Charlize Theron’s evil queen costumes for “Snow White and the Huntsman” called for hundreds of hand-cut rooster feathers, thousands of iridescent beetle wings from Thailand and one particularly imposing crown.
The outfits, some of which are on view at an LA pop-up gallery ahead of the film’s June 1 US opening, represented a number of firsts for Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood. From the leather piping on the pleats of the queen’s wedding gown to the gauzy green metal trim on the beetle-wing dress, the nine-time Oscar nominee and three-time winner experimented with materials for director Rupert Sanders’ dark take on the classic fairy tale. “The idea of the fairy tale sets you free in a way because you can make it up,” Atwood said. “And I love to make up stuff.” She created an armored ensemble fit for a queen by dressing up chain mail with rolled leather and horsehair trim and topping it off with a particularly pointy metal crown. “We wanted to have a formidable silhouette,” Atwood said, “and from a distance it’s spooky with the crown and her height and everything.” In Sanders’ version of the Snow White story, Kristen Stewart portrays the only woman in the land fairer than Theron’s evil queen Ravenna. The queen dispatches a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to kill the young woman, but instead he becomes her mentor and protector.