Belfast Telegraph

Lily James freaked over Cinderella frock

Costume designer Sandy Powell has spoken about creating the looks in upcoming fantasy film Cinderella.

The 25-year-old actress takes on the role of the fairytale princess in Kenneth Branagh's live-action adaptation, out next year. When Cinderella is transformed by her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) she finds herself wearing a gorgeous cerulean gown with a skirt boasting over a dozen layers of fine silk in shades of lavender, turquoise and blue.

It's a stunning piece, which Lily found overwhelming when stepping into it.

“When I first put it on, I felt both empowered and scared,” Lily recalled to vogue.com. “How could I live up to this? Then I realised I could use that fear to show me how Cinderella would feel at that moment.”

Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell helmed all the outfits for the movie, including the glass slippers to complete Cinderella's ball look. They were inspired by a shoe from the 1890s which the fashionista saw in a museum in Northampton, UK, and are made of crystal in collaboration with Swarovski.

“So besides the fact that Cinderella’s slipper is crystal, the shape of the last [version seen in the 1950 Disney animated feature] makes it impossible to walk in,” Sandy explained. “I was amazed that I was allowed to do it - that nobody wondered how they were going to reproduce it for children. But then, I guess the glass slipper is the ultimate fetish shoe, isn’t it?”

There was also Cinderella's evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her ugly sisters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera) to tend to. Sandy had a clear idea of the impression she wanted their costumes to give and Cate relished working with the designer.

“They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside - a bit too much and overdone - and ugly on the inside,” Sandy smiled.

“To be in dialogue with Sandy instantly makes an actor’s internal work become more active and purposeful,” Cate gushed. “She invites grace, chutzpah, and irreverence, and one’s performance must rise to the occasion.”

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