A forest of aspen trees is dusted lightly with snow. A completely white and gray landscape lays still. Then, a woman slowly walks through the forest in a full length yellow cape. The complete image is stunning, as anyone who has seen Mirror, Mirror will remember. Cinematography is the art of photography, incorporated into film. It combines work with the camera, scenery, lighting, costuming, and special effects. In essence, it is the imagery of the film as a whole. Cinematography is what makes you stare at a movie and simply think, “Wow. I want to experience that world.” The aspect of cinematography that particularly catches my eye is the coloring. Is the movie filled with bright, saturated colors? Is it done in rich, earthy tones? Or is it draped in foggy, muted pastels? If you love it, emulate it!
How can you, in the 21st century, show off your love of a movie without cosplay or wearing a fan t-shirt? We’ll show you how by using some fantasy films with the most beautiful cinematography for examples:
This colorful Snow White movie often boasts costumes in bright primary colors set against the snowy backgrounds of the woods or the white and beige backgrounds of the marble castle. The bright yellow cape against the snowy forest (shown above) is a particularly vivid and beautiful example from the film. The style is designed to truly feel like a fairy tale and be bright and electric.
Try Colorblocking: Mix Mirror, Mirror with Mondrian and colorblock your heart out in rich primary colors. Try this Zara dress for a yellow pop, or for a truly simple touch, throw on colorful tights with any outfit.
Another factor to be considered is the drama and romance of the cinematography. The white, mysterious forest against the yellow of her outfit. This drama can be played up in your own life with full length dresses and skirts, as well as voluminous pieces.
Try Drama: Try this red Lauren Ralph Lauren dress for your next formal affair.
In the above photo, you can see Lily Collins, as Snow White, is wearing mostly black, however she has a pop of primary blue that makes her look particularly dramatic against the white snow and aspen trees.
Try Business Brights: To emulate the beautiful cinematography here, try wearing mostly winter whites, with a pop of a bright primary hue. Loving the photo above? Try wearing a white silk blouse, like this option from J. Crew, with this Preen Line blazer.
Lord of the Rings
Aging beauty, rich earthy tones. The world of Lord of the Rings, Middle Earth, has a long history written in, perhaps dry, but significant depth. The world of Middle Earth is built on the ruins of the Kings of Old and their many grander cultures, before the cultures of ‘modern’ Middle Earth became smaller and more condensed. Throughout the Lord of the Rings movies, overgrown ruins are often seen, depicted with trees grown through them or moss growing on them, to represent the aging beauty. Even the more feminine characters, such as Arwen and Eowyn, never give off an appearance of new or fresh clothing, everything looks well worn with age and wisdom. Also, nothing is ever too white. Wanderer characters like Aragorn have a rough quality to them.
The Middle Earth shown in Lord of the Rings is largely wild and rough. Emulate the feeling of the films with wools and leathers in rich browns and greens. If you want to opt for the more magical aspects of the films, Rivendell for example, focus on the unearthly feel and rich velvets in shades of purple and blue.
Try Mystery: To channel the Elven side of the Lord of the Rings universe, try this Free People dress in pewter.
Alice in Wonderland
Pastel colors, structured dresses and decrepit, but magical, glamour with a touch of Victorian England. Alice in Wonderland has a woodland fairytale feel to it, yet with an eerie touch. There is such a thing as too much pastel. While I feel this movie more than fulfills this quota, it does it, likely, in a way that is meant to be unnerving. This is Wonderland, after all. How to get this mystical Wonderland atmosphere for yourself?
Wonderland is supposed to feel other-worldly and distinctly out of proportion, play with this by mixing untraditional hues and playing with proportion in your garments, for example, wearing a large pattern in a looser blouse and a small pattern on a fitted skirt. The colors and fabrics should be light and wistful.
Toadstools, toadstools, toadstools. Mushrooms in a forest, how original! Yet mushrooms have a distinctly mystical presence with a touch of darkness, while remaining colorful and ingrained in this Wonderland world. How to take the mushroom part of the inspiration without looking like you’re from Super Mario Bro.s?
Take hold of some fantasy for your own life! Use these great films to inject your wardrobe with a little new blood, or do this experiment on your own favorite films. Remember to use the cinematography as a whole for more original results than if you just emulate the clothes.