Hugo_Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz dress_Image credit Paramount Pictures © 2012 Lord Christopher Laverty. All rights reserved.

Costume Design Nominations: Awards Round Up

It’s been all go with award nomination announcements for costume design over the past two weeks. Here is our round-up of the big three: BAFTA, CDG and Oscar.

First up the BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) Film Awards:

The ArtistMark Bridges
HugoSandy Powell
Jane EyreMichael O’Connor
My Week with MarilynJill Taylor
Tinker, Tailor, Solider, SpyJacqueline Durran

Perhaps the most surprising nomination, even though it shouldn’t be, is Jacqueline Durran for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Overruling the costumers’ chapter vote for Anonymous (Lisy Christl), general voters chose Tinker, Tailor instead – and with good reason. Critic Guy Lodge goes into detail about the film’s costumes in this article, so we’ll not tread on his toes. One thing we will reiterate however is just what a force to be reckoned with Jacqueline Durran is becoming. Her understanding of the costume craft as a storytelling device above fashion or straightforward period accuracy means her work stands out as more than memorable; it is essential.

One additional note: we would like to have seen a shout for Lucie Bates’ enjoyably decipherable designs in Hanna and also Manon Rasmussen’s immaculate restrictiveness in Melancholia.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: costume design by Jacqueline Durran

Secondly, the generally inspiring CDG (Costume Designers Guild):

Contemporary Film

BridesmaidsLeesa Evans & Christine Wada
The Descendants – Wendy Chuck
Drive - Erin Benach
The Girl with the Dragon TattooTrish Summerville
MelancholiaManon Rasmussen

Period Film

The Artist – Mark Bridges
Jane Eyre – Michael O’Connor
The HelpSharen Davis
Hugo – Sandy Powell
W.E. – Arianne Phillips

Fantasy Film

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Jany Temime
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPenny Rose
Red Riding Hood – Cindy Evans
Thor – Alexandra Byrne
X-Men: First ClassSammy Sheldon

Contemporary TV Series

Glee – Loy Eyrich & Jennifer Eve
Modern Family – Alix Friedberg
Revenge – Jill Ohanneson
Saturday Night Live – Tom Broecker & Eric Justian
Sons of Anarchy – Kelli Jones

Period/Fantasy TV Series

Boardwalk EmpireJohn A. Dunn, Lisa Padovani
The Borgias – Gabriella Pescucci
Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton
Once Upon a Time – Eduardo Castro
Pan Am – Ane Crabtree

Made-for-TV Movie or Miniseries

Downton Abbey – Susannah Buxton
The KennedysChristopher Hargadon
Mildred PierceAnn Roth

Commercial Costume Design

Carl’s Jr., “Miss Turkey,” – Francine Lecoultre
Dos Equis, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” – Julie Vogel
Swiffer, “Country Dirt Girl,” – Roseanne Fiedler

Melancholia: costume design by Manon Rasmussen

There are a few pleasing inclusions that caught our eye here. Evidently it is fantastic to see Melancholia in the Contemporary section; not just because of the heavily symbolic wedding dress but also the authenticity applied to traditional male wedding attire is astounding. Drive too, a successful combination of star, director and costume designer working together to create a ‘hero’ costume that is both character expressive and (inadvertently?) hugely significant culturally.

Other mentions that made us smile are Mark Bridges for The Artist (the film that War Horse’s Joanna Johnston wishes she had costumed – fact) and Michael O’Connor for his bleak, deep and meaningful version of Jane Eyre. Bridges is well respected in the costume industry, 1997’s Boogie Nights being a popular favourite among peers. The Artist is a terrific accomplishment in its own right. Made for little budget, mainly from scratch and against the clock, Bridges created almost a fantasy world of rose tinted nostalgia. Moreover, don’t forget that this is all achieved in black and white – not as straightforward as it may appear.

Boardwalk Empire… well, we have probably waxed lyrical about John Dunn and Lisa Padovani’s work on this TV series enough. Nice that Penny Rose continues to be recognised for Pirates of the Caribbean . When sequel after sequel comes along it is easy to forget just what a iconic look Rose created and most importantly, maintained. Plus, no matter what the budget, finding multiples of certain fabrics (Jack Sparrow’s linen silk tweed coat for example) can prove a real challenge. Audiences expect to see rock ‘n’ roll Jack how they remember him – his look is at least half the character.

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides: costume design by Penny Rose

So, onto the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) or Oscars. Deep breath:

Anonymous – Lisy Christl
The Artist – Mark Bridges
Hugo – Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre – Michael O’Connor
W.E. – Arianne Phillips

No shocks whatsoever as the Academy continue to applaud only period and/or fantasy costume design. Nonetheless, we have no real complaints here either. Hugo has a lot to say about differentiation of character through clothes in addition to subtly representing the change in trends over two particularly expressive sartorial decades (1920s into early 30′s). It would have been nice to see just one contemporary inclusion (no love at all for We Need to Talk About Kevin?) but that was always unlikely. Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy however should have been there.

The BAFTA Film Awards are announced on 12th February, CDGs on 21st and the 84th Academy Awards on 26th.

© 2012 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.