Immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the Copenhagen (Denmark) of the 1920s took costume director Paco Delgado over a year of preparation. Time he spent visiting antique dealers, touring the markets of the European capitals, and diving into photographic and pictorial archives of Einar and Gerda Wegener, the painters' marriage that inspired the film The Danish Girl.
Einar Wegener, played by Eddie Redmayne, was the first man to undergo a sex change operation, and as a woman he adopted the name Lili Elbe.
"One of the most difficult challenges was being faithful to history and being respectful to the real Lili, she was not a fictional character, but someone who existed," Delgado shared with Harper's Bazaar magazine. "Our starting point was to think that Lili was trapped in a body that did not belong to her, that is why we created such a rigid wardrobe at the beginning of the film" she pointed out about Redmayne's clothing, suits in dark colors, with very high necks and structured.
The director of the film, Tom Hooper, once again trusts Eddie Redmayne as the main actor and Delgado at the head of the dressing room, as in Les Misérables, a film for which the Spanish was already nominated for an Oscar in 2013.
Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in a scene from The Danish Girl.
The fabrics that predominate in the scenes located in Copenhagen are wool, linen and cotton, but when the couple moves to Paris, lighter and more delicate materials take center stage, such as silk or chiffon in warmer colors. A very visual transformation that illustrates the physical evolution of the protagonist as a woman.
Another of Delgado's challenges was to get original clothing of the time, not only because at that time the Europeans, especially women, were much smaller, also due to the destruction of World War II and the quality of the textiles of the years. 20, embroidered with so much rhinestones that "they give the fabric a lot of weight and it tear," he told the Efe agency.
The solution, which included extensive research, was to buy pieces from antique dealers, take them apart and make new clothes for the characters, respecting the fabrics and prints of the time.
For the protagonist of the film, Delgado only has words of thanks: "There are not many like him, he throws himself at the character as few do," and he shares that it was a pleasure to return to work with him since he contributed many ideas. "The actor should always think that the costumes are helping him create the character," he said.
Her work on The Danish Girl has not only earned her the Oscar nomination, for which she competes against the movies Carol, Cinderella, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant; Delgado also chooses to win the Bafta Awards and the Costume Designers Guild Award.