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The Huntsman: Winter's War (out April 22), the part-sequel part-prequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman, revisits Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and introduces her ice-cold sister Freya (Emily Blunt) and the warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain). Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood tells EW all about the drop-dead looks she created for the film.
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Go for the Gold
In order to create Theron's dramatic gold winged cape, Atwood had to make a "feather room" in her work studio. There, she estimates, 5,000 Coque feathers were hand-foiled in gold.
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"The feathers are trimmed and mounted on a silk base, so it's actually very lightweight, which allows it to move in the wind," says Atwood. "Charlize looks amazing in and out of clothing. She transforms the costume into something more incredible than what you thought of as a designer. She elevates every costume."
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Cold as Ice
For Freya, Atwood kept to an appropriately cool palette and used a variety of unusual materials. "We made this dress out of aluminum fabric," says Atwood. "The bodice is cut plastic — like the tubing they use in aquariums—and silver leather. It's a fun combination of odd material, but it marries together in an interesting way."
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As for Blunt's Winter's War headpiece, it was created out of tiny feathers that Atwood grew in a 3-D laser machine.
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Chastain's character, Sara, is an equal to Chris Hemsworth's titular Huntsman. "She brought her A game right away," says director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, adding that Chastain took horseback-riding lessons and trained with a martial artist.
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Ready for Battle
Atwood developed Chastain's wardrobe for the film accordingly. "She did a lot of action in these clothes," she says. "But we still wanted her to be strong and sexy."