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MOVIES | WHATEVER.

Colleen Atwood / Costume Designer

October 11, 1998

Jonathan Demme and Tim Burton are very different directors, but they both rely on Colleen Atwood to design the costumes for nearly every movie they do, from Burton's fanciful "Edward Scissorhands" to Demme's new austere period film, "Beloved." Atwood, 48, won an Oscar nomination for her work in "Little Women" and is now clothing the cast of Burton's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in England.

DESIGNER BLASPHEMY: "Edith Head was a star because she was on 'The Art Linkletter Show.' It wasn't because everyone knew her credit as a designer. There were other designers that were better than her. I'll probably burn in hell for saying that."

HEADS UP: "I saw Edith Head in New York when I first moved there, at Studio 54. It was a great moment. She had a huge entourage of gorgeous young boys. She was ancient, had a black turtleneck and long floral skirt, was really turned out for the evening. It was great."

ONE THAT GOT AWAY: "The only movie I've seriously gone after in the last year, and I heard about it late because I don't read the trades, is 'Memoirs of a Geisha' the Spielberg movie. I've always loved Japanese art, and the descriptions of the kimonos and where they come from are very beautiful, and it's a beautiful love story. But they hired someone already."

MOBBED: "The largest crowd I've done I think was in 'Wyatt Earp' with 700. In 'Beloved' we had 300, but we had to do them from the skin out. They have to be fit ahead of time, which you do about 60 fittings a day. We have 3:30 a.m. calls to get people ready for 6:30 shots."

GLAMOUR: "People don't get it. They think I go shopping and buy a lot of expensive fabric and point my finger. Little do they know that it's like being in the Army sometimes. It's a lot of fun, but very hard work--carrying stuff, dressing and undressing people. You're not sitting at a desk drawing pictures much."

MILITARY ISSUE: "I'm sure 'Private Ryan' will get a lot of [Oscar] nominations, but because it's a uniform movie. I don't know if it will get a nomination for costume. If any uniform movie ever gets noticed, it will probably be that. But it's always good to have a few babes running around in dresses."

RESTRAINT: "With 'Beloved' I stuck very much to real fabrics and real accessories and real buttons of that time and place. I did not go over the top with the clothes, going, 'Well, they could have just a little more fabric in the skirt because I like it.' "--Steve Hochman

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