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'Les Miserables' & 'Downton Abbey' Costume Designers Talk Hathaway, Jackman & MacLaine with EW

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 18, 2012 at 1:28PM

In the October 19 issue of EW, "Les Miserables" costume designer Paco Delgado talks sartorially translating the look and feel of Victor Hugo's classic novel to the big screen, while "Downton Abbey"...
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Anne Hathaway in "Les Miserables"
Anne Hathaway in "Les Miserables"

In the October 19 issue of EW, "Les Miserables" costume designer Paco Delgado talks sartorially translating the look and feel of Victor Hugo's classic novel to the big screen, while "Downton Abbey" wardrobe head Caroline McCall talks dressing Season 3's new addition, Shirley MacLaine. Highlights below.

Delgado on authenticity in "Les Miserables":

"The first thing Tom [Hooper] said was that he wanted to be very faithful to the period and Victor Hugo's story...[For Anne Hathaway's character, Fantine,] we worked with clingy fabrics and used an airbrush to darken the sides of her costume to make her look even thinner."

And on making Hugh Jackman look less, well, jacked:

"Hugh [Jackman] wanted Valjean to look more bourgeois and relaxed about his appearance when he becomes the mayor, so we added padding to make it look like he had a little bit of a belly. You can barely notice it, but Hugh asked for it specifically."

"Downton Abbey" Season 3 minor spoiler alert:

“It’s more glamorous than last season,” says wardrobe head Caroline McCall. McCall promises that though the well-to-do Crawleys may face some financial troubles, their style won’t suffer. In fact, she hints, the family will have good reason to play dress-up on more than a few occasions.

And on the tacky new American:

Lady Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) outspoken American mother, Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine), arrives. “She’s new money,” says McCall, who had only about three weeks to create the character’s look (which includes plenty of flashy jewelry) before MacLaine’s wardrobe fitting. “Martha displays her wealth, which isn’t terribly British.”

This article is related to: Entertainment Weekly, Les Miserables, Costume Design, Television


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.