OSCAR RED CARPET MOST GLAMOROUS GOWN AWARD 2015

 

Silver Screen Modes is again awarding the Most Glamorous Gown Award for the Oscars red carpet in 2015. This award was started  for my previous blog The Silver Screen Modiste in 2010 and has been awarded annually ever since. Last year the winner was Charlize Theron wearing a Dior Haute Couture black decollete  gown (see the photo at the bottom of the post). Previous winners have been Jessica Chastain in a copper-colored Armani Prive (2013); Milla Jovovich in a white sequin Elie Saab gown (2012); Anne Hathaway in a red Valentino (2011); and Sandra Bullock in a gold-beaded Marchesa (2010).

 

Oscar red carpet group

2015 Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre

 

Fashion trends have had their place on the red carpet, although the bigger trend over the last couple of years has been the interplay between actor, stylist, and fashion designer. As stylists have taken on more influence, there have been fewer “what was she thinking” moments on the red carpet. The result has been an over-all improvement in the beauty (and glamour)of the gowns,  but their homogeneity has taken away the surprise factor. This started changing somewhat a couple of years ago as fashion designers began working on custom designs for their favored clients. The more typical procedure in the past was one where several possible designs were submitted by a leading fashion house, or where the stars and their stylists selected a runway design that was fitted for the star.  With an A-list star now essentialy getting a true couture gown – designed and made to her body measurements – this becomes a different ballgame. I must note that this was essentially what happened during Hollywood’s Golden Age, when the studio designers like, Adrian, Travis Banton, and Orry Kelly designed and had the studio wardrobe department custom make the gowns for the Studio’s own nominees. But today there are also those stars that have impeccable taste, like Julianne Moore, that always seem to look stunning and work directly with favored designers. Of course moody stars can always wear whoever or whatever they want, but nobody particularly likes being pictured on the Fashion Police as the “Worst Dressed.” But now as there are almost really no bad gowns, a “worst dressed” designation becomes a stretch, and often just unfair.

The Golden Globes have also become more formal in recent years, increasingly competitive with the Academy Awards for the glamour of the red carpet gowns. Sparkling silver seemed to be among the most glamorous gowns at that event. Yet as more media attention is paid to red carpet fashions, some women actors are giving interviewers the silent treatment on  the question of “who are you wearing?’ and shunning some of the overt camera treatment or even being photographed altogether. The reason being that they would rather talk about some of their more “serious” endeavors, or just don’t  want to talk about their looks. We understand the seriousness of their craft, but isn’t their looks and their glamour a big part of the occasion?

There were some stunning looks on the red carpet and on the  Dolby Theatre stage. Out of them all the MOST GLAMOROUS GOWN AWARD goes to MARGOT ROBBIE in a black Yves Saint Laurent  gown with a very deep décolletage and with sheer long sleeves. It was beautifully, I should say stunningly accessorized by a Van Cleef & Arpels necklace made for the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s, “worth more than my life,” Ms. Robbie let out.

 

Photo John Merritt Getty Images

Photo John Merritt Getty Images

 

Oscars Margot 2

 

Special mention must be made of three other gowns. The first one was worn by Lupita Nyong’o – a beautiful custom Calvin Klein white gown made of some six thousand pearls. It hugged her figure and had a halter top and key-hole cut-out below her breasts.  It was designed by Francisco Costa.

 

Oscars Lupita

Photo Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

 

While there was less color than I would have thought, The red Givenchy Haute Couture worn by Rosamond Pike was a most beautiful and glamorous gown – strapless and embroidered with fleurettes over a satin base.

 

Oscars rosamund-pike

Photo Getty Images

 

Model Behati Prinsloo also looked stunning in an Armani Prive textured two-piece ensemble. It was a great color for her and for the evening.

 

Oscars Behati Prinslo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These  were all beautiful and exquisite gowns, and there were more as well.

This year’s Best Costume Design went to Melina Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was the favorite and that I had predicted as well. The film won four awards in the “technical” categories.

