Oscars 2022: Best Costume Design Predictions

·4 min read
 IndieWire The Craft Top of the Line
IndieWire The Craft Top of the Line

Last Updated March 10: “Cruella” and “Dune” received Oscar momentum as the period and sci-fi film winners March 9 at the 24th Costume Designer Guild Awards. This clearly puts “Cruella’s” two-time Oscar winner Jenny Beaven (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “A Room With a View”) in the driver’s seat against “Dune’s” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan, and “West Side Story’s” Paul Tazewell.

Last Updated February 10: The costume design Oscar nominees — “Cruella” (Disney), “Cyrano” (MGM/UA), “Dune” (Warner Bros.), “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight/Disney), and “West Side Story” (20th Century/Disney) — are all distinguished and eclectic, delving into a range of period styles that inform the characters and their worlds. It’s a race that boasts three Oscar winners — “Cruella’s” Jenny Beaven (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “A Room With a View”), “Cyrano’s” Jacqueline Durran (“Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”), and “Nightmare Alley’s” Luis Sequeira (“The Shape of Water”) — two previous nominees — “Cyrano’s” co-designer Massimo Cantini Parrini (“Pinocchio”) and “Dune’s” Jacqueline West (“The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) — and “West Side Story’s” acclaimed newcomer — Paul Tazewell (the Tony-winning “Hamilton”).

More from IndieWire

However, “Cruella’s” Beavan has to be considered the favorite here because of her flamboyant work. She delivered a recycled fabric motif for dressing Emma Stone’s subversive fashion designer. Beavan even tapped her own youthful memories of ’70s London fashion in finding an arc for Cruella, who morphs from a rebellious child to a fashion sensation. She used ’70s, military, and fantastical inspirations. But the standout is the red dress: a deconstruction of a prestigious vintage evening gown designed by Emma Thompson’s evil baroness. The ultimate goal was to make sure that you could believe that Cruella could eventually resemble Glenn Close in the ’90s live-action reworking

But don’t count out Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” for its imagination and scope. West and Robert Morgan went more “modern-medieval” than traditional futuristic, referencing nomadic tribes of the desert, Greek mythology, and Goya paintings. The complex gray stillsuit of the Fremen desert dwellers from the planet Arrakis is the film’s innovative costume centerpiece, bringing to life the sophisticated and highly practical fluid recycling system that allows the Fremen to survive under harsh conditions. The functional yet stylish design is otherworldly – the gauze cloaks and capes acting as a form of camouflage, while the robes lending an aura of romance.

For Steven Spielberg’s reworking of “West Side Story” in the late ’50s, Tazewell helped define the differences between the rival Jets and Sharks gangs through their wardrobes. The Caucasian Jets wore the popular denim jackets and jeans to look cool like Brando and Dean, while the Puerto Rican Sharks were nicer dressed with floral patterns. The Puerto Rican women were very stylish and colorful. Of course, the clothes were customized to be looser because of the dancing. But the aesthetic overall adhered to greater naturalism.

Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarez as Bernardo in 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story.” - Credit: Niko Tavernise
Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarez as Bernardo in 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story.” - Credit: Niko Tavernise

Niko Tavernise

But don’t count out Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” for its imagination and scope. West and Robert Morgan went more “modern-medieval” than traditional futuristic, referencing nomadic tribes of the desert, Greek mythology, and Goya paintings. The complex gray stillsuit of the Fremen desert dwellers from the planet Arrakis is the film’s innovative costume centerpiece, bringing to life the sophisticated and highly practical fluid recycling system that allows the Fremen to survive under harsh conditions. The functional yet stylish design is otherworldly – the gauze cloaks and capes acting as a form of camouflage, while the robes lending an aura of romance.

With Joe Wright’s “Cyrano” musical, starring Peter Dinklage as the heartbroken poet and swashbuckler, switching the period from the 16th to 17th century helped Parrini and Durran liberate the wardrobes. They added lightness and delicacy through transparent fabrics that were influenced by watercolors of the period. And, by layering silk and linen on top, and then mixing different colors, they created a full-bodied look. Of course, because of the dancing, the costumes also had to fit comfortably as well.

For Guillermo del Toro’s noirish “Nightmare Alley” remake, Sequeira created a wide range of wardrobes appropriate for the late ’30s and early ’40. But the primary focus was outfitting ruthless grifter Bradley Cooper, who journeys from the carny underworld to high society glam. In the beginning, his tweedy old clothes don’t fit properly, but as he ascends high society as a successful mentalist, his tailored wardrobe becomes more stylish and sexy. The trick was finding cohesion for this chameleon.

Below are the nominees ranked in order of likelihood to win:
“Cruella”
“Dune”
“West Side Story”
“Nightmare Alley”
“Cyrano”

Best of IndieWire

Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.