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Awards Coverage-CDG


The “architects of fabric” were honored at the 9th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 17. As can be expected, the fashion parade put on by the attendees was unrivaled and ranged from assorted gowns and tuxes to ruffled cravats and full-length white fur coats.CDG president Deborah Nadoolman Landis welcomed the glitterati with a mission statement of sorts, “Actors use costumes to channel characters. The essence of costuming is supporting the performer. We invent an entirely new and original person together. Characters are not about fashion, they are about real life.”Hosted by actress Jane Kaczmarek, the event featured a star-studded list of presenters and attendees including Peter Fonda, Kate Walsh, Brenda Strong, Roma Maffia, Joely Fisher, Patrick Swayze, Robert Patrick, Judith Light, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rena Sofer, Becki Newton, Ana Ortiz, Michael Urie, Lisa Ray, Bahar Soomekh, Shaun Toub and Sophina Brown. Kaczmarek, joined on stage by her husband, actor Bradley Whitford, touted the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, an organization that auctions celebrity award show finery—those expensive gowns only worn once—with proceeds going to benefit children’s charities.Consolata Boyle received the guild’s Excellence in Contemporary Film Award for her character-defining designs for The Queen. On Boyle’s accomplishments on The Queen, the film’s star Helen Mirren (herself presented by the guild with the Distinguished Actor Award) commented on the designer’s dedication to detail and her understanding of the importance of costume in helping the actor find the character.Costumes designed by Mike O’Neill transformed Helen Mirren into yet another iconic English monarch in Elizabeth I and garnered him the Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Mini Series.Producer Jonathan Sanger presented five-time Oscar-nominated designer Patricia Norris with the Lacoste Career Achievement Award in Film. Her designs have ranged from the starkly realistic for Days of Heaven to gender-bending for the musical Victor/Victoria to futuristic for the space adventure 2010. She is also known for her iconic designs for director David Lynch.Four-time Emmy Award nominated designer Grady Hunt received the Lacoste Career Achievement Award in Television. Her credits include The Milton Berle Show, Hart to Hart, Fantasy Island and Mike Hammer. He dressed Peter Falk in his iconic trench coat for Columbo.The Swarovski President’s Award went to actress Sandra Bullock who quipped about her destructive nature and what that does to her costumes.Costume designer Donfeld, who died just two weeks before the award ceremony, was inducted into the Costume Designers Hall of Fame. His designs for Prizzi’s Honor, Tom Sawyer, Days of Wine and Roses and They Shoot Horses Don’t They? brought him Best Costume Design Oscar nominations and his high-styled spoof Wonder Woman designs garnered him Emmy consideration.As a fitting capper to the evening, Lacoste hosted an after-party at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office with free champagne and cocktails, and great sushi. Maybe the government should look into serving hors d’oeuvres to those standing in line for service?The winners:Excellence In Contemporary Film: The Queen – Consolata BoyleExcellence In Period Film: Curse of the Golden Flower – Chung Man YeeExcellence In Fantasy Film: Pan’s Labyrinth – Lala HueteOutstanding Made For Television Movie Or Mini Series: Elizabeth I – Mike O’NeillOutstanding Contemporary Television Series: Ugly Betty – Eduardo CastroOutstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series: Rome – April FerryExcellence In Commercial Costume Design: “Target Branding Circle” – Jennifer RadeVenue: Beverly Wilshire HotelParking: $15 valet, but the pre-pay did not really speed up getting away after the ceremonyDrinks: Complimentary cocktails before the event, wine at the tableFood: Excellent; they took care of both the vegetarian and the vegan at my tableAttire: ImaginativeShow Length: A bit long with a couple of unscripted “pauses”Host: A repeat engagement by Jane KaczmarekSwag: A Swarovski crystal key chain (a few people got away with the table centerpieces as well)High Point: Ruta Lee and her show-stopping Grady Hunt designed American flag dress that transformed into a Texas flagLow Point: The absence of Jane Kaczmarek on stage after the presentation by Patrick Swayze; she claimed that she was trying to get him to leap off the stage as he did in Dirty DancingBest Quote: Ruta Lee on the talents of Grady Hunt: “He knows how to do tits and glitz!”

Written by Mary Ann Skweres

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