Extracted from Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Although it is Kingsley Shacklebolt who comments upon Albus Dumbledore’s noticeable style, the Order of the Phoenix member is no slouch when it comes to flair. Actor George Harris was partially instrumental for the look of the character.
‘I came down to a fitting,’ recalls Harris, ‘and I was wearing an Agbada, which is a Nigerian ceremonial gown. Underneath that, I had on a pair of Kota trousers, like Indian pajamas.’ Jany Temime liked what she saw and decided that not everyone in the Ministry needed to wear a suit.
She and Harris built upon the idea and assigned Shacklebolt an African heritage not specified in the books. The heavy Agbada robes he wears are embellished with beads, applique, and embroidery inspired by African motifs, with piping around the border. ‘I love to wear beads and bangles,’ he says, ‘so in addition to the earring that was indicated in the books, I wanted the beads, which make me feel very comfortable.’
Shacklebolt’s cap is also Nigerian-based. Having filmed in some very cold locations, the bald-headed actor knows that wearing a hat will help keep him warm. ’But I also felt that the hat would, in a way, keep Shacklebolt’s power from escaping. He has a quiet strength and wants to keep a lid on it.’ Literally. The hat is created from shot silk, which reflects light differently from different angles, and so shifts its colour hues, in this case between blue, purple, and black.