OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
The Witches' Wardrobes
There are three very distinct witches in the film, Evanora, Theodora and Glinda, who had to be costumed to
reflect not only their personalities but their surroundings as well. Jones and Kutsche's designs for the three
witches were carefully worked out, using concept illustrations as a preliminary guide before designing the
costumes and choosing the fabrics.
In creating the look of the sisters Evanora and Theodora, Kutsche says,
"I could make a fresh start with the characters by looking at Rob's
[Stromberg] work and how he imagined the world of Oz. I used this to
inform the costumes because there was a certain logic to his designs that
I wanted to reflect in my illustrations.
"For Evanora, the ruler of Emerald City, the starting point was looking at
the architecture of the city," Kutsche says. "I really wanted her to not just
be some person in this place, but to actually be this place. The shape and
color of her wardrobe actually reflect the architecture and feel of Emerald
City, which was Art Deco inspired. So, by resembling and reflecting that,
I could make her more of a mighty being that stands out against all the
other citizens, and the other witches as well."
Commenting on the costume for her character Evanora, Rachel Weisz says,
"I wear a green dress pretty much all the time. It's very glittery with a lot of
feathers and slightly militaristic, because I'm sort of the military leader of Emerald City, as well.
"The costumes are very fantastical and very heightened. It's complete transformation; it's just high-concept,
high-fantasy. It's really fun," Weisz adds.
Once Kutsche had sculpted the characters' looks in a two-dimensional sketch, costumer Jones began his process
of bringing the illustrations to life with the chosen fabrics. "With Evanora, we took a little detour towards the
Duchess of Windsor for a moment, and then came back to Michael's drawings because of the iconic silhouette
that you need to balance the sets and scenery," comments Jones.
In defining the pair of opposing enchantresses (Evanora and Glinda)
through wardrobe design, costumer Jones describes his approach: "The
witches are very clearly light and dark to contrast good and evil. We used
a mercury green color, all having to do with Robert's Emerald City design,
to portray Evanora. Glinda, of course, is basically a white, pristine kind of
girl in the story, and we created three different white dresses or gowns
for Michelle's [Williams] character.
"In the circus part of the movie, she is (Oscar's) girlfriend who is sort of
pushed aside," Jones explains about Williams' role in the opening scenes
of the film. "So, we started with an old-fashioned blue calico dress. Then
when we see her as Glinda the queen, Michelle knew exactly where she
wanted to go with her look, and it was great."
Michelle Williams liked the transitions that Glinda's costuming took
during the course of the story. She says, "When we first meet Glinda, she's more demure, cloaked in these very
delicate fabrics. Then, as the battle dawns, she has a wardrobe change and appropriately suits up in something
that is tougher, like fairy-princess armor."
When we first meet Evanora's little sister, the bewitchingly beautiful and
vulnerable Theodora, she is wearing a Victorian-styled riding outfit, with
a large-brimmed red velvet hat that Kutsche devised when he sat down
to give life to the character in his concept sketch.
"Theodora in her riding outfit is how we first meet her in the film," Kutsche
says. "There was a little inscription in the script about her wearing pants
and having a white blouse. Other than that, I could work freely on the
"It's in a fantasy world while still being a period piece in a way," the
illustrator/designer offers. "So, I looked at fashion around 1900 when they
had some pretty crazy hats. Theodora's look is almost like a patchwork
of different periods that makes it look like no distinct period. And that's
what I guess gives it this slightly fantastical feel."
Comparing the sister witches Evanora and Theodora, costume designer Jones states that "one of the first times
that the characters appeared together, you realize that they do have similarities in the cut of their clothes, but
not at all in the feeling of the clothes. They're two completely different worlds. Mila's Theodora is a little more
23on the sporty, physical side, while Rachel's costumes for Evanora are a
little more of a reigning empress.
"Theodora has three costume changes," Jones states. "The first one is
the riding costume which is when we first meet her. In my opinion, it's
a beautiful costume, beautifully structured with a hint of contemporary
pizzazz. A big, handsome velvet riding hat, a red coat, black riding breeches
and a white blouse. All very beautiful with a sense of the pastoral fun of
the eighteenth century one might find in a Fragonard painting."
"The character goes through transformations with her costumes," Mila
Kunis remarks. "When you meet her, she's very demure, very quiet, very
sweet. She falls in love with Oscar and when you next see her, she's in
this big, beautiful ball gown."
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