Creating the World of Magic Through Costumes

Jany Temime at the 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in February 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for CDG

When I was four years old — I was designing for dolls all the time. That’s all I wanted to do. My parents were designers and had a ready-to-wear company in Paris, so I grew up in the studio. The idea of working for films was difficult, so I really had to fight for it, but I did what I wanted. You always do what you want, when you want, if you’re determined enough to achieve it.” – Harry Potter costume designer, Jany Temime

These inspirational words belong to costume designer Jany Temime, who came to the Harry Potter film series during the third film, “The Prisoner of Azkaban“, and designed costumes for the remaining six films. This fashion designer, who grew up in Paris in the 1960s and 1970, spent her Saturdays at the studio of her parents’ ready-to-wear company, designing sweaters on the side for pocket cash, would eventually create the dark world of magic in the most world-beloved series – Harry Potter. Did she have any idea of the magnitude of its popularity?  “At the time, I didn’t realize how important it was. Thank God, because if [I had] I would have been completely paralyzed and incapable of doing anything. It’s now that I realize what a nerve it [hit].

Interviewed for Fashionista’s series, “How I’m Making It,” Temime shares her story of her love of fashion and costume design and how her life changed when she joined the Harry Potter series as its costume designer (via Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón, who had seen her work and wanted to work with her). The third film was pivotal in the series and very much darker than the previous two; Temime had the chance to change things up, starting with the wizard uniforms: “I started doing colors, then I wanted to [use] a [wizard’s robe], which was really glamorous — something they would put on and feel immediately special. So, we designed the [robe], and I put a hood on the back of it. I put a collar inside [so] that you could see the houses and the diversification of the kids in a big crowd. Then there’s the ties. I made them silk because I thought they made a better knot.”

I read every Harry Potter book and saw every Harry Potter movie with my boys. To know that in a week, on June 26, Harry Potter will officially celebrate 20 years, brings me back to my days as a mother of younger boys. And to hear the backstory from the perspective of its costume designer is truly magical!

Photo: Harry Potter/Facebook

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