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Milena Canonero, a life dedicated to costumes - Grace
Milena Canonero, a life dedicated to costumes - Grace

The Italian costume designer collects a Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement in Berlin: from A Clockwork Orange to the Grand Budapest Hotel, we tell you her story

Many of the characters you fell in love with in the cinema were dressed by her: Milena Canonero, born in 1946, nine Oscar nominations e four statuettes won, is one of the costume designers most famous in Hollywood. So much so that, in these days, the Berlinale 2017, the Film Festival scheduled in the German capital from 9 to 19 February, will pay tribute to his career with an honorary Golden Bear. How many years of work, alongside some of the greatest authors and directors, from Stanley Kubrick (with which he made his debut in A Clockwork Orange in 1971), a Francis Ford Coppola And Wes Anderson, Milena is one of the most appreciated and celebrated Italian names overseas.

Known for its hyper-realistic taste and the obsessive attention to detail, Milena Canonero is an interpreter of the best Italian figurative tradition, like the set designer Dante Ferretti and the costume designer Piero Tosi. We tell you some curiosities about his long career, from the relationship with the directors he worked with to the working method he uses to recreate an era on the big screen.

In Marie Antoinette's wardrobe

In 2007 Canonero won the Oscar for Marie Antoinette, the costume drama directed by Sofia Coppola with Kirsten Dunst in the role of the protagonist. The fantastic wardrobe that made us fall in love with the film is historically reconstructed, the result of a long work of documentation, but it does not lack some contemporary touches, such as the sneakers hidden in the wardrobe, which instead refer to the director's desire to actualize the portrait of the capricious - but still very young - queen. On the other hand, combining elements from different historical periods to create a personal mix has always been part of the Canonero "method", as demonstrated by the excellent debut alongside Stanley Kubrick with Clockwork Orange.

The costumes of Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoniette 2
, who gave her her first Oscar in 1976, and Shining (1980). In particular in Barry Lyndon, the costumes play a fundamental role: in their realization, Canonero, in tandem with the costume designer Ulla-Brit Soderlund, modifies authentic clothes of the 18th century, recreating the original lines with skill in detail, after having traveled far and wide to Europe to study the original miniatures of the time, at the suggestion of the director himself.

A workshop of forty people works to costumes and wigs, moving simultaneously with the shooting from England to Ireland and vice versa.

Costumes from Stanley Kubrick's films

Arancia Meccanica
The train to Darjeeling (2007) and Grand Budapest Hotel (2015), the Italian costume designer has given shape to the colorful and exquisitely retro aesthetic universe of the American director.

For the Grand Budapest Hotel, for example, the Canonero is inspired by the paintings of Gustav Klimt, while for Tilda Swinton's costumes she refers to the wardrobe of the eclectic heiress Peggy Guggenheim.

Costumes from Wes Anderson's films

Grand Budapest Hotel 2
Grand Budapest Hotel
Grand Budapest Hotel
Grand Budapest Hotel
Grand Budapest Hotel 3
Grand Budapest Hotel
Il treno per il Darjeeling
The train to Darjeeling
Il treno per il Darjeeling 2
The train to Darjeeling
Le avventure acquatiche di Steve Zissou
The aquatic adventures of Steve Zissou

40 years of successful films

If you want to recover Milena Canonero's work, you will be spoiled for choice depending on the era and the settings you prefer: from the Harlem of the Twenties and Thirties of Cotton Club (1984) to La mia Africa with Meryl Streep (1985), passing through The Godfather - Part III (1990) to Carnage (2011), his filmography spans over forty years of top-level cinema and gives us a thousand ways to immerse ourselves in totally unknown worlds.

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