The Costume Designers Guild helped wrap up the Beverly Hilton’s “kudos season” with the 19th edition of their own award show, hosted by Mandy Moore from This Is Us.
Tea leave watchers will note that the casual, colorful, pulled-out-of-a-bohemian’s-closet (yet always form fitting) threads worn in La La Land won the excellence in contemporary film prize for Mary Zophres, who is nominated for an Oscar for that same work, as she was some years ago for designing duds on True Grit.
British designer Michele Clapton had an especially good night as well, winning the period television prize for The Crown, then winning again with partner April Ferry for Game of Thrones.
And speaking of TV, designer Bob Mackie was there to help induct the late Ret Turner — of variety show TV renown — into the Guild’s Hall of Fame. As for the tools of design, Mackie said to “keep drawing — it’s better than these machines.”
And being a suitably glamorous evening, stars like Meryl Streep were honored as well, in her case, with the Distinguished Collaborator’s Award. She allowed as to how the award “was a surprise, like simultaneous orgasm.” Though another surprise turned out to be that in school, Streep had wanted to be a costume designer herself. When that didn’t work out, she was apparently forced to try her hand at acting
And speaking of collaborations, Jeffrey Kurland — who frequently partnered with Woody Allen — was given the Career Achievement Award. Of late, he’s been seen in the company of director Christopher Nolan — among many others — and it was Nolan who introduced him as having “a sweet smile, but a spine of steel.”
Dianne Wiest, brought to Allen’s attention by Kurland after he’d seen her in a play, was also there for the lifetime accolade, and said once he had given her her costume for Purple Rose of Cairo, “I knew exactly what to do.”
Kurland knew exactly what he wanted to do too, in a long-though-gracious speech that almost succeeded in the quote he used at the outset: “I want to thank everyone I’ve ever met!”
Among those everyones, was “every assistant — assistants are the secret to success.”
In a “small world” angle, he mentioned sharing a loft in Chelsea with Ann Roth for 8 years, alluding to the series of adventures and shenanigans that unfolded there — a period that someone should undoubtedly make an indie film out of.
And speaking of small films, Renee Ehrlich won the period costume award for Hidden Figures, and if Streep’s comments were light on some expected political commentary, it was Ehrlich who talked about the film’s bigger story, something particularly important, she said, “especially in these times” — times that presenter Kathryn Hahn had just previously referred to as “batshit crazy.”
But for a night, the Beverly Hilton was the site of general bonhomie, over dinner, drinks, and CDGA Awards — in a room of very well-dressed folks.
A complete list of winners follows below:
Excellence in Contemporary Film
La La Land – Mary Zophres
Excellence in Period Film
Hidden Figures – Renee Ehrlich Kalfus
Excellence in Fantasy Film
Doctor Strange – Alexandra Byrne
Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
American Horror Story: Roanoke – Lou Eyrich, Helen Huang
Outstanding Period Television Series
The Crown – Michele Clapton
Outstanding Fantasy Television Series
Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton, April Ferry
Excellence in Short Form Design
Pepsi: “Momotaro” Episode Four, featuring Jude Law — Ami Goodheart