Robin Hood: Costume Photo Fest

Want another look at Janty Yates’ costume design work for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Robin Hood? Thought you might.

Most of the ensembles seem to be late Medieval inspired, though we must also factor in creative license and a diverse historical timeline behind the original folk story. This is the origin of outlaw Robin Hood without the singing and probably with a lot of pummeling. Difficult for Janty Yates, as the setting predetermines what we expect to see, yet we also want something new.

In other words, it has to look like traditional Robin Hood with a ‘modern’ twist – and that does not mean Reebok in the Hood Pumps and Spartacus wristwatches. Yates had a difficult task alright, marrying history with creativity.

Anyway, see what you think below:

Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride wearing a thick, brown leather hood. For those living in the elements, hide and lots of it would have been essential protection against inclement British weather.

Cate Blanchett plays Maid Marion, seen here riding alongside Robin. Her long skirt would likely have trailed in the mud when walking. This was for warmth rather than fashion, although this style did die out towards the end of the Middle Ages as women’s clothes gradually became more practical.

Never trust a man with curly hair. Oscar Isaac as King John of England in a heavy silk tunic with chunky gold jewellery. During this time luxury materials such as silks were used to distinguish between social classes, i.e. the lower classes could not afford to wear them.


William Hurt plays 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal. A nice close-up of his leather armour. Note the rudimentary stitching around the neckline.

Mark Addy looks ideally attired as Friar Tuck. Simple, scruffy, and no dressing gown draw-cord. He is carrying what appears to be a leather pouch.

Despite a typical lack of hair, Mark Strong is not instantly recognisable for a change. Playing Sir Godfrey he wears a full suit of chainmail armour with blue cape. Click to enlarge then lean in close and you’ll see a horrific scar at the corner of his mouth.

Cate Blanchett would be striking if her face was covered in jam, but in this shot she looks especially radiant, even with pared down make-up and a mousy brown, unconditioned wig. This film is no Timotei advert that’s for sure.

Max von Sydow as Sir Walter Loxley. Again leather in abundance, which along with wool and fur was used most prominently for outerwear.

These are for riding, obviously, but long Medieval boots for men eventually ran to the thighs. Perhaps not a look that would transfer well today.

Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Functional, waterproof and lightweight; fur topped cloaks and mantles, even lined tunics and gloves were common. This was a period in history characterised by disease and toil. Fur was the biggest comfort most people had.

A superb shot of Robin’s tough battle armour. The leather ‘Vambrace’ like glove on his forearm is precursor to the archery shooting glove.

If you want to see the movie’s costumes up close, there is an exhibition running from now until October at the Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre in Nottingham. It displays the costumes and props in an authentic setting built by Robin’s Hood’s production designer Sonja Klaus. A bit of a journey if you’re in the U.S, but you could always combine it with a trip to the Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A? Go on, it is even sunny here at the moment.

Robin Hood will open the Cannes Film Festival out of competition on 12th May with a worldwide release on 14th May.

© 2010 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.