The Harry Potter movies are lauded for their loyalty to the original books, their impressive visual effects, and their instantly recognizable music, but one major factor of production often goes unnoticed: the costumes. The Hogwarts uniform has been spoofed, replicated, and cosplayed into oblivion since the first film debuted in 2001, and it's one of the crucial elements that immerses viewers in J.K. Rowling's cinematic universe.
While costumer Jany Temime was unaware of the Harry Potter canon before she began working on the Prisoner of Azkaban film, she enjoyed collaborating alongside the actors who knew the material inside and out. While her name may not be as instantly recognizable as that of Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson, the pieces produced by Temime and the rest of the costuming team were of inimitable importance to the beloved series.
Book purists have long lamented Daniel Radcliffe’s blue eyes. Harry Potter is canonically known for having his mother’s green eyes, and this coloring serves as an important plot element. This difference was hardly the result of laziness, however - the first film's costumers provided Radcliffe with green contact lenses, but they were "excruciatingly painful” for him to wear.
He was only 11 years old during filming for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so making him wear painful contacts would have been unduly cruel. His eyes remained blue in the subsequent films, as changing them to green would have proved a continuity issue.
The story of Luna Lovegood's casting is a Potterhead's dream come true. Following a hospitalization for an eating disorder when she was 11 years old, Evanna Lynch began exchanging letters with J.K. Rowling. Three years later, the actress and Harry Potter superfan auditioned for the role of Luna Lovegood in the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
As a devoted fan of the books, Lynch took her role seriously and was very involved in her character’s costumes. In addition to sleeping in her hair extensions, she also helped costume designer Jany Temime make and select her own jewelry and costumes - she even helped make her infamous Gryffindor lion head.
Prior to joining the Harry Potter cast, Helena Bonham Carter appeared in many period pieces and historical dramas. Thanks to this background, she was experienced in wearing corsets and tresses, and she was enthusiastic about making her character’s appearance as dramatic and extreme as possible.
Her costume was made to look elegant and medieval, as Bellatrix Lestrange's family is one of the oldest and most esteemed of all wizarding families. Temime went so far as to say, “I gave her a corset because the minute that you strangle her, she feels good.”
Temime never knew a character's trajectory when she designed their costumes, as the books were still being written when most of the movies premiered. The final book was released ahead of the fifth film, at which point Rowling revealed to Temime that Dumbledore was gay.
Temime had already designed Dumbledore's wardrobe for the previous two films, and she claimed if she had known his orientation sooner, she likely would have made different choices, though she didn't specify what they would have been.