“Bad Is a Lot More Sexy”: “Potter” Costume Designer’s Top Three Wizarding Outfits
Over the years, the Harry Potter movie series created some of the most iconic costumes of modern cinema, including the characteristic uniform robes that have costumed us all for countless Halloweens (and will undoubtedly do so for years to come). Outfits like Umbridge’s nauseatingly pink garments and Snape’s bat-like attire breathed a unique life into beloved characters from the books.
Recently, costume designer Jany Temime discussed her contributions to Potter with Entertaiment Weekly. Having worked on all the Potter films from Prisoner of Azkaban to Deathly Hallows – Part 2, she’s the sartorial witch behind many of Potter’s most intricate and most quintessential looks. Despite her extensive work, she narrowed her top picks down to three of the darkest costumes in all eight movies.
1. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes)
It’s hard to capture the truest, darkest essence of evil in a character—and even harder to do it with fabric. Of Lord Voldemort’s costume, Temime said,
I mean, there were so many things [that] were brilliant, but I’m just thinking from my heart – it’s always so hard to represent the devil, and I think I did [with] Voldemort.
Temime said that she tried to capture a sense of otherworldliness in keeping with the Dark Lord’s unearthly and intangible nature. “I started with the silk, a lot of layers of silk because the man is a spirit,” she explained on an episode of EW’s Binge. To contribute to this effect, she also used a fabric called chambray and opted to use Slytherin green instead of the more cliché black.
In addition, she compared her styling of Voldemort with his counterpart in Albus Dumbledore, explaining that she was trying to create a parallel in the tone and movement of the two characters’ costumes:
Both of them, they might be huge personalities and characters, but they shouldn’t be tangible.
2. Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter)
Although the Harry Potter movies will inarguably go down in history for the Hogwarts robes and House-colored school uniforms worn beneath them, Temime’s personal favorites are all decidedly less wholesome. In addition to Voldemort, Temime enjoyed styling the Dark Lord’s right-hand woman, Bellatrix Lestrange.
“It’s a lot more sexy,” Temime said of designing for a villain, a sentiment that she recalls was echoed by Bellatrix actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was extremely keen on Bellatrix’s dark and sultry look in the films. With Bellatrix’s robes, Bonham Carter wanted to feel the “power and the craziness” of the character radiate onto screen through the tightly corseted ensemble that Temime designed for Bellatrix.
3. The Death Eaters
Easily one of the Potter series’s most haunting costume designs, Temime also explained her visualization of the Death Eaters’ evil apparel. Temime uniquely conceptualized the Death Eaters in order to capture the true nature of the wizarding world’s most wicked:
A glamorous, powerful army — satanic army, although we don’t use that word, but it’s the army of the bad.
The black robes and intricately designed reptilian masks that came to represent the face of malevolence in the Harry Potter movies were referred to as “frighteningly beautiful” by their creator.
But their depravity and darkness are not the only things that informed the Death Eaters’ final look. Temime went on to describe how she wanted to infuse the Dark Lord’s loyal followers with an element of glamour, as well as aiming to reflect the rich but twisted history of the wizarding world’s most evil army.
In the same episode, EW also spoke with Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum) about a Krum-Hermione storyline that never was; you can read about Stanislav’s comments here, and you can listen to the full episode of EW’s Binge here.
What do you think of Jany Temime’s top picks? Sound off with your personal favorite Potter looks in the comments below!