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Victorian Costumes
Triple Oscar®-winning costume designer Milena Canonero, whose previous work includes her stunning costume designs for Marie Antoinette, has an extensive background working on period films. Johnston asked Canonero to make the costumes for The Wolfman very gothic, which, in 1890, included strikingly angular shapes. She used dark, rich colors, which were unlike the light, frothy look that could be seen at the end of the 19th century in England.

A perfectionist, Canonero wanted to make the division between the upper- and workingclass characters in The Wolfman very apparent. The upper echelon's costumes were comprised of sharp silhouettes and long elegant lines, with materials including silks, velvets and furs that were indicative of the characters' social status.

The working-class she designed for wore outfits that were bundled up; she dressed them in fabrics including wool, linen and cotton. The upper-class men were put in top hats and bowler hats, while the working-class men's hats were given a more rough-and- ready, beaten-up look.

Most of the costumes for the principal cast were handmade and, due to the transformation and action scenes, some of the costumes were recrafted up to 20 times. Having multiple copies of many of the pieces proved very helpful, especially for scenes that included blood and fire (in which case the fabric was fire-guarded to protect the stunt double). For the larger crowd scenes, Canonero's team dressed the background actors in clothing found in costume houses from France and Italy to throughout England.

Gwen Conliffe is in mourning throughout most of the film and, therefore, was dressed primarily in black. As a member of the upper crust, she was dressed in corsets mixed in different textures and shades of black. To add a bit of color, Canonero had her team find teal velvet fabric to mix in with the grieving fiancée's dark sleeves and skirts. As Gwen eases out of her pain and finds unexpected romance with Lawrence, the team dressed Emily Blunt in lilacs and dark purples. Of the corsets, Blunt laughs: "It was all about the waist in that period, which means that my internal organs now hate me.”

Though Sir John Talbot is very much aristocracy, he has rarely left his decaying home in the past several decades and no longer takes care of his image. Inspired by an Edward Gorey illustration, Canonero's team created Talbot Sr.'s clothing by using pieces that were once beautiful but now heavily worn; the result was the creation of decayed elegance. A former hunter who made dangerous excursions to India, Sir John had numerous trophies and other eclectic souvenirs as part of his wardrobe, including furs that he wears with his dressing gown and overcoat.

Lawrence has returned to England from America; when he is reintroduced to the audience, he is the star of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Because his character has traveled back and forth across the Atlantic, Canonero's team gave his costumes a look that is more expansive than a regular upper-class English gentleman's.

For the transformation scenes in which the beast emerges, the team prepped Del Toro's costumes so that his seams would expand and rip as his muscles grew. They used stretchy fabric and thread that could literally appear to burst and tear apart.

As Del Toro often was dressed in costumes made of tweed, the team found stretchy nylon that matched that fabric on camera. The final piece of Lawrence Talbot's wardrobe created for the film was the production's favorite: an actual replica of the wolf-head cane grasped by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the 1941 film.


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