“The Witches,” directed by Robert Zemeckis, is the 2020 reimagining of Roald Dahl’s most dark and grim fairytale. The Grand High Witch – originally played with kitsch delight by Anjelica Huston – is channeled now by “The Devil Wears Prada” alumna, Anne Hathaway, who serves (besides tons of CGI and fabulous acting) amazing fashion couture.

More than 130 real-hair wigs were used during the filming and more than 50 different outfits and styles for witches created – including several extras behind the scenes. In the Grand High Witch’s own words…” We are in for a treat!” Let’s discover the iconic creations that inspire this fashionista necromancer…

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1.Monsters Deserve Couture Too

 

Zemeckis worked with long-time collaborator and costume designer extraordinaire Joanna Johnston. FYI, she’s responsible for costume design in “Hellraiser,” “Roger Rabbit,” “Back to the Future Part II and III,” and created the look for my favorite Lisle Von Rhuman – Siempre Viva – from “Death Becomes Her.”

The production also worked with award-winning makeup and hair designers Peter Swords King and Paula Price (“Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit,” “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Cloud Atlas,” and many more).

Never take candy from Strangers…Inspired in the 40’s fashion, the GHW (Grand High Witch) appears briefly through the steam from the train wearing a statuesque tight-fitting jacket with padded hips, petite waist, and A-line skirts. Tailoring and contour signature of Dior’s nostalgic mood of the post-war society, and certainly a look that this dark villainess could afford…extravagant and deliberately glamorous.

 

A high collar and white-striped details extend to the skirt looking like an animal tail. Highlighting the ensemble are black gloves; black pumps with animal-print details; long, sharp black agate tear-shaped dangle earrings; and a heart-shaped wide brim hat in black Lamé (an homage upgrade look to the Wicked Witch of the West); and of course a ghoulish smile to complete her monstrous charm.

2.Enter The Grand High Witch

 

If you want to make a statement, you are in desperate need of Chanel…a houndstooth tweed jacket with matching pied de poule skirt, high collar neck, black belt, and long-cuff gauntlet leather gloves with white nail accents and asymmetric white trimming. Classy witch.

From the Top: Wide-brim Kentucky Derby sun hat, Marilyn chin-length platinum blonde hairstyle with a few waves (witches are bald…they need wigs), black and white beaded polka-dot earrings – very Oscar de la Renta, Jackie-o sunglasses, white pointy high-heeled shoes with black details and bright red lips. Total diva entrance!

The Devil is in the Details…her black crocodile and gold-trimmed clutch-style handbag had a wonderful brand detail…the initials G.H.W. on a gold plaque. Divine.

3.Bedtime Realness

 

This little witch – and Anne Hathaway – serves pure glam in a decadent burgundy silk negligee and black satin marabou robe with black and red ostrich trimmings – a very comfy look, especially in quarantine times. A touch of high-class and power emanates from the regal head turban – Nefertiti style – in caramel pink tritone stripes, and is completed by round gold and onyx earrings, pastel pink eyeshadow, matching lips, and a must in every witch wardrobe: an elegant hand mirror!

To top it off...short pink gloves and flat loafers with diamonds…obviously accompanied by her faithful feline Hades (at least until that scene … NO spoilers).

5.I'll Put a Spell on You

 

The real Showstopper: a long, sexy one-shoulder asymmetrical dress in regal purple embellished with gold serpent trimming – with ruby eyes – that actually transforms into an olive python (inspired by Jane Avril, 1899 moulin rouge dancer; illustrated by Toulouse Lautrec).

Legendary inspirations (from left to right): Jane Avril, Thierry Mugler, Tippi Hedren, Carmen dell’Orefice)

The GHW is about attitude and womanship that leaves no room for defiance. Her bombshell hairstyle, intense red lipstick, and smokey-plum eye shadow create the perfect menacing and glamourous look. The shoes…Wow….pointy leather stilettos (to hide her claw feet) with dark blue laser-cut leather trim, bronzed heels, and pointy toes. Amazing!

6. Mommy dearest meets Mars Attacks 

Anne looks amazing against the sunny sky in this black and raspberry dress boasting a sexy deep-plunge V-neck. Crocodile patterns in black screen-printing plastisol layer the textured magenta couture and shimmering wool tweed. The hair is a blond bouffant beehive wig with flipped curls that reminds me of the 60’s gothic TV soap opera “Dark Shadows.” Double-ruffled origami plissé sleeve cuffs are sheer delight in magenta and dark purple with matching long satin gloves. The V-neck cleavage reveals a metallic geometric necklace with Thierry Mugler vibes. To finish the look – pointy black pumps with matching raspberry crocodile toes and heels. And remember…no “Gooorlick.”

This is my fav outfit. My grandmother wore a very similar outfit at my mom’s wedding. 

7. The Final Countdown

The showdown is no less glamorous! The GHW flaunts a sky-high ash-platinum beehive updo with a twisted back (that can be used as a parachute); smokey eye shadow in black, purple and white; intense eyelashes; and plum rigor mortis lips. She dons a Kimono Robe gown with faux black and metallic ostrich feathers, high satin collar, and wide V cleavage. The jewelry dazzles with a handcrafted choker collar necklace made of black onyx stones in flower shapes, matching silver flower earrings with black stones, and a flat studded chain belt. Dark wizardly glam!

 

Final reveal: a metallic bustier part Thiery Mugler, part steampunk. Genius detail.

In conclusion,  I loved the movie and I’m amazed at the level of thinking behind this movie, criticism and story changes aside that audience might debate about, the real success is the spellbinding glamour of the sets, the costumes, the soundtrack, the ambiance, and beautifully crafted details that make this 2020 film rendezvous delicious. And in these very challenging times, pandemic included, they managed to put a spell on me, and now I’m a fan.

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