By Anna Wyckoff | October 29, 2019
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
For Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick bringing fantasy to life in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was all about exploring the juxtaposition of the characters. The next chapter in the story takes place five years after the first film and that meant dressing the titular character, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie), in a way that showed her development, both symbolically and practically. “One thing about Maleficent that was very different was that she now has wings. In the first film, she had beautiful clothes of velvets and fabrics that were more earthbound. But, we didn’t have the wings to work with because frankly, it’s a CGI element. So we looked for fabrics that were flight bound—layers of silk and chiffon. It was trial and error to get the right weight and fluidity to the fabrics. It felt like creating a ballet.”
Mirojnick contrasted the characters by exploring their elemental, mythic nature. Her garments for Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) are a perfect reflection of that intention. “For the proposal dress, it was like individual leaves as only the fairies could create. The underlayers are different colors: pinks, blues, and lilacs. Depending on the light, it will feel as if it’s changeable. It can shift to a pinkish tone or a lavender tone. It’s absolutely reflective of the land that she’s in.” For another gown, Mirojnick chose to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty by referencing the shape of the traditional collar.
Dressing Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) was an exercise in indulgence, but with a distinct, profound purpose. The character glitters and glowers in clothes that reflect the character’s strength and ambition. “We find in the end she has many intentions and motives. She’s a platinum queen. I never thought of the jewels or the pearls or any of the intricacies of those designs as accessories. It was always part of the gown that she wore and that opulence was because she would be grander than just an evil queen.”
In the end, contrasting such distinct characters was what Mirojnick found the most rewarding aspect of the project. “What was wonderful was each woman was so separate onto themselves. Each character was strong and independent. They had their own voice and they played so well against each other.”