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.
William Chang for Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster – the story of Ip Man, the Wing Chun martial-arts legend who trained Bruce Lee – and Michael O’Connor for the Ralph Fiennes directed The Invisible Woman, the story of Charles Dickens’ young mistress are in the running. Both movies were smaller offerings… and Chang and O’Connor are likely the two nominees who had the smallest costume budgets.
Despite all the buzz about the high-waisted pants worn by Joaquin Phoenix’s character in Spike Jonze’s Her, the film didn’t make the cut in the costume category. Also left out: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Saving Mr. Banks.