Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood
Born (1948-09-25) September 25, 1948
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
Occupation costume designer
Years active 1981–present
Children 2 (Tracy-born 1987) and (Charlotte-born 1989)

Colleen Atwood (born September 25, 1948)[1] is an American costume designer.

Atwood has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design eleven times, winning three times; for the films Chicago in 2002, Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005, and Alice in Wonderland in 2010. Atwood has collaborated several times with directors Tim Burton, Rob Marshall and Jonathan Demme.[2]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Filmography 3
  • Awards and nominations 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

Born in Yakima, Washington, she studied painting at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington in the early 1970s, and later worked in retail at various places, including the Yves St. Laurent boutique at Frederick & Nelson department store in the city.[3]


Atwood began her career as a fashion advisor in Washington in the early 1970. She moved to New York in 1980, where she studied art at New York University.[4] Her movie career started after a chance encounter with someone whose mother was designing the sets for the film Ragtime, and she got the job of a PA (production assistant) in the film.[3][5] She worked as an assistant to a costume designer and eventually earned her first film credit for A Little Sex, directed by Bruce Paltrow.[4]

Eventually Atwood ventured into the world of costume design for theater and film, initially coming to fame through her work on Sting's Bring on the Night World Tour, also made into a documentary by the same name.[6] An important turning point in her career came when, through the production designer (Bo Welch) with whom she had worked in Joe Versus the Volcano, she met director Tim Burton. Atwood and Burton worked together on over seven films in the next two decades, starting with Edward Scissorhands and including Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, and Sweeney Todd.[3][5] She moved to Los Angeles in 1990.[4]

Atwood has been partially involved in developing or has been the lead designer for producing the costumes on over 50 films to date. She was the lead costume designer for all the new costumes created for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2005-2006. She also designed The Black Parade band uniforms for the band My Chemical Romance, as well as costumes for the following album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. She also designs for television, including the upcoming Supergirl series.

Atwood's favorite fashion designers include Azzedine Alaia.,[4] Yohji Yamamoto[4] and Alexander McQueen.[4][7]


Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

BAFTA Awards


  1. ^ "Atwood, Colleen". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 19–22.  
  2. ^ costume design"Alice in Wonderland"Oscars: Colleen Atwood wins for . LA Times. February 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Who dresses Johnny Depp? Costumer Colleen Atwood, a Northwest native".  
  4. ^ a b c d e f Jamie Diamond (February 24, 2005). "A Costume Drama in Modern Dress". New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b "Behind the Scenes; A Dozen Bright Talents Who Are Helping To Shape the Season Ahead:COLLEEN ATWOOD: Clothes Conscientious". New York Times. September 9, 1990. 
  6. ^ Janet Maslin (November 8, 1985). "SCREEN: STING IN 'BRING ON THE NIGHT'". New York Times. 
  7. ^ Leung, Mariana (1 June 2012). "Exclusive Interview: Oscar-Winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood". Ms Fabulous. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  • Colleen Atwood Biography (1950-) filmreference
  • "From Sketch to Still, a Visual History of Alice in Wonderland’s Costumes". Vanity Fair. January 28, 2011. 

External links

  • Colleen Atwood at the Internet Movie Database
  • Palm Springs Life, January 2004
  • Council of Fashion Designers of America