Costume design is a very important part of the movie-making industry. It plays an integral part in creating the story and transporting us to the right time and the place. Movies that win Oscars for costume design usually have a very specific style, and while sometimes Oscars are given for making the most realistic and historically-correct costumes for the time period, other times the costumes have absolutely no base in history and deserve an Oscar based on attention to detail and creativity that went into the costume design as part of world-building of the movie. Let’s take a look at some of the award-winning costumes in movies.
1. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
The costumes in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them are based on the style of the 1920s fashion and enhanced by various elements of the magical world of Harry Potter. So you’ll see Hogwarts house colors blended into the accessories that the characters wear, as well as certain style elements that are specifically made to reference wizardry and magic, Colleen Atwood was the costume designer on this movie and we think that Oscar was well deserved.
2. Phantom Thread
This whole movie is about a very eccentric but undoubtedly talented fictional haute couture designer, his life, work, and love. So it only makes sense that it would get an Oscar for costume design. The costumes in this movie are impeccable and the love for creating beautiful clothes is woven into the fabric of the film. Mark Bridges did a fantastic job creating the costumes for this movie, he based them on the works of several lesser-known English designers and blended their styles together creating something unique and mesmerizing.
3. Black Panther
We all cheered as we watched Ruth E. Carter accepted the Oscar for Costume Design in 2018. The costumes she designed for the Black Panther movies are a gorgeous mix of futuristic designs and traditional African clothes with haute-couture elements thrown in to fit the narrative of the movie. The result is stunning and awe-inspiring.
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Milena Canonero is the mastermind behind the costume design on The Grand Budapest Hotel. She did a great job creating unique costumes for this bizarre and wonderful Wes Anderson film. The colors had to reflect this weird utopian world that feels comical and ironic at the same time. The idea was to make everything feel cheerful yet like something big and bad is coming, and colors and fabrics played an integral part in that.
5. Anna Karenina
Jacqueline Durran got the Oscar for costume design on this movie and if you’ve seen it you’ll know why. They never really set out to make the costumes historically accurate and yet the result is very believable, feels real, and looks absolutely amazing. Those dresses are to die for and the attention to detail is insane. The whole movie is very visually pleasing.
6. Alice In Wonderland
Another Oscar for Colleen Antwood over here. It must’ve been really fun creating costumes for such a fantastical movie. The only way we can describe the costumes here is “fairy-tale but make it a bit dark”. The colors, the textures, the styling choices, and the details on the costumes — it’s all absolutely mad.
7. LOTR: The Return Of The King
I mean this movie swept the Oscars in 2004, it was nominated for 12 and won 11 of them, so you know it’s a brilliant piece of work. One of those Oscars was for Costume design, for which we have to thank Richard Taylor and Ngila Dickson. And while we can all appreciate the detail and the visual appeal of the costumes in LOTR, what you also need to know is that all together 19k costumes were made for this movie, all of them made by hand. Just Frodo alone had 64 sets of clothing.