The Knight Before Christmas is a magical new Netflix Christmas movie. We chatted with costume designer, Barbara Gregusova about her work on the film.
Vanessa Hudgens has returned to Netflix for another Christmas movie this year. This time around, she plays Brooke in The Knight Before Christmas. Brooke stumbles across Sir Cole, a lost knight from the 14th century. Brooke believes Cole is suffering from amnesia and has no idea he is a real knight in shining armor, come to make her holiday wishes come true.
The film released just over a week ago and has already become a popular selection for the holiday seasons. We had a chance to chat with one of the film’s costume designers, Barbara Gregusova. She talked to us about what it was like to choose costume pieces for the film, collaborating with Vanessa Hudgens, and more!
Hidden Remote: What initially got you interested in working on The Knight Before Christmas?
Barbara Gregusova: The producer, Brad Krevoy, who I’ve been working with for the past five seasons on When Calls the Heart, really wanted me to do this movie. I didn’t know what it was going to be about, originally. They told me it would be a Netflix Christmas movie. Then they sent me the script.
I had an interview with Netflix and talked to the Director, Monica Mitchell, and I was sold. For me, I was interested in it because of the combination of the medieval period and modern day Christmas. Two of my favorite things. The combination of doing both was exciting to me.
HR: Were you inspired by any other Christmas or medieval films while designing for this one?
BG: I did watch some, I watched some of a medieval one on Netflix. But, as a designer, sometimes it’s better if you don’t watch too many movies from that period so you can have your own take on it. It was more about me researching the period and the looks, then going from there.
I’ve designed many Christmas movies over the years. I always try to do something different. For instance, when it comes to Christmas sweaters, I want to choose the ones I’ve never used before.
As for colors, you traditionally use a lot of red and green. For this particular movie, I wanted to try and use natural Christmas colors, so it didn’t feel forced. We used a lot of green, but it was unintentional, it was something that happened naturally during our fitting.
There was this gold sweater, which I found in Vancouver and I tried it on so I could see how it would hang, but it was very itchy on me. I was worried Vanessa would be sensitive to it as well because it’s a special fabric. She wasn’t and it ended up on the screen. It looks great so I was really happy about that.
HR: Were there any specific costumes for the movie you really enjoyed working on?
BG: When Netflix first hired me I wanted to build the Old Crone costume from scratch. I didn’t want to rent it. I wanted to do the research and find the fabric, build the costume, and then break it down and make it something of my own.
That was one costume that was really important to me because I knew that we would not be building Sir Cole’s costume, and it would be something we had to source and rent. So yes, the Old Crone costume was special to me. I enjoyed working with the different textures and materials.
HR: In regards to Vanessa Hudgens, she’s kind of a fashion icon in her own right, and also a producer on this film. Did you guys have a chance to collaborate?
BG: Usually once I know who is in the leading roles, I give them a call and go over what they like or don’t like. I like to hear how they imagine the character and what they think they would wear and I try to incorporate it into my vision or put that into words.
Vanessa, she’s been in the business for a long time, so she knows what looks great on her. She wanted to wear the pants, that was something she suggested, and I agreed with her because it was a look I don’t usually do in movies and I wanted it to be unique.
HR: You guys got to work on location a little too, right?
BG: We shot in Ireland for the opening scene which was actually at the end or our schedule. All the knights, were shot on location. I wasn’t able to fly to Ireland so I sent my set supervisor there to oversee the production, and we hired a local designer to assist with that part of the movie. She designed the background and oversaw the costumes for the14th century Court and did an amazing job.
HR: What was your favorite part of working on this movie overall?
BG: I had to meet with Monica so we could figure out what we wanted to do for Sir Cole. I had to collaborate with Angels Costumes in London long-distance, and that was something I’d never done before, and it was really exciting. I never knew that was something I could do long-distance. We also had to arrange fittings for Josh in his armor in London.
I picked out the armors from long-distance, and Monica was scouting for locations in Ireland, so she actually attended the fitting. I was on the phone for three hours at 3 a.m. from Vancouver. That was challenging, but it turned out well. We fitted the armor in Toronto again, plus it was exciting to receive all the boxes with all the medieval pieces and start playing with them. It was actually like Christmas morning!
HR: I really enjoyed the movie and I hope it performs well on Netflix. Thanks for chatting with me!
BG: Thank you so much!
The Knight Before Christmas is now available to stream on Netflix.