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Despite its mixed reviews and underwhelming box
office sales, the movie musical “Nine,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson (on set at right) and Brown Shoe Co. fave Fergie, has been racking up award nominations, including nods from the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Satellite Awards, both for best costume design.
The film — directed by Rob Marshall of “Chicago”— also has been nominated for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy by the Golden Globes. Insider caught up with costume designer Colleen Atwood, a two-time Academy Award winner for “Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” to talk movies, shoes and the challenges of working with not one, but seven leading ladies.
“It was everything that everyone thinks it would be, but not quite that bad,” Atwood joked. “[The actresses] were thrown into a whole new thing, so they were nervous. [But] the thing that was cool about it was that there were so many of them and they were all challenged in new ways, and they sort of united behind it in a really positive way.”
Since none of the women were professional dancers, the functional aspects of the shoes (including the one above) became a critical element of the production. “The shoes are so important in a movie like this that sometimes it seems like all you’re doing is shoes,” Atwood said. “Because of people wanting to have higher heels and then realizing that it’s crazy to try to do the performance in them, we had to have two or three different heel heights in the same style to make it all work.”
Atwood said that to outfit the ladies of “Nine” she used a mix of vintage pieces, ballroom shoes and custom heels by Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin — who just happen to be among her favorite designers.
“You’ve got to bow down to the Manolos and Louboutins and Jimmy Choos of this world,” she said. “And Brian Atwood does such great shoes. There are great shoes coming out of Italy now in a very showgirl kind of way. It’s a fun, creative area, and Ferragamo is always a cornerstone in that world, for sure.”
Next up, Atwood said she’s off to Venice to work on “The Tourist,” starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Then she teams up once again with Tim Burton — having previously worked on a number of Burton’s films, including “Edward Scissorhands” — for his take on the 1970s vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows.” “It’s really the most fun a person can have because Tim really lets you do your thing,” she said.