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Tag: Costume Design (1-10 of 100)

'Blue Jasmine' costume designer on working with Woody Allen, borrowing Chanel jackets

For her Oscar-nominated role in Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett required a designer-label wardrobe worthy of a wilted New York socialite. The only problem? Costume designer Suzy Benzinger had a limited, more Nordstrom Rack-esque budget. (In fact, a New York Times piece estimated that the film’s entire wardrobe budget was $35,000, which is often the cost of just one Hermes Birkin bag.)

Knockoffs simply wouldn’t do to truly sell the story of a woman who lost nearly everything except a handful of luxury goods. That’s when Benzinger — who has worked with director Woody Allen since 1994 on projects like Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, and Whatever Works — took a deep breath and a leap of faith.

She began calling fashion houses like Chanel, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Ralph Lauren to see what strings she could pull.

“I relied on the generosity of all these designers,” Benzinger told EW. “I made a list of things I had to have for Cate’s character in order to tell the story. … Every day, my assistant and I would go through [the list] and I would say, ‘I’m going to call Hermes up. Wish me luck. I’ve got to get this Birkin bag.’ Every day we’d check off things on our list. [When] I got to the Chanel jackets, I thought, ‘Everything is going fabulous and this is where it’ll stop. … I’m not going to get the Chanel jacket. We’re going to try though. Wish me luck.’ When we got that, I burst into tears. I thought, ‘How did I get my whole wish list?’”

The costume designer admitted her experience was far from the norm. While brands often loan to celebrities for the red carpet, they rarely loan to films. “None of my friends who are costume designers have had the same experience that I’ve had,” she said, crediting Cate Blanchett’s personal fashion house relationships as a huge help. “The gods were watching when Woody wrote the script, because I [initially] thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I never thought I would have gotten all these things. I really owe it to Cate.”

With one character down, Benzinger turned her attention to Jasmine’s sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who had a more casual aesthetic that reflected the character’s working class status. For this, the costume designer bargain hunted at stores like Century 21 in New York and Loehmann’s in San Francisco, where Blue Jasmine was shot. The biggest irony? “Sally Hawkins’ wardrobe cost more than Cate Blanchett’s. Isn’t that hysterical? I actually spent more money on Sally then I did on Cate. You have to laugh. But it’s only because of the generosity of designers like Karl Lagerfeld.”

Thanks to her thriftiness, Benzinger is nominated for her first Costume Designers Guild Award. “I’ve been doing this for many, many years. It’s nice to get the recognition on this. My feeling is that it’s for the whole Woody Allen family.”

Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Benzinger to learn what makes a Woody Allen set different from all others, Sally Hawkins’ surprising reaction to her wardrobe, who kept those designer pieces, and what it was like working with Bill Murray on Ghostbusters. READ FULL STORY

'Castle': What do you think of Beckett's wedding dress? -- POLL

“Murder is the new black.”

So says Castle (Nathan Fillion) when he and Beckett (Stana Katic) investigate the death of an assistant at Modern Fashion magazine on tonight’s episode, fittingly titled “Dressed to Kill.”

Is Modern Fashion editrix Matilda King (Frances Fisher) — a blunt bobbed ice queen who bears a resemblance to Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, the real-life inspiration for The Devil Wears Prada‘s Miranda Priestly — the prime suspect, or is she bride-to-be Beckett’s fashion fairy godmother?

A former teen model, Beckett finds it easy to infiltrate the fashion industry and by the time the hour is up, not only has she caught the killer, she’s found her dream wedding dress.

What do you think of Beckett’s gown? Click on for details on the dress and cast your vote in our love it or loathe it poll. READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story: Coven': Myrtle Snow's top 5 fashion witticisms

American Horror Story: Coven wasn’t just packed with (gory) plot twists, there were also plenty of sartorial surprises.

“This season [series creator Ryan Murphy] wanted each character to have an iconic look,” AHS costume designer Lou Eyrich told EW. “I had not done a television series on location before, so [I had to] get to know a new city and where to find the things I’d need for an 1830s flashback or a Salem witch hunt. Where do you find stylized witch wear in New Orleans?”

