Jenny Beavan for “Cruella”
Disney’s live-action film “Cruella” serves as an origin story for the animation. Before infamous villain Cruella de Vil was poaching puppies for fur coats, she was a young grifter (and aspiring fashion designer) in the ’70s London punk rock scene. Emma Stone stars as the titular character — birth name Estella — in her young adult years, when she is hired to work for esteemed fashion designer The Baroness, portrayed by Emma Thompson. The film’s costume designer Jenny Beavan, OBE, has been nominated for the Academy Award 10 times — and she won twice, for “Room With a View” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” “The story was strong, the characters were great,” says Beavan of the appeal of “Cruella.” “It was a wonderful challenge, and it was something different. I hadn’t really done the period and I hadn’t done that kind of Disney [film].”
Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran for “Cyrano”
The classic love story “Cyrano de Bergerac” has never looked more romantic, courtesy of director Joe Wright and costume designers Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran. Wright’s musical film, adapted from a recent stage production of the 1897 play, stars Peter Dinklage in the titular role. Every costume was crafted specifically for the film, and Parrini created more than 750 costume pieces from scratch to reflect France in the early 1700s. The designer was particularly inspired by 18th-century watercolors, as well as “extreme” contemporary fashion. “In my costumes, I find the need to insert modern elements to make the pieces truly unique,” he says. “It’s also to keep things interesting for myself as well as the audience, instead of doing a complete remake of clothing we’ve already seen.” Parrini was responsible for the design of every character with the exception of Roxanne, the female lead and central romantic interest played by Haley Bennett, whose costumes were designed by Durran.
Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan for “Dune”
Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi blockbuster features over 2,000 custom looks. West, who’s been nominated for the Oscar three times, collaborated with Morgan to create futuristic looks for each distinct world within “Dune.” Most notable is the story’s complex stillsuit, worn by the film’s main characters to survive in the harsh desert environment. In an interview with Variety, West noted that they used monochromatic palettes to distinguish each subworld, looking to natural and imagined environments for color cues.
Luis Sequeira for “Nightmare Alley”
Guillermo del Toro’s film “Nightmare Alley” is populated with colorful characters — carnival sideshow performers past their prime, wheeling and dealing showmen, conniving high society — and an impressive cast led by Bradley Cooper. To help root his early ’40s period piece in time, the director enlisted costume designer Luis Sequeira. Sequeira notes that the movie was challenging in that there were two distinct sartorial environments: the seedy carnival world, and high-society show world of Chicago. “The carnival world was really harking back to post-Depression. These were areas in which people did not have a lot of money, and thus were not of the latest fashion and their clothing was old,” he says. “And then in the city, even though it was two years later, the city was all about being on the edge of fashion for 1941. And that again was really studying what was ’41 — not ’45, not 1938 — but really what was on the cusp at ’41,” he adds. “Because we have characters that had money and were very in touch style-wise.”
Paul Tazewell for “West Side Story”
Paul Tazewell, who won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design in 2016 for his work on “Hamilton,” is the first Black man to be nominated for the Academy Award for best costume design. Tazewell worked with Steven Spielberg to bring the director’s new film adaptation of “West Side Story,” set in 1957 New York, to life. The film stars Rachel Zegler as María and Ariana DeBose as Anita. The costume designer has detailed his process on his Instagram account, breaking down his approach to various characters in the film. As for the men in the film, Tazewell wrote that “There is quite a bit of denim worn especially by the Jets and the Sharks. During the production of @westsidestorymovie we made a decision to work with Mike Hodis and @runaboutgoods The attention to detail and consideration to period details is what made working with Mike and his team a joy.”
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