Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Post #66: Fashion on Film - Harry Potter (Part 1)

            In 1997 J.K. Rowling created a magical world filled with cloaks and pointy hats and measuring tapes that took people's measurements by themselves at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. In chapter 5 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry's Hogwarts acceptance letter deems that there is a uniform at Hogwarts. 

"First-year students will require:

  1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
  2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
  3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
  4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)" (pg. 66)
            All of that being said, it seemed that the most "normal" clothing in the wizarding world got involved the sweaters that Mrs. Weasley knit every Christmas. Then the Harry Potter movies came out. 

            Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone depending on the country you bought the book or saw the movie in) was nominated for multiple Academy Awards in 2001, including one for Best Costume Design. While it lost to Moulin Rouge! in a competitive pool that also included the first Lord of the Rings movie, it certainly did justice to J.K. Rowling's words. Directed by Chris Colombus, the first two movies in the series were probably the most true to the books. 

In the first movie, you got brighter colors. The scarf included large stripes of vibrant maroon and gold and the Gryffindor crest on the robes was larger. 

While Hermione, Ron, and Harry did pursue the Sorcerer's Stone in their "muggle-like" clothing... 

You, more often than not, saw them in their uniforms. Notice one of the few appearances of the pointed hat  in the entire series. 

And the professor's robes were as decadent and wizardish as your wildest dreams. 

Then came Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In the second movie, the uniforms were the same. The skirts were pleated, the socks were high, the ties were neatly tied, and the colors stayed light. 

They introduced the one and only male wizard fashion maven: Gilderoy Lockhart. 

The Quidditch uniforms remained intricate. Just look at the detailing on their boots and gloves and the intricacy of the robe clasps.  

The darker side of wizard fashion (a.k.a. a plethora of variations on the color black) was introduced with the increasing prevalence of Lucius Malfoy. 

And the adults in the wizarding world stuck to tradition in their detailed robes and crooked hats. 

Then came Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

            In my opinion, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the beginning of a small downfall in the fashion involved in the Harry Potter Series. The director, Alfonso Cuarón, focused more on the characters' transition into being teenagers and it reflected in their clothing. The proper Hogwarts of the first two movies was loosened up and muggle clothing took more prevalence. When the students weren't in class, they definitely wouldn't be wearing their robes. 

            In some respects, I understand this. Each of the students at Hogwarts is apt to have "normal-people" clothing. They wear it on transit to Platform 9 3/4 at least. But the increased prevalence of jeans and sweatshirts kind of killed a magical quality in the movies. 

Unfortunately, the movie poster adopted muggle clothing as its main fashion focus...

And you saw the dynamic trio in these outfits for a large portion of the film. It was also the introduction of Hermione's pink hoodie. 

When they did wear uniforms, it was only to class. The tie changed from the solid equally spaced stripes to this more intricate pattern and the color spectrum became darker and more muted. Also notice how the not even Hermione has her uniform on perfectly straight. Seriously, who ties a tie like that (and yes I'm speaking to you Ron and Harry)?

And Professor Lupin introduced the suit and tie (shabbily perfected for his character) instead of the cloak into the Hogwarts-Professor-Wardrobe. 

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