Harry Potter Series

Costume Designs of 'Harry Potter' Characters Part 2: Sirius, The Malfoys, & Bellatrix

By: Domonique Salberg

Continuing the discussion of the costume designs of Harry Potter, part I covered Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, Dumbledore, and The Dark Lord. In this discussion, some key supporting cast (who also have among the best costumes) and the creative ideas behind their designs will be explored.

Sirius Black

We’re first introduced to Sirius as the dangerous escaped convict in an Azkaban uniform with long hair and a full beard. Adding to his rugged appearance are the variety of alchemic and runic symbols. Once we see him in Order of the Phoenix, Black is cleaned up, and his now established look became what the designer believed he would dress like after all that time in Azkaban. Being, he would have dressed in the fashion of his favorite time—that spent with the Marauders in the late 1970s. Sirius was a rock star then, popular and glamourous. It was supposed he would have had his stylish wardrobe intake when he returned. That is why his clothes were made to appear moth-eaten and worn.

The Malfoys

The complete opposite of Sirius, the Malfoys’ attire is elegant, regal, and established. Their design was meant to be reminiscent of wealthy people or those with a long bloodline or pedigree. What this meant for their design was quality clothing with sharp tailoring, pinstripes, and good fabrics. Furthermore, velvets, leathers, and fur were used to embellish their collars and the cuffs of their outfits. Snakelike symbols are found throughout their attire as well, from the clasp of Lucius’ cape and the tip of his wand-holding cane to Narcissa’s belts and embroidery that curls around her collar and cuffs.

Nevertheless, though they are an old wizarding family, the designers dressed Narcissa in 1950s couture. And even during their hard times, the Malfoys dressed in style with a hint of strangeness in shiny fabrics and very constructed shapes. Narcissus’ first outfit in the Half-Blood Prince even had a wood frame built into the shoulders.

Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix is also first introduced after escaping over a decade at Azkaban, which the designer kept in mind by extending her captivity look when developing Lestrange’s appearance. They also decided she would wear one of her old dresses and added damaged details to make it appear like it is falling apart. Lestrange’s sex appeal was considered, too; as a sexy witch, it was important, they avoid the “hag” look and make Bellatrix a woman who was once beautiful but whose looks have faded. To achieve her appearance, Bellatrix was given fake rotten teeth, long gnarled nails, dark makeup, lace outfits with protection incorporated to present a fiery, unhinged witch ready for war.

What are your favorite looks from the Harry Potter films?

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