Colleen Atwood on Young Dumbledore’s Style and Creating Costumes for “Crimes of Grindelwald”

Colleen Atwood is an Oscar Award-winning costume designer who has worked her magic on movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Into the Woods, and the two latest installments in the Fantastic Beasts film series.

Speaking recently to the New Paper, Atwood discussed creating designs that fit the 1920s Parisian aesthetic for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

I was excited about the prospect of exploring fashion in Paris in the late ’20s. I pushed it into the early ’30s because Paris is always ahead of the fashion curve; it’s a city known for its elegance and style and that was a great period for design.


An array of original yet personal costumes for each character


There has been much talk recently among fans about the change in Albus Dumbledore’s fashion sense. The character is shown to be rocking a smart gray three-piece suit in the 1920s but wearing robes of many colors and textures when Harry Potter starts Hogwarts in the ’90s. Atwood addresses the confusion:

Dumbledore’s wardrobe is a combination of comfortable elegance and professorial simplicity. David Yates and I wanted Dumbledore to be the professor the kids all love, their go-to guy. He needed to look professorial but at the same time approachable, so I used softer fabrics and textures in tones like heathery greys, which add to the approachability of the character. I also love corduroy, so I made a wide wale corduroy coat for him and Jude just loved it!


It seems Albus developed a flair for dramatic outfits as he entered older age.


The creative process of making the perfect character costume can be a lengthy procedure. It could take months to perfect or only a handful of days. Atwood works closely with the cast when designing the outfits and said, “In the moment of fitting, the two of us often think of new things for the costume. It is as if it comes to life in the room.”


An early design of Newt Scamander’s costume by Colleen Atwood for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”


Colleen has done a fantastic job of helping our favorite Fantastic Beasts characters come to life with their own sense of style. What would Newt be without his long hero coats? What would Queenie be without her impeccable dresses? What are your favorite new costumes from the Crimes of Grindelwald? Let us know!