Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

The costumes in the 1997 version of the Hunchback were done by John Bloomfield. Bloomfield’s credits include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld, two movies not known for their costumes. Of the two movies, Robin Hood is more similar in style and design to Hunchback’s costume and two costumes show this more than others.

Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Edward Atterton as Gringoire

Speaking in favor of costumes as a whole they do look old. So many times in film and TV, the costumes look new and pristine. For a film like Hunchback this should not be the case, the clothes should look old and worn. This is something that was seen in Robin Hood. But are the costumes good? Meh, they’re average. Nothing is wrong but nothing is really is amazing.

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo

Let’s just get Quasimodo and Frollo out the way. Quasimodo’s look is pretty much stolen from 1939 version. It’s a good Quasimodo look compared to the 1956 version but the Chaney version set a standard for how Quasimodo should look and the 1939 version exceed it, so most versions try to match the 1939 version. This version did and didn’t add anything.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Frollo’s costume……..well…………it’s probably the most interesting costume in the whole adaptation. I don’t mean interesting as good thing though. Frollo’s look in the novel was meant to be severe and austere but this version’s Frollo amps it up. He wears a black cowl robe which is what he wears in the novel but the total baldness just makes him look silly. In my 1997 Frollo post I said he looks like Nosferatu from the 1922 movie and he does. It’s too austere of look to take it seriously.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then we come to Esmeralda’s main costume. It’s a conventional medieval get-up. She wears a chemise with ties at the sleeves to reveal more arms, a corset and a skirt. The color is mostly shades of red tones however their is multiple colors mixed in the skirt and corset. The skirt itself looks like multiple scarfs that were fused to form a skirt. However the skirt is dyed in a vertical pattern and it seems to be a very light fabric. Though this costume is very inauthentic the different colors does help make it not as boring as it could have been.

 Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire


Unfortunately, this costume is made a little silly by the slave bracelet and the shoes. The shoes are forgivable on a practical sense but Esmeralda should be barefoot and somehow I think this costume would have been better sans the footwear. The Slave bracelet however is just silly. Slave Bracelets are bracelets that attract to a ring by a chain. They are based on Indian jewelry. My guess is the idea of her wearing one was to help push her an exotic beauty but the addition of it looks cheap.

Lady Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves picture image

Lady Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Esmeraldas’ costume and the one wore by the Phoebus-like guard are very reminiscent of Robin Hood costumes. Esmeralda’s costume with it scarf like skirt is similar to costume wore by Lady Marian. Once I learned that Bloomfeild did both movie my head link these two costumes together. Phoebus-like guard has the same heavy layered and studded armor that was used in Robin Hood and it’s black so you know he bad. However the loose layers in very similar in both films.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Edward Atterton as Gringoire

The costumes could have been boring but some decisions there were made either made them look good or silly. at best these costume are average to ok nothing more or less.

I just want to say, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is like a guilty pleasure of mine, I loved this movie as kid.

Next time; Sets

Sets 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Notre Dame Set in teh 1997 version of Hunchback

2 Thoughts on “Costumes in the 1997 version of Hunchback; There is something familiar about these costumes

  1. Maria on 08/30/2014 at 9:54 am said:

    Actually, her costume is very accurate, gypsy in medieval times (born gypsy or not) had no such things as gypsy clothes, they were poor, so they dressed like the poor or peasants. A chemise and a long skirt was what medieval peasants used and so did gypsies, the corset is also accurate, only the shoes are “wrong”. She should be either barefeet or with medieval shoes, if I am not wrong, in the novel hugo describe’s her as using shoes that protected her delicate feet. My favorites costumes for Esmeralda is the one Mauren O’Hara use (pretty accurate, it even had a scarf) and this one. The slave bracelet is quite stupid, she should have a scarf around her waist, when to covenring their shoulders from the cold, the scarf was tied to thei waist.

    My father studied Medieval history, including medieval gypsyes, my best friend is a Romani gypsy, we met in Madrid, she’s really beautiful, but her hair is straight, I used to believe gypsies had curly hair, but most of them have naturally straight thick hair.

    Sorry for my poor english, I’m a spanish girl. Besos from Spain, Maria

    • Joshua on 03/22/2015 at 12:06 pm said:

      Well, it depends on the place, there were sari like gargments gypsy people used over their clothes sometimes, but not always. Indeed many gypsy people used regular peasant clothes, sometimes colorful because they knew how to color it with herbs, flower, etc. Her shoes are absurd. What made gypsyes really stand out is that by Medieval era they didn’t covered their hair as a rule (this only came to married woman after Saint Sara Kali), so a gypsy woman would go with her her loose, wich was considered improper, almost like wearing a mini, mini skirt today… Anyway, this would make they seem sexy, perhaps why the attention bestowed at Esmeralda. Other than it the had their ears pierced, they wore to first to wear earrings in Medieval Europe.
      Her costume is nice, it could have been ragged and look older, but overall it’s nice.
      I love Salma, she is really pretty, and for the age, I know a few 16 and 17 years old girls who looks a little older.
      What do you think Jess?

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