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Ruth Myers Talks The Golden Compass Costumes

Published February 5, 2007 in Movie News
By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema.
The Golden Compass The Golden Compass

Ruth Myers designed the costumes for The Golden Compass. With star Nicole Kidman, who looks glamorous in anything, Myers let the clothing work for the actress.

Myers Costumes for The Golden Compass


"Mrs. Coulter, I wanted to essentially give you the sense of being the most glamorous woman in the world but I didn't want it to be loud glamour," said Myers. "So I had to go back and think what I thought the most beautiful looking women were."

Eva Green plays Sarafina, the witch, another joy to dress. "This is Sarafina who is the sort of pure shade of night," Myers demonstrated. " She has got this image, she is sort of your dream of midnight, or my dream of midnight."

Like the production design and prop masters, Myers had the mandate to combine real elements and a wide window of early 20th century time periods. "Somewhat between '20s Edwardian, '40s all mixed in. Yes, that was the idea so that every time I thought I was going towards a period, I pushed it another way so that you got a sense of what is this. We've taken modern things and played with them. We made period things, we moved them around. Also, in a world of elegance, by the time you get to the next book they talk about this world, our world. Nobody wears jeans and in this film, there isn't one pair of jeans. Women don't wear trousers. So we're living in a world that I'd quite like to live in."


She also got to produce the clothes in house. "One of the great joys actually about this book has been that we have been given the luxury of being able to make stuff ourselves. One of the reasons that you rent is because you neither have the time nor the facilities to make. My department has made something like 600 costume, we've painted you'll see, we've manufactured, we've done all sorts of extraordinary things. I myself am enormously proud of the work that we've done and I'm completely overwhelmed by what we've been able to do. It's been because we've all worked together. I've not had to go somewhere to see what they were doing, to somewhere else. In many ways, it's also made it economically a very viable thing because we've all been here together doing it. So although in the beginning, a lot of us thought it was going to be very expensive, in the end I think it's been a very, very, for what has come out which is huge, it's been a very economical way of doing it. And really, it doesn't look like anything else you've ever seen. We've not had to go and hire stuff. We've been given free range of what we want."

Myers played with fur to create some of the unique designs. "There's a lot of talk in the book of fur and I was very interested with the idea of actually not using very much real fur. I like the idea that I could play with other furs and again create a fur that we didn't know. So you can only see bits of them here. You possibly see one of Mrs. Coulter's coats on the screen and things like that but these sort of fur bits that we've really worked into."

The Golden Compass comes to theatres on December 7th.

For movie stills, full synopsis and addition info, go to The Golden Compass Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of New Line Cinema.
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