“Danish Girl” Designs

Ellie Romano / WEBN-TV

By Ellie Romano 2/26/2016

The “Danish Girl” takes place in mid 1920’s Copenhagen and follows the life of the first transgender to undergo a sex-change operation.

The costume designer of the film Paco Delgado, not only had to create period piece clothing, but also create a feminine look for the male protagonist who identifies as a woman.

Delgado says he took his inspiration for the costume designs from fashion designers of the time period and from the city of Copenhagen.

“I took inspiration for these two dresses from the waters in the canal in Copenhagen. We went to Copenhagen very, very, very early in the preparation just to see, you know, the light of the city… and we we’re just seeing the reflections of the buildings in the waters of the canals that created a source of inspiration for these two dresses,” Delgado explained.

The people the film is based on inspired the designer as well.

“Because these people were real people… it was a lot of photography, and painting already because they were painters and because that was a really great big chunk of material that was…very useful to us” he said.

While creating the designs, Delgado faced the challenge of turning the film’s lead actor, Eddie Redmayne, into a woman. He spoke about his struggles when dealing with task:

“Obviously we were really worried to see how we could portray Eddie as a believable woman. And we didn’t want to create a caricature because sometimes it happens in movies that you see these other people playing other genders and it’s never very satisfactory I think.”

The designer says Redmayne made the feat of tastefully dressing a transgender possible.

“It was very good because the thing is, if you have an actor that is very collaborative and you know, as Eddie is, and very generous with his time and ideas, it’s very easy. And I think it’s been a very natural process. It hasn’t been very stressful, it could have been very stressful and it wasn’t,” Delgado says.

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise in Los Angeles is displaying Delgado’s “Danish Girl” costumes until April 30th. Along with his work, the exhibit features more than 100 costumes representing 2015’s most noticeable films in a variety of genres.