Look By Look: My Chemical Romance’s ‘Sing’ Music Video

My Chemical Romance just premiered their latest video “SING” on MTV, the second song off the group’s upcoming Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album. The video picks up where their previous video, “Na Na Na,” left off — in the future, year 2019, as Killjoy characters invading Battery City. And the boys are looking good! For the video, lead singer Gerard Way and the band are wearing slim-fit jackets, while the bad guys are in white masks, all of which were custom-made by renowned costume designer Colleen Atwood (she’s the acclaimed designer behind movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Alice In Wonderland, and Nine; and she’s won Academy Awards for costume design for Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha). We caught up with Atwood to find out how she created My Chemical Romance’s all-custom “SING” look. Find out all of the details on the band’s wardrobe, look by look, with commentary from wardrobe designer Colleen Atwood below.

+ Don’t miss “Live In L.A.: My Chemical Romance” to see My Chemical Romance live at the House Of Blues Sunset Strip on Monday, Nov. 22, at 8pm PT/11pm ET (note: the stream will begin at 7pm PT/10pm ET) on MTV.com. And submit your fan questions for My Chemical Romance!


How did you get involved in this project?
Colleen Atwood: “I got involved because I did a video called ’The Black Parade’ with Gerard, and we became friends, and stayed in touch. When he started this, he sent me his stuff, and asked if I was available to help him out. I said, ’Of course.'”

What were Gerard’s directions for you?
“Because he’s an artist and had a filmic idea in mind, he wanted to the outfits for the guys to help create the characters. We talked about each guy and how he saw them, and we collaborated with a great graphic guy named Matt Varnish, and he did a lot of graphic stuff with us as far as stuff applied to the costumes.”

How did you use Gerard’s sketches (seen below) for the video?
“We sort of interpreted them, as is what always happens with a sketch. When you start making something, and when you see it as a finished garment — it changes. We used the sketches as a starting point.”

What was the inspiration?
“The inspiration was ’70s mixed with his futuristic Mad Max idea, just with more color and more graphic quality. All of the guns and were an important element of the design, which we did in with Legacy Effects, who does lots of Hollywood films and those kinds of things, like Iron Man.”

What was the most difficult item to make?
“The most complicated were the band’s costumes. Each person had to be individual, but they had to look like a group. Getting the balance between the four guys was the most time consuming. The rest were fairly simple in comparison.”

Did you create the jackets?
“Everything is hand-tailored and fit like a bespoke outfit. To make all four jackets took about three weeks, from the time we started to the time we finished. I loved collaborating with Gerard on the short jackets for the guys. I think these jackets are going to be a hit on guys with good bodies. They’re really fun and felt fresh, and it made me want to do more.”

Is this how you envision fashion in 2019?
“2019 is not that far away. The way I envision it includes elements of today mixed with elements that make it look in the future. When you know clothing, you see people taking elements and recycling them, even today in fashion. It’s sort of interpreted that way in the video. I was serving the vision of the concept, Gerard’s vision, which is these guys who are surviving in this urban wasteland. So, their stuff got beat up and aged like it was beat up in the sand, so that was the scene in terms of the future element of it.”

Did you create all of the looks?
“Yes. Everything from the video we made or found.”

How did you make the new clothes look so old?
“Overall, we did a lot of sanding and waxing. We sanded the costumes to soften them up and used wax that we melted with an iron to give them a shiny quality, so it would look like they’ve been worked in and lived in for a long time. Kind of like when you see homeless people and they’re clothes look stiff.”

How did you decide to represent the villains as they did?
“The villains were all white with white faces—the idea was that they were these lost souls. The concept was just using the masks and whiting everything out. The red, white, black, and minimal theme contrasted great with all the energy from the bands costumes.”

How did you create the masks?
“We found a couple old ones, and used it as a starting point. Gerard had one from his own collection, it was probably 30 years old. Then, we shopped on Hollywood Boulevard and found similar ones, and then painted them to look like Gerard’s vintage one. It was part of process to create something fresh and different, which is better than if you just shopped it.”

What else are you working on?
“Right now, I’m working on a feature with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. As for Gerard, he’s in music, so we’ll see. I’m sure we’ll put our heads together again.”