbledore is also shown a lot wearing a dark green brocade smoking hat which has faded green and gold braid with brown silk tassels.

The lovely Maggie Smith plays the plain-speaking Professor Mcgonagall and her costume is undoubtedly a strong and bold statement due to the medieval fashion. The points on the shoulders are very unusual and the wide sleeves fall from the elbow which creates a dramatic effect while her outstretched arms are casting spells as shown in the above image. The empire waist dress is fastened with a silver clasp with a floor-length long sleeve dress underneath and a high pleated collar. There are a lot of points throughout her costume such as on the inner sleeves, outter sleeves and on her shoulders, the points with the stripes  on the gown create a sharp look which reflects her professional ‘take no crap’ attitude (in a lady-like way of course!) On her feet she wears laced up Victorian style boots and on her head (sometimes) she wears woolen witch-like hat.

Snape’s costume makes him look very long and snake like to coincide with the fact  that he is the Head of Slytherin. He was dressed in dark navy and dark green (again to coincide with the Slytherin theme). His clothes are very 19th century gentleman with the high collar, frock coat and narrow legged trousers, it reminds me of a lot of Johnny Depp in the period horror film Sleepy Hollow. Usually, Snape wears a black gown which has a long train which drags along the ground, inspired by the tongue of a snake.

What’s your favourite costume moment in the Harry Potter films?

Oscar 2012 – The Artist and Hugo big winners.

So, it’s early evening here in the UK and I haven’t been able to stop yawning or rubbing my eyes all day. This is the after-effects of watching the Oscars or  an ‘Oscar come-down’ if you will. Due to the time difference I tuned in to watch all the glitz and the glamour at 1.30am and went to bed at 5.00am – it was definitely a fall-asleep-as-soon-as-your-head-touches-the-pillow moment once it had finished. Before you start to get annoyed with my feel-sorry-for-me routine I will swiftly move on and inform you of all the winners (and losers) of this year’s Academy Awards.

The winners are in bold.

Best Picture

The Artist

War Horse

The Tree of Life


The Descendants

Midnight in Paris

The Help


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Alexander Payne – The Descendants

Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Best Actor

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Demian Bichir – A Better Life

Brad Pitt – Moneyball

George Clooney – The Descendants

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Actress

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis – The Help

Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Berenice Bejo – The Artist

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

Best Foreign Language Film

A Separation – Iran

Bullhead – Belgium

Footnote – Israel

In Darkness – Poland

Monsieur Lazhar – Canada

Best Animation


A Cat in Paris

Chico and Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Best Original Screenplay

Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius

Bridesmaids – Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig

Margin Call – JC Chandor

A Separation – Asghar Farhadi

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Hugo – John Logan

The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

Moneyball – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin.

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy – Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan

Best Art Direction

Hugo – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Midnight in Paris

War Horse

Best Cinematography

Hugo – Robert Richardson

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Tree of Life

War Horse

Best Sound Mixing

Hugo – Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Best Sound Editing

Hugo – Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

Best Original Song

Man or Muppet, from The Muppets – music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie

Real in Rio from Rio – music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown and lyrics by Siedah Garrett

Best Original Score

The Artist – Ludovic Bource

The Adventures of Tintin


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

Real in Rio from Rio – music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown and lyrics by Siedah Garrett

Best Costume Design

The Artist – Mark Bridges



Jane Eyre


Best Documentary Feature


Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory


Best Documentary Short

Saving Face

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

God is the Bigger Elvis

Incident in New Baghdad

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Best Film Editing

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

The Artist

The Descendants



Best Animated Short Film

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore


La Luna

A Morning Stroll

Wild Life

Best Live Action Short Film

The Shore



Time Freak

Tuba Atlantic

Best Visual Effects

Hugo – Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Best Make Up

The Iron Lady – Mark Coulier and J Roy Helland

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

So that’s that. Hollywood’s biggest night of the year is over until 2013, were you happy with the winners? Hugo and The Artist were the winners of the night it seems. The Iron Lady receiving best make-up? Not sure I agree with that – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 2 is definitely a more deserving winner. I completely agreed with The Artist winning best costume design and I loved seeing how happy Jean Dujardin was when he received best actor and even happier when Bret McKenzie won best original song for The Muppets. 

Let me know your thoughts!

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