How to Dress as Ravenna, 'The Winter's War' Version

April 20, 2016

In "The Huntsman: Winter's War," the sequel-slash-prequel to "Snow White and the Huntsman," the costumes of Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) are truly rare birds.

Ravenna is the survivor of a wave of fairy-tale villainesses that assaulted the early 2010s: Julia Roberts' Clementianna ("Mirror, Mirror"), Famke Janssen's Muriel ("Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"), and Angelina Jolie's Maleficent ("Maleficent"). Costume designer Colleen Atwood had the honor of taking the character under her wing again, and the result is yet another feather in her cap.

You don't need a hawk's eye to see it. Channeling Ravenna will have you ruling the roost at a costume party.


Spoilers for "The Huntsman" movies ahead.

Ravenna may be dead as a dodo in the first film, but, boy, this bird has come back as a golden girl. Clearly, the idea this time is to shine like a gold bar to the silver coin that is her sister, Ice Queen Freya (Emily Blunt).

To mirror Ravenna Redux's color palette, a bottle of gold spray paint is your sister.

Atwood called the gown in which Ravenna emerged from the mirror as a "molten dress," with the "quality of liquid." Surprise, surprise, this number is actually leather, constructed like vertical window blinds, with chain woven down the center. It's almost like a living statue of Agrippina, dipped in golden lava.

For the film's showdown (arguably the best we've seen this year, we might add), Atwood went for the counter-intuitive, weighing down Theron in a feathered cape. It's the same feathered cape from the first movie, at the request of director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, but gilded.

Colleen Atwood's original sketch for Ravenna's feathered cloak. Via Vanity Fair

This battle frock was just so heavy that she had to tell the director off for asking her to move faster. Talk about ruffling feathers! 

Since birds are wedded into Ravenna's very nature, it can be very problematic to reconcile your respect for animal rights and desire to get this look right. No worries though! Fake feathers are real and they're everything. Here's how to make them. Remember to finish it off with a golden shower of paint. 


This is Ravenna's kingdom, her dominion alright, and what better proof of that than a decadent crown on her head? The evil queen is prouder than a peacock in the sequel with a golden iteration of the crown from the first film. Either way, the design is evocative of origami, so it's not hard to imagine you can actually get away with something out of paper. The talented Esselle Crafts will show you how. Again, don't forget to paint it gold.

Atwood complemented Theron's crown with a golden chain bib necklace as well as fringe earrings. You don't have to steal from a goblin's mine for these accessories, of course.

For some verisimilitude, some nasty finger claws will make sure your Ravenna look is not for the birds.


Whether she lets her hair down or keeps it in a bun, Ravenna has her head always ready for a coronation. A crow she may be, but a nest her hair is not.

Ravenna's thing seem to be braids. YouTube's mane sensations have the lowdown on those crazy, Medusa-like locks:


Ravenna is the magic mirror personified more than ever, so it's only appropriate that she try her wings with gold flakes that come straight from Poison Ivy's dresser. Here are tutorials by some very queenly vloggers:

Flip the bird

If you pull this off, you're sure to feather your nest with the jealous, broken hearts of Halloween partygoers. As we always caution queens, the ensemble is only half the work. Obviously, you need to actually believe you are the fairest of them all. Then again, you can always choose to feel like an ugly duckling, but that's another fairy tale for another DIY tutorial.

Slay, queen!

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