Guillermo del Toro is known primarily for his highly stylized horror, fantasy and science fiction stories, which he combines with accurate historical facts of different eras. He isn´t scared of creating amazing filmography is Spanish or in English and is a mastermind of creating the kind of suspense that leaves you sitting at the edge of your seat.
His aesthetic is so personal and attentive at each detail of symbolism in the story that visually he creates art with his monsters and costumes that fit perfectly in each story. The woman responsible for CRIMSON PEAK of materializing his visions into gothic horror costumes was no other than the same lady who brought us the Hobbit, Kate Hawley.
While investigating on something different to write about I decided on cinematography and since we are in October I will honor the date by combining what I love most cinema and fashion. So, here it is, I will be writing some posts on the costumes of some of the spooky or whimsical movies I personally love.
In an interview she explains that it felt like an opera, or a piece of music in that there are almost two acts, you have the world of Buffalo and the world of Allerdale, and there are two seasons and colors and themes. They took an emotional view of the characters trying not to overdo it at the beginning very romanticized like out of a book. But then in the world of Allerdale, you take the glasses off and we see the reality of the world that they’re in, and everything becomes heightened.
History and paintings are extremely important, especially in the color range. When you´re working with a broad range and over different periods it works like a map to keep you on your motifs and not wandering off. The silhouette was true to the period but colors and details were more based on themes and characters.
In the movie, one of the most striking looks was the nightgown Edith wears when she wakes up in the night and goes exploring throughout the house. She had the big sleeves and long, flowing hair and it created that mystery and intensity. Each sleeve was 3.5m of fabric per sleeve, the dresses are very structural and complex; some of the original gowns came from an old couture house in Paris.
The clothes in the Buffalo scenes were machine sewn on the men’s clothes and hand finished, but all the clothes are hand-stitched. This really makes a difference in the construction and sits against the body in a completely different way. Every piece like the types of corsets, the underpinnings which defined the outer structure, they’re all true to the Victorian period.
Accessorizing was important all the silk shoes are amazing, a particular beautiful pair of 1880s shoes that were very buckled all the way up the leg and wearing stripper shoes to increase her height in other scenes
Crimson Peak is a true work of cinematographical art of a historical gothic romance. The acting is excellent and the visual language takes precedence in the tale. The palpability of the mood as set by misty nights, vaporous spirits, and creaky old manors will leave you wanting more and more.