The Powerful Meaning Behind the Colors Chosen For the Costumes in Disney's Mulan

The Powerful Meaning Behind the Colors Chosen For the Costumes in Disney’s Mulan

Disney’s live-action Mulan is almost here, and it’s full of powerful wardrobe moments. The Niki Caro-directed film stars Liu Yifei as Mulan, Jet Li as the Emperor, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, and Gong Li as the main antagonist, a powerful witch named Xian Lang. While we originally got a glimpse of how the film honors the original story in the first teaser released back in July, we’re finally going to get to see the live-action take on the classic 1998 animated film, and it seems like they put a lot of thought behind Mulan’s outfits.

Like in the animated film, Mulan is seen wearing traditional Chinese outfits with delicate embroidery at the start of the film. You can clearly see the stark difference between those outfits compared to the ones she wears while she’s training in combat. The movie’s costume designer Bina Daigeler was very intentional in her use of color, according to an interview with Vox.

The interview described that Daigeler “had civilians wear bright, bold colors to inject a sense of joy and liveliness into the scenes. Clothing in the Tang dynasty was characterized by bright colors and flowy materials; government officials also wore uniforms featuring hues of purple, cyan, green, and red, and it was common for women’s dresses to feature more than five colors.” The costume designer revealed, “There were no neutral tones, and we had a huge dyeing department to figure out color combinations. Some of the crew was worried that the costumes would be too colorful, but that is reflective of the Tang dynasty . . . I was focused on treating respectfully the details of Chinese culture.”

Keep reading to see some of the standout outfits from Mulan.

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