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Thursday
Jan102019

Costume Design Guild Nominations

by Nathaniel R

Paddington 2's great costumes were snubbed by BAFTA last year and the CDG this year. But Lindy Hemming won the Oscar for Topsy Turvy (1999) without either of those nominations so there's still hope.The Costume Design Guild was founded in 1953 with an initial group of 30 members. Today they have an international membership of 700+. They've been giving out awards since 1999 but the categories weren't fully as they are know (period/costume/fantasy) until 2005.

Though their tastes do align with Oscar it's difficult to wholly prognosticate from their awards since the Oscar nominees are generally a mix of their Period and Fantasy nominees with an extra title thrown in (plus every once in a while the costume branch within the Academy will surprise with a contemporary nominee). Much more frequently Oscar will just add one film that wasn't honored at all by the CDG! They do it nearly all the time actually (10 out of the last 12 years). The point is a film is not out of the running if it wasn't honored at CDG, especially if it has a previously Oscar nominated costume designer behind it. That's potentially good news for five well regarded costumers who missed the CDG today: Linda Hemming (Paddington 2), Mary Zophres (First Man), Milena Canonero (The Sisters Brothers), Joanna Johnston (Welcome to Marwen), and Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts: Grindelwald). That's not so good news for Caroline Eselin (If Beale Street Could Talk) who missed a CDG nomination today, since Oscar has yet to notice her.

We'll share the stats after the nominations at the bottom of this post so you'll have a clearer picture.  Ready? Let's talk costumes...

 Excellence in Contemporary Film


  • A Star Is Born, Erin Benach
  • Crazy Rich Asians, Mary E. Vogt
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Michele Clapton
  • Ocean’s 8, Sarah Edwards
  • Widows, Jenny Eagan

You know why even have a contemporary category if you can't notice the genius of what the designer was doing with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in A Simple Favor? I like all five of these movies they nominated but none of them is quite A Simple Favor's equal in this regard. Another contemporary film that had good costume design this year was I Feel Pretty... but people rarely vote on craft but on the film itself (sigh) -- if it's in the awards mix it's in the awards mix regardless. 

Excellence in Period Film


  • BlacKkKlansman, Marci Rodgers
  • Bohemian Rhapsody, Julian Day
  • The Favourite, Sandy Powell
  • Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
  • Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

We're expecting this to be the Oscar list (minus BlacKkKlansman plus Black Panther). Noticeably missing in this list are The Sisters Brothers (designed by Oscar favourite Milena Canonero), If Beale Street Could Talk (Caroline Eselin),  First Man (Mary Zophres) and Cold War (Ola Staszko)

Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film


  • A Wrinkle in Time, Paco Delgado
  • Aquaman, Kym Barrett
  • The Avengers: Infinity War, Judianna Makovsky
  • Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Jenny Beavan

WHERE IS PADDINGTON 2 ??? The costuming in that was insanely good, and superior to all of these save Black Panther. Was Suspiria ignored here or in Period? It's hard to know where Horror films place themselves. But it looks like they didn't respond to A Quiet Place's knitwear. Noticeably missing here (not that we're complaining) is Fantastic Beasts 2 since you'll recall that Fantastic Beasts 1 won the Costume Design Oscar in its year

 

Excellence in Contemporary Television


So happy that Grace & Frankie gets regular nominations here because the costuming is very strong and character precise.

Excellence in Period Television


  • The Alienist, Michael Kaplan
  • GLOW, Beth Morgan
  • The Man in the High Castle, Catherine Adair
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Donna Zakowska
  • Outlander, Nina Ayres & Terry Dresbach 

Good list, right?

Excellence in Sci-Fi / Fantasy Television

  • American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Paula Bradley & Lou Eyrich
  • The Handmaid’s Tale, Ane Crabtree
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Cynthia Summers
  • Star Trek: Discovery, Gersha Phillips
  • Westworld, Sharen Davis

I don't watch enough TV to know if we're missing anything great in this regard. What do you think of the list?

