Disney classics have always been so successful that, for some time now, they have been made into movies with flesh and blood actors. They are the "live action" movies in which the fantasy, the sets and, of course, the costumes take a leading role as in Cinderella...
The costume designer was Sandy Powell who deliciously mixed the lines of the 40s and 50s with other more nineteenth-century ones and who also brought a great vividness of color palette influenced by the colors of the West Indian communities that live in Brixton, in his lifelong neighborhood in south London.
She maintains that it is much easier and more fun to dress a villain than the good guy in the movie, but in Cinderella the result of all the costumes is impressive. Of course, she must have had a great time dressing the so excessive stepsisters with a point of too much to reflect her personalities, an impressive Lady Tremaine in "jewel" colors and brocades with lines reminiscent of those Hollywood stars of the most vintage golden era and a Cinderella for which the designer wanted clothes that had lost color and beauty over time but without rags.
“I didn’t want her in rags, as she is often portrayed in the storybooks. What I gave her instead is a dress that starts out pretty and ends up looking faded, tired, and worn out.”
Sandy Powell, Vogue November 2014
Apparently, the ball gown was made from more than twelve layers of silk chiffon in various shades of blue and more than 10,000 Swarovski crystals, it took 500 hours with 18 dressmakers working, but the fact is... they had to make 9! Of course, the Ball gown must be accompanied by the crystal shoe that was designed together with the Swarovski firm and based on a shoe from 1890 found in a Northampton museum but Lily James could not have walked with such an inflexible shoe so she wore leather shoes to dance and they left the crystal ones for close-ups. And... what about those shots in which Ella is seen with the glass shoes on? Post production...
For the wedding dress, unlike the grandeur of the ball scene gown, they went for a more minimalist aesthetic with hand-painted flowers to reflect the purity of the character.
"Cinderella wins the Prince’s heart through her goodness, so I wanted to show this through her clothes. I wanted her to stay modest and pure even though she was going to be a part of royalty.”
Sandy Powell Vanity Fair February 2015
Apparently and, unlike the blue dress, only one copy of this dress was made due to a budget issue with the bad luck that it caught fire in a photo session, burning the upper layer, so the work of the 16 seamstresses for 550 hours had to be restored.
Finally, of course, we should highlight Helena Bonham-Carter's dress with hundreds of crystals and LEDs, which had a Phillips technician who turned it on before each scene.
The costumes won several awards and even an Oscar nomination. After such a fantasy, did anyone doubt it?