Jany Temime Discusses Changing the Costume Style of the “Harry Potter” Movies

Jany Temime, the costume designer for the Harry Potter movies from Prisoner of Azkaban to Deathly Hallows – Part 2, chatted to SYFY WIRE about her process of creating the characters’ unique styles and the importance of costume design within the movies.

Temime was brought on by Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and ended up staying with the franchise through the final film and even contributed to the theme parks!

At first, Temime used the descriptions of the characters within the books to help her figure out who the characters were but quickly moved on from those descriptions as they were creating a different world. Instead, she was far more influenced by the specific casting of the parts.

I always think that whoever is playing the part and who is cast is very important because you design the costume for one person and keep that person in mind.

Many fans have noted a style change between Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. Temime acknowledges that this was deliberate and that she was specifically tasked with giving the characters a younger look, Harry Potter in particular.

The first thing I did was change Harry to make him the boy next door, to give him a personality and physical appearance that every single teenager could relate to. He was just a boy like them.

A style change was further incorporated across all the characters to give the idea that wizards could be anywhere and anyone.

They live around you. It’s like, okay, they are wizards, but they could be black, white, Asian. It was very cosmopolitan. Alfonso Cuarón wanted to create a wizard world that was very social and cosmopolitan and interracial and that’s what we established.

This was, however, in deliberate contrast to the look Temime developed for the Death Eaters, a look Temime has discussed before.

I made it very black, dark, and very conservative because I just wanted to show the two different worlds. The world they want is the very traditional wizard world with wizards in those long robes and against that you have all that’s youthful, dressed up like every single other kid.

Temime has moved on from the Harry Potter movies to design for other blockbusters such as Gravity, also directed by Cuarón, and Skyfall, but Harry Potter will always hold a special place in her heart.

I feel very special. At the time, I didn’t realize how important it was… In the moment, it was just one film and we had a good time, but now it’s almost 10 years after and it was — it is — incredible. I’m so proud to have been part of it.

Did you notice Temime’s influence on the characters’ style? Did they match up with your visualization of the characters?