How we created Wednesday Addams’ new fashion it girl

Wednesday Addams has favored the same black-and-white palette and braided hairstyle since Charles Addams first drew the creepy, goofy girl in a 1938 New Yorker cartoon. But WednesdayNetflix and Tim Burton’s take on the character have proven the teenager is far from stuck in a style rut.

The supernatural series stars Jenna Ortega as teenage Wednesday, who now attends the same boarding school where her parents, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez Addams (Luis Guzmán), fell in love. She must learn to harness her psychic abilities while juggling schoolwork, uncovering a conspiracy that dates back centuries, and opening her heart to new possibilities.

Within 12 days of its debut, it had landed at number three on Netflix’s list of most-watched English-language series, with over 752 million hours watched worldwide.

Say Wednesday going viral is an understatement: on TikTok, it’s hitting the trendy style, makeup and dance trifecta (even Lady Gaga is getting in on the action). It’s a sartorial kismet: Fashion is having a soft-goth moment, with recent shows from Givenchy, Rodarte, Alexander McQueen and Valentino tapping into the timeless aesthetic.

Her look was created by Colleen Atwood, who won four Oscars for her work on Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, Alice in Wonderland and fantastic beasts and where to find them. “At first it’s like, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’ How many stripes can you have in your life?” Atwood says of Wednesday’s aversion to color.

Atwood, who has collaborated with Burton on more than a dozen projects, says the juxtaposition of different textures is key to Wednesday’s rich and varied wardrobe, “A shiny texture next to a cotton waffle weave or a knit. Use different neck shapes to separate and define a chart. A cropped leather jacket with a turtleneck or a plaid tank top over a button-up shirt with an exaggerated collar is a perfect example of this clothing direction.

Before Wednesday is sent to Nevermore Academy, her underdog status at a regular American high school is highlighted in her closet. Wednesday’s black floral-print dress deliberately stands out against the sea of ​​pastels in the opening scene. However, the contemporary pieces of her spare-time attire at Nevermore Academy “immediately modernize her and put her in a more approachable dynamic.” Soft hoodies and platform sneakers sit side by side with regulation uniforms. “I thought it was great for the kids to have real-world elements with their uniforms, so they weren’t restricted,” Atwood says.

An aversion to anything outside the black-and-white wheelhouse also applies to Wednesday’s uniform, and the Atwood team “ended up hand-filtering those scratches into their uniform, which which gave her a lot of life that she might not have had otherwise”. The pre-existing options lacked the nuance needed to pop on camera, and this is one of many custom builds worn by Ortega.

Wednesday.  (L to R) Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Otinger, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Naomi j Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka, Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay in Wednesday Episode 103.  cr.  ??  2022
Moosa Mostafa as Eugene Otinger, Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Naomi J Ogawa as Yoko Tanaka and Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay (Photo: Vlad Cioplea/Netflix)

Another is the wetsuits worn during the Poe Cup canoe race on Wednesday, her roommate Enid (Emma Myers) and their teammates. “It was a challenge because it was very cold and the girls had to wear them in the water with wetsuits,” she says. Atwood relied on Edward Scissorhands (the first film she collaborated on with Burton) and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman ears from Return of Batman (designed by Bob Ringwood and Mary Vogt): “It was a tribute to the Tim Burtons past of our lives.”

In addition to bespoke suits, Atwood incorporated off-the-shelf and vintage pieces. “I figured I’d probably end up making it,” she recalled of the gorgeous Rave ‘N Dance dress, which Thing used her five-finger cut to acquire from Uriah’s Heap, the local antique store. In fact, Atwood found the dress at the Alaïa boutique in London, which was love at first sight. “I knew it. I said, ‘It’s the dress.'”

While she had used this type of nylon fabric in dance costumes before, she didn’t know Ortega’s routine: “That choreography she did and the dress was such a good match. It was one of those things that happens in the best possible way.

Hair and makeup are equally crucial in bringing this new version of Wednesday Addams to life in this contemporary setting.

