Research 1 - The Grand Budapest Hotel

by Nahye

Costume Design

Milena Canonero (Costume designer)  

Milena Canonero is an costume designer from Italy. She studied art, design history and costume design before move to England in 1960's. In London, she started her first work in small theatre, film production and met many directors at that time. As visiting the set of '2001:a Space Odyssey', she was introduced to its director Stanley Kubrick, who gave her her first film job as a costume designer with 'A Clockwork Orange' in 1971. Four years later she co-designed the beautiful costumes for 'Barry Lyndon' in 1975 which scooped her the first of her three Academy Awards.
'Works from Chariots of Fire(1981)' became her second Oscar win. She also worked for television series Miami Vice in 1986. In 2006, she won her third Oscar for Marie Antoinette.

Canonero was involved in The Grand Budapest Hotel from concept to realization. The goal was to immerse viewers into the Republic of Zubrowka during the interbellum. She also found some great partners in doing so. Prada made Joplin’s (Willem Dafoe) wonderfully detailed leather trench and Madame D.’s (Tilda Swinton) 21-piece luggage (as Louis Vuitton once did before them), and Fendi provided its signature mink embellishments to her Klimt-inspired coat. Apart from Klimt, photographers like Augustus Sand, Man Ray, George Hurrell, and painters like Kees van Dongen, Tamara de Lempicka and George Grosz served as inspiration. 

“The look of each actor has to have its raison d’être.” says Canonero to Vanity Fair. In this case, Tilda Swinton’s coat and Willem Dafoe’s Prada leather trench were important pieces for their characters. For Mr. Gustave that translated to the color of his uniforms.

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Production Design

Adam Stockhausen (Production designer)

Adam Stockhausen is American production designer. He has Theatre Art degree and Master of Fine Arts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best production designer for the film 12 Years a Slave (2013). He worked as an art director on Synecdoche (2008) and State of Play (2009). Also, he was production designer on The Switch (2010), Scream 4 (2011), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), 12 Years a Slave (2013) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). 

For The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen really start from the references, talking with Wes Anderson about how to make something from scratch. He jumped right into the project by studying the Photochrome postcard collection at the Library of Congress, and once he joined the production in Gorlitz, the easternmost town in Germany, with its Renaissance period buildings, he was hooked.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was his second work with Wes Anderson. He build an actual model of he hotel, the hillside, the funicular, the pastel-coloured town, the Alpine observatory, the bobsled run and ski chase. The opening sequence is comprised of several miniatures in different scales patched together later. We can see the handmade quality of this film, which bears the stamp of his stop-motion work with its stunning patchwork of designs, colors, fabrics, and decor. He tried to present most of things with hand made works more than digital way. He said 'It's bright, vivid, and poppy but not electric' about this film. 

The place of the Grand Budapest is old department store in Germany. When they took over that building, they found that basic structure was just what they wanted. Also, interior of the hotel lobby is actually this Art Nouveau style. The hotel looks bleak in some way on the film and Adam mentioned about it on the interview. He said it is brutalist architecture generally, however, there were characteristics of East Germany and he was considered about these details. He added hand painting stuffs and signs to make a feature of the space. The hotel’s pool and spa is actually an early-1900s bathhouse, discovered in Görlitz, Germany during production. The hotel restaurant was set in a performance space.

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