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Stars Dress to Impress at the CDG Awards


Always one of the most fun and eye-candy-filled events of the craft awards season, the 13th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards, hosted by Kristin Davis of Sex and the City fame, saw a glittering roster of stars come out to the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 22 to honor the men and women who help them shape their characters.

Actress Claire Danes (Temple Grandin) was on hand to present top honors for Excellence in Contemporary Film to costume designer, Amy Westcott, CDG, for Black Swan.

Jenny Beavan took home the award for Excellence in Period Film for designing The King’s Speech, presented to her by actors Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Beau Garrett (Tron: Legacy).

Tim Burton‘s regular collaborator, Colleen Atwood, CDG, nabbed the Excellence in Fantasy Film award for the darkly whimsical Alice in Wonderland with Kellen Lutz (The Twilight Saga) presenting.

Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, gorgeous as ever in a flowing red gown, was honored with the Lacoste Spotlight Award presented by her former co-star, Samuel L. Jackson (Ironman 2). Berry made a point to note the difference between the stylist who dressed her for the occasion and the role of costume designer.

Joel Schumacher (Phantom of the Opera) started as a costume designer at $200 a week, so it was particularly fitting that the writer/director was honored with the Distinguished Collaborator Award presented to him by comic commentator, Bill Mahar (Real Time with Bill Mahar), who called the filmmaker a “Renaissance Man.” Schumacher, who quipped, “Oh, shit, I have to follow Bill Mahar,” went on to list not only the distinguished costume designers that he had worked with over the course of his career, but also spoke of the young stars whose careers he had fostered, remarking, “Remember the costumes were an integral part in launching those actors.”

During the most entertaining segment of the show, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning costume designer, Julie Weiss, CDG, received the Disaronno Career Achievement Award. Coming out to honor the designer – who was quoted as saying, “You have got to find the music in the wardrobe” – were actors Ashton Kutcher (No Strings Attached), Demi Moore (Another Happy Day), Diane Lane (Secretariat), Robert Duvall (Get Low) and Billy Bob Thornton (Faster). They relayed numerous stories such as how Weiss’s studio was like a “nest of an exotic bird” or how the clothing of friends and family were all fair game for the designer would take the pants off a team member if it fit a character. The diminutive Weiss herself admitted that costume designers see things in a different way, musing that, “Other people’s dreams are our daily reality,” then quipping that is the reason designers don’t work “9 to 5” but instead work “4:45 to midnight.”

The late, Emmy Award-nominated costume designer, Michael Dennison was entered into the Costume Designers Hall of Fame. Speaking in his honor, Ellen Mirojnick, CDG, commented, “He had a great spirit and great heart. His love of life, love of his colleagues and love of everything was poured into every costume that he created.”

The award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries went to Cindy Evans, CDG, for designing Temple Grandin. In noting the quality of work from her fellow designers, Evans, exclaimed, “I want to say congratulations to everybody who just did anything this year.” Big Love stars Bill Paxton, Ginnifer Goodwin and Jeanne Tripplehorn presented the award.

Costume Designers, John Dunn, CDG, and Lisa Padovani, CDG, were honored with the Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series for bringing 1920’s Atlantic City to life in Boardwalk Empire, presented by Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Matt Lauria (Chicago Code) and Brittany Robertson (Scream 4).

Melora Hardin (The Office) and Lisa Edelstein (House) presented the evening’s award for Outstanding Contemporary Television Series, to Lou Eyrich, CDG, for Glee.

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design was presented by non-other than the Old Spice man himself, Isaiah Mustafa – who looks as good in a suit as he does in a towel – to Aude Bronson-Howard for Chanel – “Bleu de Chanel.”


Venue: The Beverly Hilton Hotel grand ballroom.

Parking: The convenient BH hotel garage adjacent for $12, or valet parking. Only issue was the 30 minutes it took to exit the garage after the affair.

Food n’ Booze: Cocktails began the evening followed by dinner starting with a deconstructed salad, consisting of a wedge of butter lettuce on a bed of radicchio and endive accompanied by grape tomatoes, sliced radishes feta cheese and kalamata olives, a melt-in-your mouth prime rib main course with sides of asparagus, grilled tomato and garlic mashed potatoes, topped off by a berry tart a la mode. Dinner wines were free flowing.

Swag: Small goody bags, that ran out.

Length of Show: The entertaining event was finished by 10:30 p.m.

Memorable Quote: Joel Schumacher expounding on studios and producers who don’t think costumes are important, “Where would Marilyn be without the white dress? Where would Indiana Jones be without the hat? Where would Clint Eastwood be without the poncho? Where would Tom Cruise be without his tighty-whities? Where would Sharon Stone be if Ellen Mirojnick hadn’t said, ‘Take off the panties!” (major laughter and applause)… “And a star was born.”

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