Wednesday Makeup artist and hairstylist Tara McDonald’s goal was to take this character and “make it current” and “gothic, but not entirely gothic.” For Wednesday’s everyday look, McDonald avoided using too much foundation, which was “sheer-based so we could see her freckles.”

Wednesday.  (L to R) Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair in Wednesday Episode 102.  cr.  Vlad Ciopléa/Netflix??  2022
Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams and Emma Myers as Enid Sinclair (Photo: Vlad Cioplea/Netflix)

McDonald did make-up tests to land the right lip color between Ortega’s busy schedule of costume fittings, rehearsals, fencing and cello lessons. “I never wanted it to be lipstick. She’s in school, so I wanted that more bitten fresh plum lip,” McDonald explains. “I used MAC Nightmoth Lip Pencil mixed with some Doctor Paw Paw Sheer Balm.” The tint has sold out worldwide, which is no surprise considering nearly 110 million TikTok users have already sought out the beauty look. of the teenager (“there will soon be more in stock”, she promises).

McDonald’s gave Ortega a smokier eye for that now-famous dance scene to show that despite her reluctance to attend prom, she made an effort. Still, the biggest change was changing the signature braids for a different take on an Alexa Chung-inspired braid, pairing Wednesday’s “edgy cool girl bangs” with Chung’s contemporary “edgy cool girl” look. .

While Wednesday’s references are relevant, Gwendoline Christie, as Nevermore director Larissa Weemss is rooted in mid-century imagery. A French poster of The birds with Tippi Hadren, in the London flat rented by Atwood, corresponded to Atwood’s vision for this authoritarian character.

“There are people who embrace glamor no matter where they are,” Atwood says of Weems. “Whether in a small town or in Paris, you see them on the street, very chic and glued.” Christie recently said Stylist that this is “the first time I’ve felt beautiful on screen”, and Atwood enjoyed working with the game of thrones star. “She has an intuitive sense of how to wear clothes. Every time there’s a moment of stillness from her, she’s in exactly the right pose for the dress, which is also a character thing.

With Hedren, McDonald watched Kim Novak vertigo styling. Christie wore a wet wig (curlers or rollers are used while hair is wet) every night, then brushed back to create a 50s bun. “Bright red lips, arched eyebrows, pale complexion with rosy pink cheeks and bright red nails” tap into Hitchcock’s blonde aesthetic.

Wednesday.  Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Adams in Wednesday's Episode 105.  cr.  Vlad Ciopléa/Netflix??  2022
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Adams (Photo: Vlad Cioplea/Netflix)

Morticia is another timeless sartorial expert in the Addams Family. Atwood and McDonald have previously worked with Catherine Zeta-Jones (on Chicago and daddy’s army, respectively), who plays the glamorous matriarch. McDonald notes that the Oscar-winning actress “was so prepared, as always,” arriving with waist-length extensions, fake eyelashes, fake nails she wanted to use, and already dyed black hair. McDonald added purples and plums to their palette as they “wanted to get away from the original Morticia a bit with the red lips and black and gray eyes”. McDonald’s uses Chantecaille’s “Happy” cheek balm as a finishing touch to take “that hard edge.”

Atwood made some prototypes for the Morticia dress, “But I kept coming back to the one we ended up using because it had the right kind of drape on the fabric.” Jones arrived at the fitting in Romania with Morticia-ready hair and lip color, noting her preparation: “When you do the fitting, you know who that person will be.”

While mother and daughter don’t dress alike – aside from their penchant for black – it’s easy to see why these characters have endured as beloved figures and style icons. “This is the first time that this generation was going to know Wednesday. The other is 30 years old, and the one before is 60 years old. We had the ability to create a new Wednesday,” McDonald explains.

From the more than 170 million views on TikTok, sold out products and fashion guides, it’s safe to say that Wednesday Addams is still a style icon.

Wednesday is streaming on Netflix now

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