Costume designer Manuel Albarran worked closely with Angelina Jolie, pictured here, to deliver the best in costume design for the upcoming Disney film Maleficent. (Disney)
Living Out Loud was able to talk in an exclusive teleconference with Manuel Albarran, the costume designer of Disney’s latest feature Maleficent. He is known for Metal Couture and has been featured around the world for his craft.
Albarran’s work has been seen notably on singer Lady Gaga for her performances and videos such as “Bad Romance.” He talks about his work, the designs for Maleficent‘s and the collaboration with Angelina Jolie.
Question: Manuel, can you tell us a bit about being approached for the project of Maleficent and being a part of it?
Manuel Albarran: It was an inspiration to work on the project. It was a surprise for me. I felt really, really, happy to be there. They were also happy to work with me. I was there because it was part of my work. I think that was one of the important things–to have the sort of vision they had. I believe I was there because my work was a part of the vision. The vision they had to bring to life, I was really excited to be a part of.
Q: You’re known for Metal Couture and have traveled the world. For readers who may not know what exactly it is, how can you describe your craft?
Manuel: It’s a form of jewelry and fashion. It’s more like a form of art, really. It’s another kind of medium with metal that’s different than just jewelry. It’s fashion pieces made of metal.
Q: In an interview with make-up and special effects artist, Rick Baker, he talked about how Angelina Jolie participated in creating the looks for Maleficent. What was her involvement with you and your team?
Manuel: We had meetings with her because we had to understand her passion. We worked so many times with her to understand (her vision). She was all the time giving us so many ideas, mainly for the character. She had to do that. So we had a relationship during the movie with her for developing the accessories and weapons. It was a big thing.
Q: What attracted you to metal work in fashion?
Manuel: I love it when I think of the designs. I love it complicated–a challenge to me. I love it, the texture, the shiny. To do another kind of thing in fashion, I always try to do new things in fashion. I love metal and to combine it with different materials. You like something and then you go and get that and you want it more. It’s a challenge to achieve whatever is in my mind. It’s not easy sometimes but that’s why I like it.
Q: The world of Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent is one of the most iconic from Disney. What was the most exciting thing for you in your contribution to this picture?
Manuel: I think the whole world of the movie was really interesting. I enjoyed working on the design and the other thing was to work on the tiny things (too)–all the layers. The colors, the setting, the materials like leather and feathers. I was excited to work on that. My favorite piece to work on was the battle piece.
Disney’s Maleficent opens May 30th.