Even though it’s Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling that will attract fans to see Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, it is thanks to a talented group of people behind-the-scenes that will leave them wanting more.
Spanish-born Paco Delgado was tasked with creating costumes for the cast, including three of Hollywood’s biggest stars, for the fantasy film based on the popular novel by Madeleine L’Engle. The two time Academy Award-nominated costume designer worked alongside director Ava DuVernay on a project like no other he had done before.
“Working on this film was a different job to what I normally do since I mostly work on period pieces and some contemporary as well,” Spanish-born Delgado, whose credits include The Danish Girl and Les Miserables, told Latina.com. “In this case, we had to create a world that didn’t exist. So my mind was focused very much on abstract ideas like by bringing in different textures. I imagined what happens in the sky, how volcanoes erupt and the feeling of electrical waves. It was a very different process for me.”
With Winfrey, Kaling, and Witherspoon playing magical beings, a lot of thought had to go into what their unique look would encompass. Delgado, with the help of DuVernay and his team played around with ideas for each Mrs.
“We created a world for every one of the Mrses,” he explained. “Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, a really wise character, holds within herself all the knowledge of the universe including all the cultures from planet earth. So for her, I felt [her costumes] would be more ethnic somehow. So we borrowed from different cultural influences like those from Japan, China, South America and Africa.”
“For Mrs. Who, played by Oprah, I thought she would be much more about energy. She is supposed to be this star that disintegrated into a supernova who then was a warrior fighting the forces of evil in the universe. So she had to be pure energy, but also very much like a warrior. So I thought we could use metal and armor for her.”
“Then for Mrs. Whatsit, played by Reese Witherspoon, I thought since she’s so playful and she comes from a planet called Uriel---which is what we will call an ecological paradise---I thought about nature with flowers, plants, butterflies and fish in a fish pond.”
“I also looked at a lot of fashion, but not normal fashion but avant-garde.”
Delgado has collaborated with many name talent in the past and admits he couldn’t pick a favorite on this project. And even though someone like Winfrey yields a lot of power in the world, he viewed her simply as his colleague.
“I was excited to work with everyone,” he said. “Who wouldn’t be excited to work with Oprah? Or Reese who is one of the biggest actresses? Or Mindy who is so much fun? I can’t pick a favorite, I was really excited to work with everyone.
“I always say, ‘you can be excited to work with all these great people but you always have to remember they are your colleagues’ while working on a movie. They were all really wonderful to work with.”
As proud as he is of all the work he did with his team on costumes, he hopes the audience really captures what is at the heart of this film.
“What the film does is tell the story of a girl who has to go on this amazing journey that is partially a physical journey while searching for her dad,” Delgado explained. “But at the same time, the message of the film is that she’s going on a journey that is also internal. She has to overcome her fears and I think this message is very important as well.”