Anna B. Sheppard (Schindler’s List, The Pianist) who designed many of the costumes Angelina Jolie wears in Maleficent wanted to make sure “that this is Maleficent from the animated version, only more beautiful,” she notes in an interview with Melissa Castellanos from The Latin Post.
“Maleficent’s costumes evolved from mossy colors and ‘floaty’ fabrics to become dark and sculptural shapes in much heavier fabric with lot of volume. Artificial furs, leather and feathered accessories created by specialty designers were used to form a much darker and sinister-looking character,” she said.
“She’s not trying to [look] sharp,” Jolie noted in an interview with Yahoo movies. “She just finds skins and snakeskins and skulls and bones.” She pointed to her character’s massive bird skull ring as an example. “This is my inside joke,” said Jolie, whose character pals around with a shape-shifting bird. “I have a bird skull, and I have a bird that’s my pet and friend. We say it’s his family!”
The signature black outfit however was the creation of contemporary metal couture designer Manuel Albarran of Barcelona, Spain and was stitched together from soft goat Nappa leather. Albarran has designed for Isabella Blow, Nick Night, Nicola Formichetti, Georgia May Jagger, Cara Delevingne, ID, Dazed And Confused, Vogue as well as Givenchy and Lavazza.
Albarran used python skin, fine leather, fish skin, feathers and bones. “I was also using animal skin, and of course some metals, some brass and copper. I think all the pieces that I used made it feel organic. Each piece was made of six or seven pieces or maybe more,” he explained.
Jolie’s input was sought on the the hand-painted contact lenses and lightweight horn headpieces, as well as the prosthetic ears and cheekbones.
Albarran also designed the accessories that Jolie wears in Maleficent: the rings, broaches, bracelets, and collars. He also created most of the body suit for the last scene, which he says was “a little bit complicated technically” because Jolie had to be able to jump and bend.
“The collars were all feminine and elegant in silhouette, yet powerful and dark in atmosphere,” he said. “Really organic. Some were very detailed structures. For example, I created collars where the collar, the shoulders and spine were all connected as a single piece in leather and in bone, to form the base structure where I then added various skins, feathers, etc. to create the final design.”
The signature horns were made of ultra light weight urethane. The headpieces covering them were made of lizard and stingray skin. They were designed by makeup effects maestro Rick Baker from a cast of Jolie’s head and shoulders and held together by magnets that could be quickly detached in the event they snagged on any set equipment.
Even though Maleficent wings were CGI the costume design team did create real ones for the artists to be digitally inspired by.