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Entries in Costume Design (166)


The Theory of Abs Are *Everything*


Costume Designers to Fete Naomi Watts 

Manuel here. The Costume Design Guild has announced that they’ll be celebrating Naomi Watts with the Lacoste Spotlight Award when they announce winners for their film, TV and commercial awards on February 17th. While they bill the award as honoring an “actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design,” their choices so far (previous recipients include Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry and Emily Blunt) have yet to really reflect the award, no? Whither Keira, Nicole, Tilda or heck, even Colin Firth? The man can wear a sweater (among other things), you know.

Anyways, we should really focus on the positive and be thankful Watts was able to bounce back so quickly from that horrible triple-whammy of Movie 43, Adore and Diana. Let's just hope she can keep up the momentum going. And so to think along with the Guild's award, here are, off the top of my head, 5 of my favorite costumes from Naomi’s films:

5. Have you seen St. Vincent? I’m kind of in love with Naomi’s trashtastic looks.

Costume designer: Kasia Walicka-Maimone (CDG nominee for Capote, 2005, and Moonrise Kingdom, 2012)

4. Her gorgeous umbrella in The Painted Veil

Costume designer: two-time Academy Award nominee Ruth Myers (Emma, 1997 & The Addams Family, 1992)

3. Ann Darrow’s pretty evening gown in King Kong

Costume designer: Terry Ryan (who also gave us Muriel's Wedding!)

2. This ridiculous outfit from I Heart Huckabees

Costume designer: two-time Academy Award nominee Mark Bridges (The Artist, 2011 winner, & Inherent Vice, 2014)

1. Her pink sweater in Mulholland Dr.

Costume designer: Amy Stofsky (CDG nomination 2002)

Naomi has also worked with Albert Wolsky (Birdman), Eastwood staple Deborah Hopper (J. Edgar), Cronenberg's sister Denise (Eastern Promises) and Hobbit-costumer Ngila Dickson (The International). What other Naomi looks do you think the CDG had in mind when they decided to cap off Naomi's great year in film? Let’s help out the CDG; which actresses (or actors!) do you think they should celebrate next year?


Interview: Chadwick Boseman Gets On Up to a Big Movie Career

With the Get On Up DVD just out this week, let's take a look at the fast rise of Chadwick Boseman. He'd already headlined one surprise hit (42) when he delivered his first huge performance as Godfather of Soul James Brown. Critics casually and regularly mentioned "Oscar" in their reviews but the precursor awards didn't bite (the Golden Globes forcing that film into Drama when films of its kind usually compete in Musical surely didn't help). But individual honors aside, there's no arguing that Boseman is at the beginning of a big career.

When I sat down with him last year (though less long ago than that sounds) he was unusually cagey about future career plans. Chalked it up to caution, I did, at the time. But cut to a very short time after the interview: News broke that he'd spend at least a couple of years in a form fitting black lycra (?) costume as T'Challa, The Black Panther (2017). That surely accounts for some of the shifting in his seat and long pauses when I grilled him about his future plans and what kinds of roles he's looking to play post-Brown over coffee. He must've already known and been sworn to secrecy since these multi-year multi-film deals don't happen overnight.

Here are highlights from our conversation about both his James Brown work, his relationship with those flamboyant costumes and Alex Proyas' forthcoming Gods of Egypt (2016) which arrives before he dons the T'Challa costume. 

NATHANIEL R: Let’s start with something crazy. Could you do the splits before Get On Up? [more...]

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CDG Nominations: The Theory of Wild Budapest Hotels of the Galaxy

The Costume Guild Nominees have been announced. It's worth noting, always, with guilds that their memberships are much broader than their correlative branch within the Academy. Neverthless they often stick closely to whichever movies are being talked up for Best Picture, regardless of their guild-specific merits. Note some of the nominations below.

Excellence in Contemporary Film
Birdman - Albert Wolsky
Boyhood - Kari Perkins
Gone Girl - Trish Summerville
Interstellar - Mary Zophres
Wild – Melissa Bruning

Albert Wolsky is a legend and Trish Summerville has been killing it lately so no complaints there. But the contemporary categories, as with all guilds, are where you can see how distracted people get with their feelings for the movie at hand and not with the [insert field]. My point is this: These are five strong movies but did they even consider, say, Mommy, Only Lovers Left Alive, Neighbors, Begin Again, 22 Jump Street, or Lucy? And if they didn't, shouldn't they have? (At least they didn't nominate Sniper's fatigues or Gyllenhaal's baggy shirts in keeping with the other guilds lockstep devotion to those pictures.)


