Maleficent, Disney's not-so-diabolical villain, is back for yet another high-fantasy tale of epic proportions in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Set after the events of the first film five years ago, the sequel to the live action Disney remake sees a rift forming between Maleficent and Princess Aurora when the young Queen of the Moors says yes to Prince Philipp's proposal. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Philipp's mother, Queen Ingrith who, regal yet scorned by fairies in her youth, stops at nothing to rid her land of magical creatures.
Helmed by the ever ethereal Angelina Jolie, and the charming Elle Fanning, what results is a fantastic drama about unconditional love and family. But of course, there's no entering a captivating fantasy land without its magical garb, and for the film's costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, the movie's fashion serves as an essential key to meeting and understanding the characters. "Costume design is storytelling. It can subtly and subliminally convey the characters’ emotions and personalities to the audience and heighten their understanding," Ellen says in a press release.
Tackling the genre for the first time, Ellen endeavored for a more modern take on the costumes that would resemble a "citified kingdom," essentially putting a fresh spin on medieval and renaissance clothing. "With the freedom to create a new era, we broadened our use of fabrications, different colorations and silhouettes," Ellen reveals, presenting Maleficent's enigmatic, and almost celestial, high glamour form as the perfect example.
"Maleficent is the strongest character in the film. She needs to rise above everyone else, never blend in and always have her own unique silhouette and shape. Her accessories start off as organic and evolve to include bone and gold and eventually black diamonds and emeralds. Her dress in the opening scene is a goldish, green, color with a subtle reptile pattern. In this film, she has wings, which is different than the first film, so her costumes are made of fabrics that are fluid and fluttered beautifully in the wind. When she comes on screen, the simplicity of her silhouette with bone detail, the starkness of black and white with little bits of gold, and her red lips is striking."
Below, read more on Ellen's insights on the movie's costumes, including how they modernized Sleeping Beauty's iconic pink dress, and scroll through to see her original sketches for the film.
"Aurora’s wardrobe is ethereal with a touch of sophistication, perfectly suited for someone who reigns over a realm of mystical creatures. Hers is a modern fairy tale look with an impressionist color palette of predominantly blues and pale pinks. I knew as Queen of the Moors it was essential that she begin her journey in a blue dress with an organic fairy tale design made in the forest."
"The result looks like hand-tied leaves made by the fairies. Extremely magical, unlike anything that we have seen before. The look is totally different from her formal courtly dresses."
"I also love the Aurora pink dress because it has a revised element of the traditional design of the “Sleeping Beauty” dress. It is a paler shade of pink but has the same shape of the “Sleeping Beauty” collar. We embroidered the tulle and replaced the gold accents with flowers."
"Compared to Maleficent, the contrast is night and day. Queen Ingrith’s look is regal and somewhat modern, and suggests an aire of wealth and privilege for the bustling kingdom. We used platinum, gold and champagne colors coupled with tons of jewelry to really bling her up and make a bold statement."
"For the in-law dinner scene she is in a platinum dinner dress that’s bodice and skirt is totally adorned with a massive panel of diamonds and pearls. Altogether, Queen Ingrith has eight different dresses. They are all relatively the same shape but with different fabrics and accessories."