Yvonne Blake, 'Superman' Costume Designer, Dies at 78

The Hollywood Reporter | 7/17/2018 | Rhett Bartlett
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The British-born costume designer won an Oscar for her work on the 1971 historical drama 'Nicholas and Alexandra.'

Yvonne Blake, designer of the iconic costumes for the 1978 box-office hit Superman, has died. She was 78.

Blake - Tuesday - Madrid - Spokesperson - Film

Blake died Tuesday in Madrid, a spokesperson for the Spanish Film Academy told The Hollywood Reporter. She had been the academy's president since October 2016 but suffered a stroke in January.

She shared an Academy Award with Antonio Castillo for the three-hour-plus 1971 costume drama Nicholas and Alexandra, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. "I suppose all one can say is that if it wasn't for the Russian Revolution, I wouldn't be here," Blake said when accepting her award.

Work - Norman - Jewison - Jesus - Christ

Her work could also be seen in Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ Superstar (1973); Robin and Marian (1976), starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn; the 1976 war film The Eagle Has Landed, and Milos Forman's Goya's Ghost (2006).

But her most recognizable work was on Richard Donner's Superman, for which she adapted the comic book design of the superhero costume for the cinema screen. In her original design sketch made before Christopher Reeve was cast in the leading role, Blake's annotations read: "Leotard in shimmering blue two-way stretch fabric worn over false muscles & harness for flying. Capes to be made in various flowing fashion for resting. Boots in glove leather or elastic with small heel. ‘S’ motif in red & gold on breast & again in all gold on back of cape. Gold metal belt with ‘S’ buckle."

Blake - Focus - Costume - Reeve - Authenticity

For Blake, the focus was on making a practical costume for Reeve to wear while balancing its authenticity to her audience. "It was a question of reproducing what looked like a pretty silly costume into one that could be worn by an actor that would look attractive and believable to Superman fans," she said....
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Hollywood Reporter
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