Dressing Maleficent

Disney's best dressed villainess

When it comes to gothic villains, Maleficent - played by the prettiest ice queen of them all, Angelina Jolie, in Disney's new reimagining of Sleeping Beauty - is as fierce as she is fabulous.

The film's costume designer Anna B. Sheppard (whose former film credits include Shindler’s List, The Book Thief and Inglorious Bastards) tells us how she did it.

How did you begin the design process?

I spend a lot of time in art galleries; the renaissance era was my main point of reference for this.

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Alexander McQueen collections - past and present - were also hugely inspiring. Lee’s interpretation of nature through couture is inimitable, but I wanted the costumes, particularly Aurora’s, to have that ethereal beauty.

From there, I spoke to everyone from Angelina to the set decorator to amass ideas on how we wanted the overall look.

Was Angelina very hands on in with that?

She was 200% hands on! Angelina lived as Maleficent, day and night. We had fittings at 6am, or at midnight after she finished filming.

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She’s got eight different looks in the movie and we worked hard to create an image that no one expected.

The ideas for the sculptured silhouette came from her own personal style.

She was in character all the time?

She was so immersed in Maleficent that sometimes, it was scary to be around her. She was wearing the costume and prosthetics day and night.

I asked Brad, ‘Is she sleeping with all of this on?’

How did the children on set react to her? Were they scared?

They were all terrified of her. Except for her own children. They’ve grown up on film sets and are used to seeing Angelina in costume.

I also dressed Vivienne, Pax and Zahara for the film; they were just as keen to get into costume as their mum was.

ELLE reviews Maleficent

Take a peek behind the scenes in the Maleficent costume cupboard

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