Make It Sew: The Costume Blog – The Creators

Colleen Atwood


Colleen Atwood has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design ten times and won Academy Awards for the movies Chicago in 2002, Memoirs of a Geisha in 2006, and Alice in Wonderland in 2011. Atwood has collaborated several times with directors Tim Burton, Rob Marshall and Jonathan Demme.

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. She worked as an assistant to a costume designer and eventually earned her first film credit for A Little Sex.

An important turning point in her career came when, through the production designer 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.

Selected Design Credits

2012 Arrow (TV series)

2012 Snow White and the Huntsman


2012 Dark Shadows

2010 Alice in Wonderland

Brooke Hagel-illustrator-red queen-alice in wonderland-colleen atwood

2009 Nine

2007 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

2004 Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

2003 Big Fish

2002 Chicago

2001 The Tick (TV series) – Pilot (2001)

2001 Planet of the Apes


1999 Sleepy Hollow

1996 Mars Attacks!

1990 Edward Scissorhands




5 Responses to Make It Sew: The Costume Blog – The Creators

  1. ams says:

    Great idea to show actual costume designers (like yourself) from the movies, TV, etc…. Any links to official sites for them? Be interested in seeing concepts and designs. Inspiring!


  2. djuby says:

    Don’t know how official this is, but the images are pretty outstanding.

  3. Myro says:

    When one considers how often Tim Burton has cast Johnny Depp and RL wife Helena Bonham Carter in his movies, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise to find he rehires off-camera talent as well. Colleen Atwood has a distinctive look.

  4. Herr D says:

    Any relation to SF/F author M. Atwood?

  5. djuby says:

    Did a quick Google and I can’t find any indication that they are related.