Saturday, January 20, 2018

Costume Designs for Sleeping Beauty

Marc Davis loved doing research for any given project he was involved with. All of these pages show his drawings. I imagine Marc had a whole bunch of books on medieval art and costumes nearby for inspiration as well as for historic accuracy.
These might be some of the first sketches he did for Sleeping Beauty during the early to mid 1950s.
After the production of Peter Pan most of his colleagues moved over to Lady and the Tramp.
But Marc skipped that film and instead began creating designs for Sleeping Beauty's minor characters, before focusing on the heroine as well as the villainess.
I love the simplicity in these drawings. Marc is already thinking about simple, uncluttered concepts that could be applied to full animation.

Here is a link to one of Marc's many color costume designs:


  1. I love seeing the less rendered, less perfectionist* side of Marc Davis. Gives some insight in how appeal is still maintained even in simplified sketches. Maybe these wouldn't have been the direction Davis would've gone with appeal for public consumption – I have no idea – but I find looking at the contrast between the finished work I'm used to and his loose studies incredibly instructive.

    *By the way, I don't know if "perfectionist" is the right adjective to describe Marc Davis. He may have been just near perfect without being perfectionist. (I know, I know, I'm falling into the trap of idealization.)

  2. I like the bat wings he puts on a lady's hat.
    Maila "Vampira" Nurmi said she modeled for some of Maleficent's preliminary designs, and she claims she was drawn with "cat ears." Unsure if that means actual cat ears on the character or on the hat.

  3. Also some of the costume drawings are giving me a deja vu. I think he might have been using R. Turner Wilcox's The Mode in Costume for reference (first printing 1942).

  4. Loved the article about the costume design for Sleeping Beauty! These details and the art of the costumes are truly impressive. I always appreciate creative projects and the craftsmanship that goes into them. And of course, after such a long and inspiring walk through art, a visit to this spa would be a great way to relax and give yourself some well-deserved pampering.