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Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood
Born (1948-09-25) September 25, 1948 (age 70)
Alma materCornish College of the Arts
OccupationCostume designer
Years active1981–present

Colleen Atwood (born September 25, 1948)[1] is an American costume designer.

Atwood has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design twelve times, winning four times - for the films Chicago (2002), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was the first film in J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World to win an Academy Award. Atwood has collaborated several times with directors Tim Burton, Rob Marshall and Jonathan Demme.[2]

Early life and education

Born in Yakima, Washington, she studied painting at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington in the early 1970s, and later worked in retail at various places, including the Yves St. Laurent boutique at Frederick & Nelson department store in the city.[3]


Atwood began her career as a fashion advisor in Washington in the early 1970. She moved to New York in 1980, where she studied art at New York University.[4] Her movie career started after a chance encounter with someone whose mother was designing the sets for the film Ragtime, and she got the job of a PA (production assistant) in the film.[3][5] She worked as an assistant to a costume designer and eventually earned her first film credit for A Little Sex, directed by Bruce Paltrow.[4]

Eventually Atwood ventured into the world of costume design for theater and film, initially coming to fame through her work on Sting's Bring on the Night World Tour, also made into a documentary by the same name.[6] An important turning point in her career came when, through the production designer (Bo Welch) with whom she had worked in Joe Versus the Volcano, she met director Tim Burton. Atwood and Burton worked together on over seven films in the next two decades, starting with Edward Scissorhands and including Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, and Sweeney Todd.[3][5] She moved to Los Angeles in 1990.[4]

Atwood has been partially involved in developing or has been the lead designer for producing the costumes on over 50 films to date. She was the lead costume designer for all the new costumes created for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2005-2006. She also designed The Black Parade band uniforms for the band My Chemical Romance, as well as costumes for the following album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. She also designs for television, including Arrow,[7] The Flash,[7] and the new Supergirl series.[7]

Atwood's favorite fashion designers include Azzedine Alaia,[4] Yohji Yamamoto[4] and Alexander McQueen.[4][8]


Notable awards and nominations

Academy Awards

BAFTA Awards

Emmy Awards

  • Won: Outstanding Costumes for a Variety/Music Program or a Special, Tony Bennett: An American Classic (2006)


  1. ^ "Atwood, Colleen". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 19–22. ISBN 9780824211134.
  2. ^ "Oscars: Colleen Atwood wins for Alice in Wonderland costume design". LA Times. February 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Who dresses Johnny Depp? Costumer Colleen Atwood, a Northwest native". The Seattle Times. December 11, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Diamond, Jamie (February 24, 2005). "A Costume Drama in Modern Dress". New York Times.
  5. ^ a b "Behind the Scenes; A Dozen Bright Talents Who Are Helping To Shape the Season Ahead:COLLEEN ATWOOD: Clothes Conscientious". New York Times. September 9, 1990.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 8, 1985). "SCREEN: STING IN 'BRING ON THE NIGHT'". New York Times.
  7. ^ a b c "Costume Designer Colleen Atwood on Making the Heroes of 'Flash' & 'Arrow' Look Super". Variety. June 3, 2015.
  8. ^ Leung, Mariana (1 June 2012). "Exclusive Interview: Oscar-Winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood". Ms Fabulous. Retrieved 8 June 2013.

External links