Colleen Atwood is an Oscar-winning costume designer whose most recent work is designing the character’s wardrobe’s Wednesday. Her previous credits include Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha. She’s also worked on every Tim Burton movie since 1990’s Edward Scissorhands. Atwood discussed her work on the new Netflix series with Variety, such as designing the wardrobe for lead star Jenna Ortega.
“With Wednesday, we can nail the iconic look right away with a nod to the original pointed collar, little print dress and modernized platform shoes, and then put her in an environment that she totally contrasts with: an American happy-time public school. Then you’ve given the nod to all that’s come before. When we move to the other world of Nevermore, Wednesday’s in a uniform that’s specially made because she is allergic to color. I wanted a gray and black stripe, but I didn’t really like how they looked in the world. So I ended up having the stripes drawn and painted. We silkscreened all her stripes, so we got something that was a softer variation on a on a stripe, which is a fun process as a designer to be able to do,” said Atwood.
The outfits for Wednesday’s roommate Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) were completely different because she’s the title character’s total opposite. Besides their contrasting wardrobes, their differences could also be seen in the design of their room. There’s a stained glass window where half of it is bright and colorful while the other is utilitarian.
“Enid’s the epitome of everything Wednesday hates: girly color, full of chatter. We had so much fun playing off that with Enid. With the hard graphics of Wednesday’s things, Enid’s palette with the orange and the pink and the yellow were like a sunny contrast to her, which helped make them both look more different from each other as characters.”
The Adult Cast Members
Another character that Wednesday doesn’t exactly get along with is Principle Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie), who Atwood describes as “her own kind of misfit, in a totally different way.” For her wardrobe, Atwood drew inspiration from a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie that you shouldn’t watch if you have ornithophobia.
“I bought this vintage poster of Tippi Hedren in The Birds. I showed her a picture of it. I said, ‘This is who I think you are. And she was like, ‘I love it.'”
Through her work on the show, Atwood also got to work with Christina Ricci again after 1999’s Sleepy Hollow. “It was so much fun to dress her again and see her.” Ricci, whose great contribution to The Addams Family franchise goes without saying, plays Marilyn Thornhill. She’s the only “normie” teacher at Nevermore Academy, the show’s setting. Her style also provides quite the contrast with Weens’ buttoned-up wardrobe.
“She has a bunch of quirky vintage mixed with new stuff… there’s something kind of childish about her taste and her style, but in a creepy kind of way.”