Friday, February 01, 2008

A Look Ahead to Achievement in Costume Design.

Clothes rock.

Here are the nominees:
Across the Universe - Albert Wolsky
Atonement - Jacqueline Durran
Elizabeth: The Golden Age - Alexandra Byrne
La Vie en Rose - Marit Allen
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Colleen Atwood

How I did: 60%. I correctly guessed Atonement, The Golden Age and La Vie en Rose. I did predict a slightly “out there” nomination in the form of Hairspray, but it really went to Across the Universe. (which I'm totally OK with, whilst I loved Pfieffer's wardrobe in Hairspray, most of the clothes in the film had were vintage pieces of clothing, whereas the wardrobe in Across the Universe had to be specially designed for the movie) And Sweeney Todd should have been obvious.

So, onto my rankings:

01. Atonement
Keira Knightley’s emerald dress has been voted the best movie costume of all time, and, whilst I don’t think it eclipses Marilyn’s white dress in The Seven Year Itch or Miss Hepburn’s Givenchy dress in Breakfast at Tiffanys’s, it’s certainly up there. But more on that later, let’s not ignore the rest of the costume work done by Jacqueline Durran, (who also provided the earthy, beautiful tones of clothing for Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice and, in my opinion, should have won in 2006) – from Briony’s white pinafore, to the nurses’ uniform, to Robbie’s soldier’s uniform, dedication and attention to detail was required to capture the 30s atmosphere. The subtle line between classes are drawn in the clothing too - Robbie wears clean but simple blue collar type clothes when he's at the Tallis' house whereas Briony, even wearing just a plain white dress, looks superior to him. Another piece of costume that I felt was fairly underrated was when Robbie and Cecilia were at the cottage house together. In that scene they were dressed like each other, as equals, nothing arty farty, just enjoying each other's company.

And now I will say a bit more about the green dress; Joe Wright wanted a green dress because of the symbolism of the colour, and he wanted a dress that made Cecilia look and feel naked. Despite being flowy and long, I think it did that. And it was pretty much perfect; the shade is stunning, the hemline is beautiful and the length perfect.

A sumptuous bunch of fabrics and materials that contributed greatly to the visual flair of Atonement. A.

02. Across the Universe
This exuberant musical had to have groovy 60s costumes, and most of the costumes here were designed from scratch. The clothes are bright and lively, totally eyecatching and they completely complement the songs which the character wearing them are singing, for example, the leather attire of Jude and Lucy’s uptown girl. Though not officially nominated, surely some of the plaudits have to go to Gail Fitzgibbons, the costume supervisor, who had to hard task of kitting out all 10,000 people who appeared in Across the Universe. Lovely costumes, and thankfully not everyone looked like a hippie. A-.
03. Sweeney Todd
There’s nothing we haven’t seen before in Sweeney Todd that hasn’t been used in another one of Atwood and Burton’s collaborations (I’m wearing Nightmare Before Christmas earrings today, by the way), but the colours work with the cinematography so perfectly that I really enjoyed looking at them anyway. Mrs. Lovett’s dark dresses suited Bonham Carter excellently and totally captured her crow-like personality. B+.
04. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Good, historical costumes, especially in the court scenes, were everybody looked exactly how you'd expect - to have spent ages on their clothes to impress a queen. The women's clothing is obviously more exciting than the men's in this film, although there is still a sort of elegance in the men's clothes too. Elizabeth’s yellow dress was stood out for me. And lastly the feathers in this film were very cool, if overused. B+

05. La vie En Rose
Eh, although I can see that the costumes here were very GOOD, I just didn’t find them that interesting. In La Vie en Rose, the costume design covers the likes of street-urchin rags to glamorous dresses. All very well then, just nothing new. B-.

Who will win: Atonement
Who should win: Atonement
Who should have gotten nominated: Juno. I know the costumes were modern and therefore considered easier to supply but I loved them all, not least Cera’s yellow headband and Juno’s everyday clothes, which reflected what sorta person she was.


Anonymous said...

I thought the costumes in Elizabeth: the Golden Age were astonishing. The only problem was that they took the limelight off the stars, surely not the point!

Naomi said...

I saw Sweeny Todd the other day and couldn't get over how much Depp sounded like David Bowie.

Also, the new Empire is out today, hurrah!

anahita said...

hey. gosh that sketch is gorgeous. I'm going more for sweeney todd, but the clothes in atonement were stunning.

I've been ill all week, hence the inactivity. I think I'll update my blog for the first time in like, a fortnight. xxx

Kayleigh said...

The green dress is beautiful, if only Miss Knightley filled it out a little more.

love&squalor said...

Joe NEEDED a green dress. The dress was as green as it could be in the book!

Adele said...

I agree with everything you said about Mrs Lovetts costumes i loved her dresses... i can not comment on Atonement because I havent yet watched it, I have heard different opinions of Atonement, i will go read you reveiw now :)

Arthur said...

Oh my, the concept art for That Green Dress is stunning, where did you get it from? Do you have a blow-up of it?

Pizzi Raccoon said...

Hi Arthur, I pinched it from this webpage:,0,1806204.htmlstory

Hoping to see you @ the LSE open day!

Emma xxx

edward said...

but I try to avoid excessive gore and sadistic violence (like in Hostel and Saw). Self-harm and mutilation and all that give me nightmares too

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