“Thought to be situated somewhere in the Pyrenees, visitors speak of the breath-taking beauty of a chateau surrounded by formal gardens and lawns created out of the mountainous landscape by magic.”— Description of the landscape around Beauxbatons
I’ve made this costume twice before. Each one better than the last. However, there is still much room for improvement especially in my fabric choices. So as I prepare to make my third version, I thought I’d do another costume study and share with you all my findings.
Whilst doing my own research on the costumes, I came across these photos of historical French uniforms that SCREAM Beauxbatons to me. The first is the French WW1 soldier uniform. The second is the French Olympic team at the 1976 Olympics.
The hats of the Beauxbatons uniform were designed and made by Philip Treacy.
The hats are made from a base of Buckram, stretched and formed over a wooden hat block. Wire is placed around the brim and the edge to help it keep its shape.
Fabric is then stretched and sewn over the buckram frame, leaving a seam line that runs down the back of the hat from the tip of the point all the way down.
The fabric appears to be a felted wool in a light blue shade. It is the same fabric that the coats are made from.
Hair is worn in a low ponytail in the back with face framing curls and a deep side part at the front. The ponytail is wrapped in a smooth blue band.
I haven’t been able to find the EXACT fabric that the uniform is made from but from all the interviews I’ve read and watched given by costume designer Jany Temime, it’s always been said it was some sort of silk. Judging by the texture in closeups, I’m assuming that it’s a crepe silk.
“The fabric for the Beauxbatons uniforms was deliberately chosen to be ill-suited to the weather at Hogwarts! Though it was out of place, Costume Designer Jany Temime also knew “that wild, silky light blue, which moved so well, would stand out and catch the boys’ eyes.””@wbtourlondon – Instagram
The dress has a high, curved waist that sits just below the bust.
There is one collar on the dress. It lies flat and flush with the bodice. It has long points that hang in the center front with the tip of the point being in line with the bottom button.
There are three darts on the bodice front under the bust. They taper evenly out toward to the bust. They begin at approximately 1cm spaced apart at the bottom and 2cm toward the bust. They are around 5-6cm in length. I’ve seen the skirt seam line up with any 1 of these three darts so as long as it’s the same dart on both sides I don’t think it particularly matters which one it is.
The dress “closes” in the center front and has 4 buttons evenly spaced. The buttons are quite small and peculiar in shape. They’re lopsided pyramids or squished diamonds, the same colour blue as the lining of the skirt and cape. I estimate the buttons to be no longer than 1.5cm across at their widest point.
I put closes in air quotes because I don’t believe this button panel to be functional due to the lack of actual buttonholes. I believe the panel is either partially permanently stitched closed with a snap or similar closure under the top button at the neck OR entirely permanently sewn closed and the collar splits in the back where the zip goes.
Which leads me to my next observation, the back zip. You can see quite clearly the outline of a zip in the back of the costumes at Universal Studios. I don’t know why they’ve done this when there is a perfectly good seam in the under-arm where they could have put it. I think putting it in the back looks janky and adds unnecessary seams to the back of the skirt and if it does go all the way to the top, with the front buttons being a false closure, then it will also cut the collar in half. UNNECESSARY!
Speaking of the back, there appears to be two darts in the back bodice either side of the center back seam. I can’t work out how high up they go due to a lack of clear photos, but I assume they wouldn’t be much higher than the bust darts in the front.
The skirt is made up of seven panels. It is an a-line style that is super fitted through the waist and flares out toward the bottom. It has two seams in the front and back which match up with the dart placement in the bodice, and two side seams which match up with the side seams of the bodice.
As mentioned above, there is a zip in the back, this zip splits the back panel of the skirt in half.
The skirt is meant to sit just above the knee.
The skirt in lined in a dark blue fabric which is sewn exactly the same as the out side skirt. The hem of the dark blue skirt lining sits about 6cms higher than the hem of the light blue.
The hems are different from the film to the Universal Studios ones. The film ones have a 3cm hem that has been sewn with invisible stitching. The Universal Studios ones have a 1cm rolled hem with visible stitching.
The sleeves are long and loose fitting. They have one seam running down from the under-arm to wrist. Where the sleeve inserts in to the bodice, it is gathered along the top edge creating a little poof effect at the top.
The sleeve ends at the wrist and has two cuffs with elongated points.
The under cuff is made from a denim blue coloured fabric. The fabric has a pronounced diagonal weave to it that gives it a slight stripped texture.
The upper cuff is made from different fabric depending on whether it’s one from the film or Universal Studios. The film one appears to be some sort of brocade/jacquard. It has a mixture of deep blue, light blue and silver threads woven together to create rectangular bumps. The Universal Studios fabric appears to be two layers of fabric, the under layer seams to be the same fabric the dress is made from and the outer layer, a layer of blue floral lace.