Below is the photo of Charlize Theron in last year’s Most Glamorous Gown.  I seem to like black.

 

 

Most Glamorous 1

 

 

 

 

OSCAR CONTENDERS 2015 – BEST COSTUME

This year brings a wealth of costume-rich movies to see, and several veteran costume designers have secured nominations for Best Costume Design by the Acedemy of Motion Picure Arts and Sciences. The Nominess are: The Grand Budapest Hotel; Inherent Vice; Into the Woods; Maleficent: and Mr Turner.  Each of the movies and their costume designs are certainly excellent in their own way. The Academy’s voters have traditionally favored historical costume movies, or fantasies. Rarely has a contemporary costume movie won this award, only once, in memory.  Below is my summary of the costumes for each of these nominees and my prediction for the winner.

Watch for my annual Silver Screen Modes Most Glamorous Gown Award here after the the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday night February 22nd  for the most glamorous red carpet gown.

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Jude Law plays a young writer staying at the Hotel in its later years

 

Wes Anderson’s film about the Grand Budapest Hotel located in the fictional Alpine country of Zubrowka  as told through its old concierge M. Gustave, is a bravado of costume design.  The costumes were the work of Italian designer Milena Canonero. Ms, Canonero has won three Oscars and has been nominated nine times for Best Costume Design, including her first Oscar for Barry Lyndon in 1975; and for Chariots of Fire;  and most recently for Marie Antoinette in 2006.

In the movie M. Gustave is adorned in a purple tailcoat with red piping that complements his dove-gray pants and cutaway vest. The lobby boys’ costumes are also in purple with red striping.

grand-budapest-hotel 1

 

M. Gustave, as played by Ralph Fiennes,  is intimate with the old ladies who stay at the hotel, here seen below with Madame D. Madame D. was played by Tilda Swinton in heavy makeup.  Ms. Canonero was inspired in the scene below for the design of her gown by a painting by Gustave Klimt.

 

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Jeff Goldblum is shown below as Deputy Kovacs. His costume heightens his demeanor as the serious lawyer he is trying to be. The wide notched  lapels are the styles of the 1930s. Ms. Canonero said she drew inspiration by looking at the photos of George Hurrell and the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka.

grand-budapest-hotel Jeff Goldblum

 

Into the Woods, brings us into a more typical fantasywith costume designs by veteran designer Colleen Atwood. Ms. Atwood has won three Oscars for costume design, and this is her eleventh nomination. Into the Woods is based on the Stephen Sondheim Boadway musical hit,  adaptated as a movie and directed by Rob Marshall.

INTO THE WOODS

Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep as the witch, Johnny Depp as the wolf, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, and Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood. Ms. Atwood used the motif of wood bark to design the textile and gown for Meryl Streep. A leather and satin cording was woven into the chiffon to give it a special texture. For the pouffy-sleeved gown shown above and shown in many publicity shots, ribbons were woven into the fabric.

INTO THE WOODS

For Cinderella’s step-sisters, Ms. Atwood used black and taupe colors. She wanted contrast without using black and white. After trying different colors contrasts, she liked the ones shown above the best. Ms. Atwood also used a pale pink for Rapunzel’s costume, with a sheer overlay, giving the ensemble a pale, ethereal look emphasizing that she had been held captive in the tower for so long.

Johnny Depp had suggested the Zoot Suit look himself as a design theme for the wolf’s costume. Ms. Atwood ran with it. The zoot suit had exagerated features and was made famous by singer and band-leader Cab Calloway in the early 1940s and worn by many of the young Mexican-American “Pachucos” in Los Angeles.  The long fur collar and tail were actually made from thread. Little Red Riding Hood’s cape and hood were made of specially dyed lamb’s wool.

 

Into the woods

 

The third Best Costume nominee is Maleficent, designed by Anna B. Sheppard, and it too is for a fantasy, this one a Walt Disney production starring Angelina Jolie.  This is Ms. Sheppard’s third nomination. She has previously been nominated for Schindler’s List, (1992) and The Piano (2002).