Excellence in Variety, Reality-Competition, Live Television


  • Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Paul Tazewell
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden, Lauren Shapiro
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race, Zaldy Goco
  • Saturday Night Live, Tom Broecker & Eric Justian
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Marina Toybina

Brandon Victor Dixon's Judas costume alone should earn this award (we hope)

Excellence in Short Form Design

Adidas // See My Creativity from Guillermo Garza, AMC on Vimeo.

 

 

  • Adidas: “See My Creativity”, commercial, Bonnie Stauch

  • Childish Gambino: “This is America”, music video, Natasha Newman-Thomas

  • Elton John – Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Legacy, short film, Charlie Altuna

  • Justin Timberlake: “Supplies” Directed by Dave Myers, music video, Ami Goodhart

  • Nespresso: “The Quest”, commercial, Jenny Eagan

Who would you vote for in these fields? 

 

CDG to Oscar Statistics

2018: TBD
2017: 3/5 Oscar. Took 2 from Period, 1 from Fantasy. Added Victoria & Abdul and Darkest Hour)
2016: 4/5 Oscar. Took 2 from Period, 1 from Fantasy, and 1 from Contemporary !!!. Added Allied)
2015: 4/5 Oscar. Took 2 from Period, 2 from Fantasy. Added The Revenant)
2014: 4/5 Oscar. Took 2 from Period, 2 from Fantasy. Added Mr Turner
2013: 3/5  Oscar. Took 3 from Period. Added two The Grandmaster and Invisible Woman)
2012: 5/5 Oscar. Took 3 from Period and 2 from Fantasy. Didn't add.
2011: 4/5 Oscar. Took 4 from Period. Added Anonymous 
2010: 4/5 Oscar. Took 2 from Period, 2 from fantasy. Added I Am Love
2009: 4/5 Oscar. Took 3 from Period, 1 from fantasy. Added Bright Star 
2008: 4/5 Oscar. Took 4 from Period. Added Australia
2007: 4/5 Oscar. Took 4 from Period. Added Across the Universe
      2006: 5/5 Oscar. Took 3 from Period, 2 from contemporary!!! Didn't add.

As you can see from this list, Oscar's costuming branch nearly always adds a title that was not previously honored by the CDG so be careful in your predictions. 

 

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Reader Comments (24)

I'm happy someone is finally recognizing Adam Driver's array of magnificent flannel shirts in BlackKlansman. Marci Rodgers doing the Lord's work putting him in those.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Legion is a big miss in Sci-Fi. The off-beat costumes add so much to the characters, where something like Star Trek is a rehash of something we've seen before many times.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

How do they define “contemporary”? Mama Mia seems like an odd inclusion given that so many of the costumes were set in the late 70s.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Is it possible that "Paddington 2" missed because it's hard to categorize? it's technically contemporary and doesn't exactly scream "fantasy". If "Poppins" is period rather than fantasy, it just feels like a weird definition problem all around.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

WHERE THE HELL WAS POSE???????

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDO

Beale Street is getting the shaft. Its score, cinematography, costume, and production design deserves behind the line notices from industry bodies and guilds. I suspect an uncomfortable but necessary conversation needs to be had about Jenkins' breakthrough Moonlight landing well with the white establishment and Beale Street getting a meh indifference.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I agree w/ 3rtful: Beale Street is a gorgeous film and its costumes, art direction & cinematography in particular are def nomination-worthy.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

The Americans belongs on that period television list. Not only did Katie Irish make Russell, Rhys and co. look really good in their normal '80s wear, she believably costumed them in a variety of various period spy disguises. But sure, keep rewarding the cartoon that is Mrs. Maisel.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

/3rtful -- or it might have just been terrible timing. I'm mystified why they thought this was a december release when artistic slow burns generally do much better with awards bodies when they open in october or november. It's only the really flashy stuff that benefits from christmasy release dates like Vice or Mary Poppins.

January 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Like Nathaniel said, sometimes it's the films rather than the particular craft being nominated.

If Beale Street Could Talk isn't loved and feels like a letdown to a lot of people, especially those are panting for a Jenkins film after Moonlight. Personally I think the film ia captivating, as well as a stilruggle, as the two leads have no chemistry, and Kiki Lane isn't very good...also, their romance isn't really even written, much less well-written.

