The costume designers and the stars they dress came out on Tuesday, Feb. 23 to the Beverly Hilton to celebrate the art of costume design. The 18th Costume Design Guild awards was a glittering tribute to a year of exciting achievements. Costume designers often stay in the background, but this evening was their moment to shine and nowhere was this more apparent than on the red carpet where they appeared in outfits as handsome and creative as the ones they create for the screen.
Salvador Perez, the president of the guild showed up in all black Calvin Klein topped with a custom sparkly black hat. “I had to have a little sparkle to get through the day,” he said. It was a night of excitement for him and he was most thrilled about being able to celebrate with his colleagues. “We so rarely get to hang out with each other and celebrate costume design. It’s a great night to celebrate the work that’s been done and just catch up with everybody.”
Jenny Eagan, who walked the carpet as a nominee for excellence in contemporary film for her work on Beasts of No Nation, and would win later that night, was also very happy to see all her friends. “We don’t get to see each other very much and share stories,” she said.
Kristen M. Burke, a nominee for her work on the second season of Sleepy Hollow, wore the most whimsical dress of blue lace with more than 45 hand painted birds that she had designed and made herself. “We’re costume designers. We’re all about putting artistic expression into kinetic sculpture, and so I thought I’ve got to do something kind of weird and fun and expressive. This to me is freedom, joy and all of that,” she explained.
Christopher Lawrence, nominated for Ray Donovan was also dressed in blue, a navy blue suit flecked with black details. He was excited and honored to be nominated. “It’s nice to have the costume designer prom,” he said.
The awards show began with host Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces, Breaking Bad, Masters of Sex) making the crowd laugh with her endearing stories of her collaboration with costume designers through the years of her career and telling them, “You guys are the unsung heroes of this business. Tonight is your night to reveal.”
The first winner of the night was Lou Eyrich for American Horror Story: Hotel. She thanked her team, which, she said, was the whole reason why she was receiving the award. She ended her speech by reminding the audience to always be kind to each other.
Edwina Pellikka received the distinguished service award which was presented to her by Salvador Perez. “I’m very humbled and honored. I am amazed by your generosity,” she said, thanking everyone.
This year the category of fantasy television series was added to the mix and Michele Clapton won for Game of Thrones. She was pleasantly surprised by her win. “I didn’t expect this to happen this year,” she said, accepting her award. She thanked her team and HBO. “It’s a really exciting show to design.”
The Hateful Eight costars Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh took the stage to present the distinguished collaborator award to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. “He makes everyone feel like they are part of something special and we truly are,” Leigh said.
“It sure is a hell of a party,” Russell remarked of collaborations with Tarantino. “For reminding us that rules are always meant to be broken,” Leigh added as she presented the filmmaker with the award.
“I’ve always taken the costumes in my movies very seriously,” Tarantino explained. “I’ve always been attracted to the costumes in movies,” he said of his experiences as a movie goer and budding filmmaker years ago.
The guild also honored Cate Blanchett with the Lacoste Spotlight Award, which was presented to her by costume designer Sandy Powell. This year’s career achievement award went to Ellen Mirojnick, presented by Andy Garcia, Andre Holland and Lili Mirojnick. Other presenters of the night included Mindy Kaling, Kate Beckinsale, Emily Ratajkowski, Krysten Ritter, Kiernan Shipka, among others as the dazzling night continued in celebration of costume designers and their invaluable work.
The winners of the 18th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards are:
Excellence in Contemporary Film
Jenny Eagan – Beasts of No Nation
Excellence in Period Film
Paco Delgado – The Danish Girl
Excellence in Fantasy Film
Jenny Beavan – Mad Max: Fury Road
Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
Lou Eyrich – American Horror Story: Hotel
Outstanding Period Television Series
Ellen Mirojnick – The Knick
Outstanding Fantasy Television Series
Michele Clapton – Game of Thrones
Excellence in Short Form Design
Julie Vogel – “Most Interesting Man in the World Wins on Land, Sea & Air,” Dos Equis