The Best Costume Design Oscar has always gone to honor the most elaborate productions in recent years. It celebrates truly outstanding and iconic looks. Recent past winners include the post-apocalyptic outfits from “Mad Max: Fury Road”, the idiosyncratic looks from “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the Old Hollywood Glamour from “The Artist”, but the tradition is that almost every single period film is considered for this category which leaves out a lot of fantasy, genre, and contemporary looks that should also be rewarded. Here we take a look at some of the films that were worthy but sadly end up being snubbed from this category.
Wonder Woman – Costume Designer: Lindy Hemming
Lindy Hemming magnificent Amazonian costumes received recognition from the Costume Designers Guild with a nomination in the excellence in a fantasy film category, but the Oscars looked the other way and didn’t award a single nomination to the groundbreaking blockbuster. Hemming was in charge of the creation of the magnificent training armour that the warrior amazons wore on Themyscira [the Amazonian island], as well as the gorgeous 1940s looks once Diana arrives to England. This includes the the jaw-droppingly gorgeous blue dress with the must-have accessory of the year: a golden sword.
The Zookeper’s Wife – Costume Designer: Bina Daigeler
To pull together the wardrobe for this WWII drama, which is set in 1939 just before the War and ends in 1945 after the devastation, Daigeler worked with vintage pieces and fabrics. For Daigeler, it was important that the audience saw Antonina, played by Jessica Chastain, working in the zoo wearing the flowing skirts, blouses, and day dresses that the real Antonina, an incredibly brave but also elegant woman, was known for wearing. The outfits were custom-made for Jessica from original 1940s fabrics and gave a sense of realism to the film.
The Greatest Showman – Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick
“The Greatest Showman,” tells the story of larger-than-life showman and businessman P.T. Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman. The film has some of the most flamboyant movie costumes. Ellen Mirojnick was the costume designer tasked with creating more than 500 outfits for the film, including the impressive deep red jacket worn by Jackman and the fantasy looks for Zendaya’s acrobatics. Mirojnick received a nomination from the Costume Designers Guild Award for excellence in a period film, but was among the major snubs in the category by the Academy. The detail and extravagance of her work speaks for themselves.
Call Me By Your Name – Costume Designer: Giulia Piersanti
To think about “Call Me By Your Name”, is to remember the beautiful cinematography, the wonderful performances, and the look. The person behind the film’s pitch-perfect style was costume designer Giulia Piersanti. Piersanti may be new in the film world (her other credit is in Guadagnino’s previous film “A Bigger Splash”), but she’s a household name for the fashion world as the knitwear designer at Céline. Contemporary-looking films tend to go unrecognized by this branch of the Academy, which is a shame given that these costumes are also striking in their own way, like in this case: the close-ups in the film are not only limited to the actors—the camera lingers on bright swimsuits and billowy button-down shirts. Even the character of Mrs. Perlman, played by an always elegant Amira Casar, wears a very chic wardrobe consisting of army shirts, shorts, and braided belts—all vintage Armani items inspired by Piersanti’s own family photo albums.
With all of this incredible films snubbed, we really hope the Academy starts to take Blockbusters and contemporary films into consideration. Just because it’s a period piece, doesn’t make it the only masterpiece.
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