Alex Bailey / Focus Features
By Ron Magid, Special to The Times Costume designer Sandy Powell's secret to creating a period wardrobe that appears old and new? "It's making something look believable for the period yet attractive and accessible to the contemporary eye," says Powell, who most recently dressed Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson for "The Other Boleyn Girl." "I try to get the silhouette that sums up the period, then the rest is quite a bit of artistic license. I just do what I think looks best." Her challenge for "The Other Boleyn Girl," in which Portman and Johansson play sisters vying for the affections of Eric Bana's King Henry VIII, was imparting a sexiness to the heavy Tudor garments, with as many as 20 changes for each character. "I didn't do anything special to make [Portman and Johansson] look beautiful -- they just do," says Powell.
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