Characters like Fiona (Jessica Lange) and Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) got to slip into labels like Givenchy, Gucci, Lanvin, and Prada but it was Myrtle Snow who channeled Murphy’s personal fashion favorites.

“I love all that stuff. I was like, ‘Let’s write a monologue and I can put all my obsessions in,’” Murphy said of Myrtle’s episode 11 monologue, which included references to stylish socialite Lee Radziwill and iconic designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

Click through the gallery to relive Myrtle’s top 5 fashion witticisms.  READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story: Coven': Myrtle Snow's last word

“Balenciaga!”

The season finale of American Horror Story: Coven featured one of the most stylish death scenes in the history of television.

Accompanied by two men who bore more than a passing resemblance to fashion industry icon Karl Lagerfeld, Myrtle Snow (Francis Conroy) walked into the desert — wearing a flowing floor-length crimson dress — presented herself at the stake, and cried out “Balenciaga!” before becoming engulfed in flames.

Why was Myrtle’s last word the name of a French fashion label? READ FULL STORY

'American Horror Story' costume designer on 'Coven' and working on Ryan Murphy's new series

We may finally know who reigns supreme on American Horror Story: Coven, but series creator Ryan Murphy is keeping everyone guessing about what’s in store for season four — cast and crew included.

“You’ve heard more than I have,” joked costume designer Lou Eyrich — who made the move to AHS after overseeing the wardrobe on the first three seasons of Glee — when told that Murphy had hinted that the next installment would be set in 1950 and that “Jessica Lange has already started practicing her German accent.” While the Costume Designers Guild Awards nominee claims she’s in the dark about the details, she did admit that she’s heard rumors season 4 could return to New Orleans in June.

What is it like designing for an entirely new time and place each season?

“It’s like doing a movie every week,” Eyrich told EW, adding that she only had six weeks to ready the wardrobe for Coven and about four days to prep each episode. “Ryan Murphy has a vision before we even get started. He shares his ideas with me and then I do mood boards and we go over each character and decide what their look would be. This [past] season he wanted each character to have an iconic look. It’s both fun and quite intimidating.”

Read on for EW’s exclusive Q&A with Eyrich on her favorite costume moments from American Horror Story: Coven.

READ FULL STORY

Costume designer Michael Wilkinson on 'American Hustle' and 'Batman vs. Superman'

Much has been written about Michael Wilkinson’s Academy Award-nominated American Hustle wardrobe, but the praise isn’t lost on the costume designer.

“This film has been a tremendously exciting journey for me,” Wilkinson — whose past credits include Man of Steel, 300, Watchmen, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 & 2 – told EW. “The most surprising thing for me is that people seem to have had a personal reaction to the film. They really love the clothes… There’s talk of a reemergence of 70′s styling in the way people are dressing themselves. I’m thrilled the exuberance and the self-expression of the 1970′s is resonating with people today. People seem to want to translate it into their own wardrobes and that was something we absolutely weren’t thinking about when we made the film.”

The Oscar, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Costume Designers Guild Award nominee is already hard at work re-imagining some of the iconic superhero costumes for director Zach Synder’s highly anticipated Batman vs. Superman, set for release in May 2016. “It’s incredibly thrilling,” he said of the experience. “I love going to work every day. We’re so excited about creating the next Batman and Wonder Woman for the 21st century. It’s great to think about making these characters relevant and really resonate with audiences today. It’s such a thrill to be working with our director Zack Snyder. He’s creating such an exciting universe for this film. I think it’s something we’re all going to be really proud of.”

Read to find out where the American Hustle wardrobe is now, which actress wore a stained dress on-screen, Wilkinson’s favorite stores for vintage shopping, and a few hints about the Batman vs. Superman costumes.

READ FULL STORY

'The Invisible Woman' designer on the film's Oscar nominated costumes

The Invisible Woman opened in limited release on Christmas Day, but the small period drama caught the eye of Academy voters, who recognized costume designer Michael O’Connor with an Oscar nomination.

The Ralph Fiennes directed film, which takes place in Victorian England, tells the story of Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), the author’s secret mistress and muse.

