Anthony Powell, an creative British costume designer who gained three Oscars however is probably greatest identified for the outlandish clothes he conceived for Glenn Close because the fur-loving Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians” and its sequel, died on April 16 in London. He was 85.
The Costume Designers Guild introduced his dying however didn’t cite the trigger. His fellow costume designer Tom Rand stated he died in a nursing house.
“There’s so much intelligence behind his work, no matter the genre or the character,” stated Keith Lodwick, curator of theater and display screen artwork on the V&A Museum in London. “You watch a movie like ‘Evil Under the Sun,’ and you see extraordinary detail — like in one scene, Roddy McDowall’s red socks match the red carnation on his jacket.”
Mr. Powell, who introduced deep analysis to his work in each theater and movie, gained a Tony Award for the 1963 manufacturing of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 18th-century comedy of manners “The School for Scandal,” his first Broadway present. He collaborated on films with Steven Spielberg and Roman Polanski. He gained his Oscars for “Travels With My Aunt” (1972), directed by George Cukor; “Death on the Nile” (1978), directed by John Guillermin; and “Tess” (1979), the primary of his three movies with Mr. Polanski.
“Anthony, in a way, is an amazing director,” Kevin Lima, who directed the sequel “102 Dalmatians” (2000), informed The Los Angeles Times, “because he has to look deep into these characters and visualize them. And he doesn’t just perceive what they wear, but also who they are and how to create layers of character based on their clothing, which is what we did with Cruella.”
For Cruella de Vil, in two live-action films primarily based on a 1961 animated function, Mr. Powell conceived wild, villainy-enhancing ensembles. They included a black-and-white silk robe with shark-fin appliqué; a purple robe lined with ostrich feathers that appeared to swallow Ms. Close in flames; and a couture nun’s behavior with a backless robe and an umbrella-sized wimple.
“When we started, Glenn said the most chilling thing to me,” Mr. Powell was quoted as saying in his obituary in The Telegraph. “She told me, ‘Just do the clothes, makeup and hair, then I’ll look in the mirror and decide how I’m going to play it.’ That’s a lot of responsibility.”
Ms. Close, who would additionally put on outfits (together with turbans) that Mr. Powell designed for the Broadway musical “Sunset Boulevard” — each the unique manufacturing, in 1994, for which he acquired a Tony nomination, and the 2017 revival — stated on Twitter after his dying, “He put me into outfits that taught me how to move in and wear a costume rather than being consumed by it.”
Mr. Powell acquired an Oscar nomination for his work on “102 Dalmatians.”
Mr. Powell was born on June 2, 1935, in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a suburb of Manchester, to Arthur and Alice (Woodhead) Powell. He attended colleges in Manchester and Dublin earlier than serving within the British Army as a wi-fi operator.
After graduating from the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, he apprenticed with Cecil Beaton, the Oscar-winning stage and costume designer, and the scenic and costume designer Oliver Messel.
While educating on the Central School, Mr. Powell started his profession. Mr. Beaton launched him to John Gielgud, who was directing and starring within the 1962 London manufacturing of “The School for Scandal.”
In addition to profitable a Tony for his costume design for that present, Mr. Powell was nominated for best scenic design.
Mr. Powell would sometimes return to the stage in London and on Broadway. But most of his work was on movie, beginning in 1969 with Irving Lerner’s “The Royal Hunt of the Sun,” a historic drama about Spanish conquistadors battling Incas within the 16th century.
With Franklin Schaffner’s “Papillon” (1973), a narrative of prisoners on Devil’s Island in French Guiana, Mr. Powell outfitted Dustin Hoffman in small round-framed glasses and located methods to differentiate his look in uniform from that of different the prisoners, together with the one performed by Steve McQueen.
“I had to make him look as weedy as possible,” Mr. Powell stated in an interview with the British Film Institute in 2016. “He stood for four hours in a fitting room while I played around with making him seem to have narrow shoulders, and altering subtly the proportions to give him a completely different physical appearance.”
All three of the flicks for which Mr. Powell gained Oscars have been interval items.
Among the various stars within the solid of “Death on the Nile,” primarily based on an Agatha Christie novel and set in Egypt in 1937, was Bette Davis, with whom he met at her house early within the course of.
“They had a gin and tonic, or something, and she said, ‘Let’s go upstairs, you need to see what you’re working with,’” Mr. Rand stated. “She took off her clothes and stood there in her bra and panties.”
He added, “He said she had beautiful skin.”
For “Tess,” an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” Mr. Powell clothed the actors, together with Nastassja Kinski, in Victorian costume. On the blog The Film Experience, Claudio Alves wrote after Mr. Powell’s dying that he “showed remarkable attention to detail, nifty tailoring, a keen eye for finding beauty in the pastoral simplicity of the English countryside.”
Mr. Powell continued his affiliation with Mr. Polanski via the movies “Pirates” (1986) and “Frantic” (1988) and a stage manufacturing of “Amadeus” in Paris during which the director performed Mozart.
In 1984, Mr. Powell designed the costumes for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” Mr. Spielberg’s prequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” He adopted that in 1989 with “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” which paired Harrison Ford within the title function with Sean Connery as his father.
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who designed the costumes for “Raiders,” stated that when she first met Mr. Powell he provided his gratitude for creating the costume template for the Jones franchise.
“He knelt when he was introduced to me, looked up at me and said, ‘Thank you,’” stated Dr. Landis, chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design on the U.C.L.A. School of Theater, Film & Television. “How could I not want to marry that man?”
For “Last Crusade,” Mr. Powell clothed Mr. Connery in a three-piece Harris tweed go well with, bow tie and hat — a glance that he primarily based on his grandfather’s — to supply counterpoint to Mr. Ford’s leather-based jacket and fedora. When filming shifted from Venice to Petra, Jordan, Mr. Powell acknowledged that he had an issue.
“Sean has a thing about heat, and he sweats like a pig,” Mr. Powell stated within the B.F.I. interview. He added: “Sean said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to wear this Harris tweed in Petra.’ So what we had to do was photograph a length of the Harris tweed, then screen print it onto a thin cotton voile. It cost a king’s ransom!”
Mr. Powell’s different movie credit embrace Mr. Spielberg’s “Hook” (a retelling of the Peter Pan story during which the tresses of Mr. Hoffman, as Captain Hook, have been modeled on the wigs of King Charles II of Britain) and “Miss Potter,” starring Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter, the writer of the kids’s guide “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
No fast relations survive.
During the filming of “Death on the Nile,” a brand new scene was written, requiring a brand new costume for Mia Farrow. Mr. Powell had sufficient silk to make pajama pants however had nothing to make a prime from. As he wandered round, he encountered his tailor’s mom cooking paella and utilizing a striped linen that was lined in grease, garlic and olive oil.
“I thought there will be just enough to make a little waistcoat,” Mr. Powell stated in an interview with Mr. Lodwick of the V&A Museum in 2018. “So we boiled it and boiled it till it was sort of the color it was meant to be, and we whizzed up this very pretty little waistcoat.”