The costumes are beautiful, but they especially work in the art direction.


Also, Mary Poppins Returns is Period here but Fantasy in the Art Directors Guild? Should be consistent.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Speaking of categorisation, shouldn't The Assassination of Gianni Versace be in period rather than contemporary? It was over 20 years ago.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Can Bohemian Rhapsody just go away?

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

@Me: I agree that the two leads in Beale Street don't really have any chemistry and that KiKi Lane isn't that strong (while Stephan James is pretty swoon-worthy), but it's a lovely looking film with many strong performances and sensitive direction by Barry Jenkins. It's ridiculous that there haven't been any other film adaptations of James Baldwin's work. Another Country or Go Tell It On the Mountain could make for wonderful cinema.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Contemporary Film: Widows, Jenny Eagan
Period Film: The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film: Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
Contemporary Television: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Lou Eyrich & Allison Leach
Period Television: GLOW, Beth Morgan
Sci-Fi / Fantasy Television: The Handmaid’s Tale, Ane Crabtree
Variety, Reality-Competition, Live: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Paul Tazewell
Short Form Design: Childish Gambino: “This is America, Natasha Newman-Thomas

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Glad to see a mention for Paddington in this write-up. The costumes are nice, but I think the Production Design is the best of the year. The circus, the prison, Paddington's house... it's all impeccably beautiful and perfectly whimsy.

I'm also a little puzzled by the RuPaul's Drag Race nomination-- is that for the Ru and the judges' attire? The majority of costumes on the show are of course made (or these days purchased) by the contestants.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I LOVE that A Series of Unfortunate Events got a nod. The costuming is perfection- particularly for Lucy Punch's impractically stylish villain.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAustin

Rob;

Totally agree. I wouldn't be surprised if many directors who aren't black have felt hesitant to go forward with his work. There are also people who think some of his work is hard to adapt...don't really agree with that too much.

Edward L;

I don't think people feel like the 90's are that far in the past haha. From an aesthetic point of view, I mostly feel that way myself.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Nat: A Simple Favour and Paddington 2 are obvious misses, but I'd put them BOTH in contemporary, honestly. But I'm the kind of guy who'd want the categories marked as "Excellence in _ Costuming", not "Excellence in _ Film." So a Sci-Fi/Fantasy film that doesn't use Sci-Fi/Fantasy COSTUMING (and, sorry, Paddington 2 doesn't) isn't competing with things like Aquaman or Black Panther.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

volvagia -- we're splitting hairs thought because any movie with a talking bear who wears clothes is a fantasy.

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Then Mary Poppins should also be in fantasy

January 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRicopolo

I agree with Suzanne that The Americans should be there. Much as I love GLOW's costume designs, the beige, chilly aesthetic of The Americans is wonderfully served by its costumes. And it's so smart about being period-specific in terms of what would be seen as 'sexy' then rather than now whenever Philip and Elizabeth are turning that side of their personality up for their jobs.

Not sure why Mamma Mia is there rather than A Simple Favor, but I guess people really dug the origin story for Meryl Streep's dungarees. I'm also not a huge fan of the costume design in ASIB, but it's hard to argue with the other three inclusions in that category.

January 11, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterben1283

ben1283 -- agreed. I tend to love Erin Benach's work but as much as I am obsessed with A Star is Born, I don't understand that particular nomination.

Evan -- i've never had an answer on that rupaul thing either. I think it must be for the judges but it probably gets conflated with everything which is why it gets the nominations. Although Ru's gowns alone...

January 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The performance of A Star Is Born in these guild nominations has proved that people should underestimate it at their peril. I think people across the industry are voting for it because they love it (I was surprised it made makeup and hair as well).

January 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

A Simple Favor omitted is like if the Oscars left A STAR IS BORN or ROMA out of Best Picture.

I would also throw a nod to Patricia Field's work on SECOND ACT, a movie that really knows how to dress its lead star (Jennifer Lopez) in a way that is character appropriate.

January 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

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