“The inspiration came from Victorian art and painters like Frith who did Derby Day. [We also looked to] Charles Dickens — his writing, his life, the stories he wrote, the way he described people,” O’Connor told EW. What was the designer’s reaction to hearing the news that his work had scored him an Oscar nod? “It’s odd. You kind of think, ‘I wonder how?’ But I’m thrilled.”

O’Connor, who had previously worked with Fiennes on the 2008 historical drama The Duchess (for which won the costume Oscar), said that the actor-director was involved in every aspect of Invisible Woman. “Ralph was there at my initial meetings with the other actors to see their responses and how my ideas played,” the designer remembers. “He understands the feelings of the actors and what they may be thinking in that early stage.”

Read on for an exclusive Q&A with O’Connor and see the designer’s Invisible Woman costume sketches.

READ FULL STORY

'The Hunger Games': New costume designers for 'Mockingjay'

Costume designers Kurt and Bart are overseeing the wardrobe department for parts 1 and 2 of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Reached by email, the duo — who are nominated for a 2014 Costume Designers Guild award for their work on Dallas Buyers Club – said they were not allowed to share specifics on the Hunger Games gig, but did admit that it’s “really exciting.”

Kurt and Bart succeed Catching Fire costume designer Trish Summerville, who is currently at work on David Fincher’s movie adaptation of the 2012 bestseller Gone Girl. Their previous credits include Stoker, Step-Up 3D, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. They were also behind many of Britney Spears’ most iconic music video ensembles, including ‘Slave 4 You,’ ‘Toxic,’ and ‘Me Against the Music.’  READ FULL STORY

Costume designer Daniel Lawson on his 'Good Wife' inspired clothing line

Fans of The Good Wife may have to wait until March for new episodes, but they can get their fashion fix later this month thanks to a new clothing line by series costume designer Daniel Lawson.

The Emmy-nominated Lawson teamed up with Andrea Cohen of British label Number 35 to create a collection of business professional clothes that echoes the show’s tailored, boardroom style.

“My experience on The Good Wife inspired me and inspired us. How could it not after doing it for so long?” Lawson told EW of the line, which will include blazers, pencil skirts, trousers, and shift dresses in basic solids like red, blue, and black. “I wanted it to be clean, elegant, chic, strong, but still feminine. That’s what I do on The Good Wife.”

Priced from £225.00 ($369.45 US) to £850.00 ($1395.78), the pieces are currently available for pre-order on the 35-DL website and will ship January 31st. Lawson and Cohen are already working on the label’s next collection. “With 35-DL, it was about longevity and not just a capsule,” Lawson said. We’ll do several collections and [we hope] to have a long marriage.”

Read on for an exclusive Q&A with Lawson — including what you can expect when the show returns — and a first look at the 35-DL collection.

READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2014: The nominees for best costume design are...

The wardrobe designers for the Roaring ’20s set The Great Gatsby, ’70s con-artist comedy American Hustle, and the powerfully moving 12 Years a Slave are among this year’s Oscar nominees for best costume design.

Catherine Martin was recognized twice for her work on Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby, scoring nominations in the costume design and production design categories. If she wins them both, it won’t be the first time she’ll have to give two acceptance speeches — in 2002, Martin took home the costume and production Oscars for Moulin Rouge. Martin designed most of the costumes for Gatsby herself, supplementing her work with flapperesque dresses from the Prada archives, and suits co-designed with Brooks Brothers.

Michael Wilkinson helped David O. Russell resurrect the Disco era for Hustle, outfitting Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in a mix of vintage Halston gowns and custom cut-down-to-there dresses — not to mention Adams’ sexy macrame swimsuit — and putting Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale in gaudy period suits that were so bad they were good.

Patricia Norris, who says she took the job in part because she’d never worked on a period film set in the 1800s, created costumes for more than 100 actors with speaking parts in 12 Years a Slave. Today’s nod brings the 82 year-old Norris’ career Oscar nominations count to six — will this be the year she finally wins one?

Like many of the other categories, there were a couple of surprises and a few snubs. READ FULL STORY

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