The cuffs close together on the opposite side of the wrist as to where the underarm seam sits. There is a split roughly 10cms long that starts at the wrist and goes straight up the sleeve. I can’t quite make out what the closure for the cuffs are but it looks as though it’s either snaps or hook and eyes.
The cape is made from the same fabric as the dress. The outer layer is light blue and it is lined in the same dark blue fabric that the skirt is. In some reference photos, the lining is attached to the light blue and in others it’s completely free from the light blue.
Once again the hems are different from film to Universal Studios versions. There is no visible hem on the film versions, this makes me think that the dark blue is attached to the light in these ones, and under stitched to create that nice, crisp edge on the light blue.
The Universal ones vary. Some have a rolled hem, some are attached same as the film ones and some are a combination of both.
There are no seams in the cape leading me to believe that it is a circle. It would also explain why it’s longer in the front and higher on the bicep. The front and back of the cape sits on the natural waistline. The sides of the cape sit a few centimeters above the elbow.
The main feature of the cape are the two collars. These are made from the same fabrics that the cuffs on the dress use. The under collar is the longer, pointier of the two. It’s two long points, point away from the center front and are in line with the bottom button of the blouse.
The upper collar is a normal shirt collar though the points are slightly exaggerated in size. It’s size reminds me of collars from the 70s.
The cape closes in the neck hollow and my best guess it that it’s via some sort of hook and eye or snap.
The blazers make an appearance twice in the film, first when the Goblet of Fire picks the champions and lastly when the schools gather together to watch the final task.
It’s made from the same light blue fabric as the dress and is trimmed in a dark blue bias which is the same colour as the lining of the skirt/cape.
It is very form fitting. The bottom front edge is curved and there is a dove tail split in the center back. The sleeves have a split in the wrist, roughly 6cms long. This is covered in the dark blue bias.
It appears to be lined in same light blue fabric as well.
It has three large toggle style buttons in the front. These appear to be larger versions of the buttons on the dress.
There is a small pocket over the left breast. It has the Beauxbatons “B” embroidered in gold and blue thread. The top on the pocket is finished in the same blue bias as the rest of the Jacket.
The coats are in the film for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. It’s when Harry is trying to find a girl to ask to the ball, a group of Beuxbatons students wearing the coats walk past in the background. Luckily, Universal Studios has the coats as part of their winter wear for their performers.
The coats look as though there made from a felted wool, the same shade of blue as the hats. The collar and cuffs are also a felted wool, just a few shades darker.
There are four evenly spaced, visible buttons on the front of the coat. These are the same style of buttons as the dress just larger. There are then 3 circular buttons evenly spaced under them. I assume these button to the inside of the coat to help it lay flat when closed but they aren’t visible at all when the coat is closed.
The coat itself is the same length as the dress underneath. It has a wide hem along the bottom which has been sewn with invisible stitching.
There are two bust/waist darts on either side of the coat which allows the front to be made from one panel.
On the back of the coat, the skirt is pleated at the waist. I can make out two box pleats on either side of the center back. There is a belt that covers the top of the pleats at the waist. It buttons on either side using the same buttons as the front of the coat.
The coats have a built in, elbow length cape which splits in the back. Similar to the silk cape, there are no visible seams so I believe this one to also be cut from a circle. The cape has a 3cm hem with no lining. It has been sewn to the inside using a stitch that is invisible to the outside.
The cuffs are the same style as the ones on the dress only a single layer this time. The collar is the same cut as the one on the dress, but the points point outward from center front like the under collar on the cape.
Made from a light blue leather. They have a circular cut-out on the top of the hand. They fasten at the wrist on the top of the hand with a a silver fastener. I can’t work out if this is a functional button or if it actually has snaps underneath the button.
The edges are finished in a dark blue colour with visible edge stitching in the same light blue colour of the leather.
Black sheer stockings
Pointed toe Oxford style shoes. The main part of the shoe is a light blue leather with the toe, tongue and heel being a dark blue leather. The heel has a very 1930s shape to it and isn’t very high probably around 5cms high.
The tongue and laces of the shoe are covered in leather tassels which are the same blue leather as the tongue. There are nine tassels and they have a space in the center at the top for the laces to thread through and tie together.
- Wizarding Wardrobes with Philip Treacy – The hat maker from the films walks you through (quickly) how the hats from the film were made.
- I made the Harry Potter Beauxbatons hat using this weird trick – Ilona Millinery shows you how to make a Beauxbatons hat in this easy to follow tutorial.
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