Thursday, July 14, 2011

Post #68: Fashion on Film - Harry Potter (Part 3)

            Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince marked the last time that I was decently happy with the costumes throughout the entirety of a Harry Potter film. I think this is partially due to the fact that it's the last film that takes place (for a majority of the run-time) at Hogwarts. That being said, it still had its questionable fashion moments. 
            Looking at this panel of six (below), it is clear that (as per all Potter films since Prisoner of Azkaban) a filter was used on filming to make everything darker. However, the colors on each character's outfits have definitely become more muted. The adults in the film still carry more of a wizard look than the students, as can be seen by Dumbledore and Snape's long robes. However, I personally think that while Draco's tailored jacket, turtleneck, and pants definitely look like something you could buy at a high end store, they still work. Because of the cut of the clothing (a longer jacket with stronger shoulders) along with the charcoal gray and black color palate, he still looks magical. Ron's Quidditch robes and pads make him look a little ominous, but definitely not like a Muggle. Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione's outfits could have been purchased at the mall. 

            However, the movie isn't a failure with respect to the clothing. While you now see people in their casual clothing at the tables in the Great Hall, you also get brief moments of light. Reminiscent of the lighting and color palette of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the Gryffindor Quidditch uniform shines brightly in the scene below. 

            But more than anything else, I would say that the introduction of Professor Slughorn is one of the main driving forces of the fashion in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In the classroom, you have the same uniforms as the last few movies: same tie, same robes (note the maroon trimming the inside of their hoods and sleeves). What I find most entertaining though is Professor Slughorn's "wizard" version of the cap and gown look. At least his robes have intricate embroidery even though the suit underneath screams dapper but absent-minded professor. 

            Slughorn's exclusive dinner party also made for some interesting costuming choices. It is here that I pose a question: where does Harry get all of his "nicer" Muggle clothing (like the suit below) and why does he bring said clothing to Hogwarts. After all, you never hear about him going shopping while staying at the Dursley's. Ginny's dress seems suitable for the occasion, but I also have to wonder where the Weasley's got it and how they afforded it. It would have been nice to see a return to fashions circa the Goblet of Fire Yule Ball era here. 

And then there was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

            Deathly Hallows: Part 1 felt very casual to me, but that's partially due to its content. You're not going to see Hogwarts' robes when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are everywhere but Hogwarts. However, the scenes at Bill and Fleur's wedding and the Ministry of Magic add some variety to the mix. 
            The movie poster itself leaves our heroic trio in very bland outfits. The whole jeans, jacket, shirt thing is the stuff of any movie about teenagers. I guess they did need to have utilitarian garments for running through the woods and apparating all around the world though. 

            However, when Harry and Hermione have their dance moment in the tent the whole casual thing becomes a little too much. Wouldn't you peg Hermione for more of an argyle girl than a flannel one? I mean, if she were a Muggle she would definitely act the part of prepster and probably dress it as well. 

            After that hipster mess of clothing, you would hope that things would get better. However, the last strike against the clothing in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was the whole Snatcher thing. I'm sorry, but Twilight should not be making an appearance in Harry Potter. Although I do kind of like the outfit on the far right. 

            Bill and Fleur's wedding does make up for a lot of the fashion faux pas in the film. Fleur's wedding dress is magical bliss (check back for tomorrow's post, which will contain an image of it) and the garments worn by the attendees are better than Muggle dress clothes. Hermione's dress could have been bought at an elegant department, but Harry and Ron's suits are a great step up from the suit that Harry wore during Slughorn's dinner party. The velvet of his waistcoat is a really nice detail. 

            Finally, I thought I'd leave you with a scene that cleverly lets each character display their own personal style. While I do adore Kingsley Shacklebolt, Hagrid, and Mad-Eye Moody for dressing in traditional wizard garb that could have passed in any of the films, Fred and George get my wizard "best dressed" awards. And Mundungus Fletcher gets "worst dressed" for looking like Danny DeVito in Matilda. Oh the funny things that arise when there are seven Harrys. Enjoy.

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