 

Oscar Melificent 1

Ms. Sheppard stated that she used Disney’s original animated  Sleeping Beauty from 1959 as the model for Maleficent’s costume, only slimmer. In her original form, above,  Maleficent has her wings. Angelina Jolie makes a great looking fairy Maleficent, her pale skin a contrast to the black horned headpiece and high-collared gown. In the Maleficent costume shown below, Ms. Sheppard used  Python skin for the horns. Duck feathers over leather were used for the capelet.

 

Oscar maleficent_costume_7

Photo by Disney Enterprises/Chris Floyd

 

 

 

Oscar Melificent 2A

The costume of the three fairies are each very different as they hover over the infant Aurora.. The clothing style is from the High Renaissance.

 

MALEFICENT

 

The next nominee, Mr.Turner takes us to  early19th century Britain, and the art world of the eccentric but brilliant painter J.M.W. Turner. Jacqueline Curran designed the costumes in the film directed by Mike Leigh, in their sixth collaboration.   She won an Oscar for Anna Karenina, their last film together. Her emphasis was to design in a muted palette of colors, with Mr. Turner’s being on the dark side, typical of the period. This was also done to contrast with the light which was such a focus of his paintings.

 

Oscar Mr-Turner-1A

Timothy Spall plays Mr. Turner, shown in the photos above and below

The film only covered a twenty-five year time period in his life, so the silhouette of his costumes didn’t much change.  The film’s costume budget was also modest. But it was intentional that all the costumes looked “lived-in.”

Oscar Mr TURNER

 

And now for something completely different, we go to Hollywood in 1970, a place and time I knew well.  Inherent Vice, designed by Mark Bridges is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and is based on the Thomas Pynchon  1970-era novel. Bridges has designed all of Anderson’s previous movies, and he won the 2012 Best Costume Oscar for The Artist.

Although set in 1970, the styles were very much that of the hippy-chic modes of late 1960s. In the Pynchon book in particular, the women’s styles emphasized sexiness. The men were either hippies mobsters, or the detectives that were after them for drugs, or various musicians and other gonzo characters.

 

INHERENT VICE

Katherine Waterston is seen above in one of the vintage styles of the period. Designer Mark Bridges tried to have a short crocheted dress made out of macramé but it never worked. He ended up finding the perfect dress in a vintage store. He did dye it to make it more orange, however. And with a dress this short, pantyhose would have been worn in those days.

la-et-Inherent Vice

Joaquin Phoenix is shown above as detective “Doc” Sportello, next to the prim Reese Witherspoon playing a D.A.. Mark Bridges said he kept his main characters like Doc in very similar costumes, since the plot was complicated, the character’s costumes helped ground the story.

Mark Bridges went to the L.A.County Museum of Art to study the iconic fashions of 1960s/1970s designer Rudi Gernreich. This became the inspiration for Serena Scott Thomas’ bathing suit, shown below. This knock-out piece had no straps in the back and had a very low back at the posterior. It took several fittings to make it work. Serena is the younger sister of Kristin Scott Thomas. Below is shown Mark Bridges’ costume sketch and a photo of her wearing the bathing suit, playing a mobster’s wife named Sloane Wolfmann. Bridges said the bathing suit was one of his favorite costume pieces in the movie.

 

Inherent vice

 

As I mentioned previously, contemporary costume design rarely wins the Best Costume Design Oscar, which is voted on by all Academy members. Whereas the big marketing and publicity budgets and other techniques of influencing the voters do have a significant role, this is less a factor in the costume award, as is the case with the other craft awards as well.

The costume designer nominees are all experts with excellent work presented here and with notable past achievements. There are several fantasies and historical movies that would seem to please the voters among which to choose from. My own prediction would be that The Grand Budapest Hotel will win. The film’s visual exuberance exempified by its costumes is one of its trademarks. It has already been awarded the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Costume Design Award, and seems to be the front-runner. We will see on Sunday, February 22.