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Interview: Michael Wilkinson. Before 'Batman vs Superman', Came 'Noah'

With Oscar voting in progress, let's talk costume design. With Best Picture contenders hogging all the conversation, we remain ever hopeful that the guilds remember to look beyond the films as a whole to the specifics of their particular craft when they scribble down their nominations. One of the most influential costume designers working today is Michael Wilkinson who regularly pushes the envelope in terms of costume technology (see Tron Legacy) and I'm not talking about the miraculous cleavage feats of American Hustle which won Wilkinson a well-deserved Oscar nomination last year. This year you can even see the influence of his 300 costumes in those Maze Runner harnesses (Fun fact: Christine Bieselin Clark, one of the costume designers on that film, was once Wilkinson's assistant!)

Prior to American Hustle he was best known for the films of Zach Snyder (Watchmen, Man of Steel) and the costume designer and I spoke  between fittings on day 104 of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shoot (he'd just finished the final fitting of our new Amazon Princess Gal Gadot). This superhero epic has occupied him for well over a year but he says "happily so" but Noah was no easy task either. He built an entire film's worth of costumes for Noah ...from scratch. 

No matter what genre or film he's working on, be it prestige dramas like Babel, indies like Friends with Money or huge superhero fantasies like Watchmen he's always look for ways to illuminate character. In his own words

Costume design is a subtle art but immensely satisfying.

We couldn't agree more. Excerpts from our conversation follow

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First Look: Chastain & Winslet, Ladies in Dresses

Manuel here to get your Friday started with some to-die for shots of two of our greatest working actresses. We’ve had behind the scenes looks at Kate Winslet’s The Dressmaker (see more of rugby-playing Liam Hemsworth and Kate in Australia here) and of Jessica Chastain’s Crimson Peak (see more of Chastain and Tom Hiddleston shooting in pseudo Burtonian drag here) but this week we finally got to see some polished official photos from their respective films.

Here is Kate looking ravishing as Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage in The Dressmaker (which just wrapped production). The film follows Tilly’s return to her rural Australian town where she uses her haute couture skills to help exact revenge on those who wronged her (or so the plot description tells me). Sounds gothic and lurid and gorgeous and precisely what I’d get from this pic. Anyone read the novel? Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, the film co-stars Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis and Hemsworth. I love this image, mostly because I love seeing well-coiffed and polished Kate. Also, in my head she’s saying “Gather!” so that helps)

Costumes for the film by Marion Boyce. Costumes for Kate by Margot Wilson

Costumes by Kate Hawley who did "Edge of Tomorrow" this year

Looking just as ravishing in the just-released first look at Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, is Chastain. Details are still scant on the film but here is the plot description: “In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author [Lady Lucille Sharpe] is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.” The film co-stars Mia Wasikowska, Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hiddleston. Love the look of this; may this be the followup to Pan’s Labyrinth we’re still waiting del Toro to deliver?

Which ensemble is, in RuPaul parlance, giving you life?

 Clearly both actresses have charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to spare, and are giving us great face, but if you had to choose from these two pics, which frocked lady would you say “Shantay you stay” to? Your choice, Sophies!


Missi's Oscar Night Memoir

We return you to our celebrity guest-host Missi Pyle... at The Film Exp The Missi Experience. Just one more post after this gorgeously fun memoir. Enjoy - Editor


The 84th Academy Awards. An Oscar Night Memoir
- by Missi Pyle

I just want to take a minute to talk about The Artist. Holy shit. What an incredible experience that was.

Tiny back story. I left LA in 2008. I had married this guy from Montana with a grizzly bear sanctuary. I bought a geodome in the woods in Montana and moved in with said Grizzly man. I truly don't know what I was thinking. I had made some decent money in the previous year and I thought I could act from Montana? (Spoiler! Only Michael Keaton and Jeff Bridges can act from Montana - I wrote a show about it) Anyway, the marriage didn't work out and I ran out of money and came crawling back to LA.

I randomly had auditioned for, gotten the part and shot the film The Artist. It was really an incredible experience. But in my wildest dreams I never imagined the ride it would take me on.


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