And here we are — a supersized Oscar Sunday Best! Here’s a quick look at the Academy’s most stylish category: best costume design.
“Emma,” designed by Alexandra Byrne
For Byrne, a six-time nominee and previous winner (for “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” in 2008), creating fanciful Regency-inspired designs for “Emma” brought her full circle: Her first screen credit as a costume designer was for another Jane Austen adaptation, 1995’s “Persuasion.” “Emma” brought the opportunity to revel in candy-box colors; Byrne told Entertainment Weekly that director Autumn de Wilde described the look she wanted as “like sugared macarons.”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” designed by Ann Roth
Roth, who turns 90 this year, is a legend in the costume world, having designed hundreds of movies and Broadway shows over more than six decades. (A few of her movies you might know: “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Mamma Mia!” and “The English Patient,” which won her an Oscar.) To re-create the 1927 world of “Ma Rainey,” Roth paid attention to every detail: horsehair wigs, real pre-1927 gold coins (to duplicate a necklace worn by the real Ma Rainey), and a meticulously fitted rubber suit to transform the shape of star Viola Davis.
“Mank,” designed by Trish Summerville
Summerville, a first-time nominee whose previous work includes “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” consulted pattern books from the 1930s to re-create the proper silhouettes for Old Hollywood. And the black-and-white cinematography gave her a certain advantage: For a fur coat worn by Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried), Summerville used pale-blue faux fur and painted it to give it depth. In color, it would have looked harsh; in soft black-and-white, just right.
“Mulan,” designed by Bina Daigeler
Daigeler and her crew created nearly 2,000 costume pieces for this live-action Disney tale of a woman warrior in ancient China. The German-born designer, whose previous work includes TV’s “Mrs. America” and the Pedro Almodóvar movie “Volver,” studied clothing from Chinese history, but gave herself room for practicality: For Mulan’s stunt doubles, she encased Stella McCartney sneakers in leather to look like boots — the easier for them to run.
“Pinocchio,” designed by Massimo Cantini Parrini
Rome-based designer Cantini Parrini did plenty of research before creating the garments for this 19th-century-set version of the children’s story, but much of what he needed was directly at hand: his own extensive collection — 4,000 items — of vintage clothing, dating back to the 1600s. Geppetto’s clothing, based on pieces from Cantini Parrini’s archives, were meant to look worn, “as if he had found everything in old chests — thrown away or forgotten,” the designer told the Hollywood Reporter, “and didn’t have the economic possibilities to afford a fashionable tailor.”
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