Little Women

The Academy Awards nomination for Film is one of the most anticipated events of the year for people working behind the camera and movie goers alike. The Oscars nomination and winners generate intense public passions and endless debate as to whether the winner deserved the price. 2019 was a special year for costume design as Ruth E. Carter nomination and winning the Oscar for best costume design for Black Panther made history and lots of excitement as the first African-American artists to win an Academy Award in the category. 

This year they were 5 films nominated for best costume design. Some stood out in the cosmetic beauty and complexity of the costume design. But costume design is more than a beautiful outfit on its own right; it also about helping the film describe character and support the storyline. 

The top five Oscar nomination for 2020 for best costume design were: 

Little Women 

Set in the late 1860s, Little Women takes us through the memories of author Jo March, and her three sisters. A beautiful take that shows the impacts of growing up in Massachusetts, what their childhood was like, the events that followed them around, and how all these impacts shaped them to become who they are. A great way to take you through different folds of life, explaining that no matter how similar you are the events that led up to your adulthood shape you to become the person you are today. 

Jacqueline Durran is undoubtedly brilliant, and she showed every bit of her talent when designing period costumes for the cast of Little Women. Capturing the essence of this historical time and each character beautifully, the characters come out in the way they were meant to be seen. Pulling them out of the script’s imagination and putting them on screen for others to enjoy. Little Women was the favorite for the 2020 best costume design as historical costumes are more complex and beautiful to watch so her won was no surprise. The film costume will inspire many dress-up parties and those seeking colonial costume look.

Little Women

Figure 1Source: Columbia Pictures


Gotham City is no stranger to men who are looking to make their stand.  One of those soles is a mentally ill, aspiring comedian who wanted to be a standup comedian but end up being the joke. The film traces his transformation brilliantly caught in a cruel society as he become the joker. Mark Bridges not only understood the character and setting; he understood the need to create a Joker costume that captures it all. Bringing the character to life on the big screen is not an easy task, and apart from the actions, the character’s appearance plays a huge role in the matter. From the iconic purple joker costume that we saw in previous movies – Jack Nicholson joker in the 1989 Batman, Heath Ledger joker in the 2008 The Dark Knight movie, and most recently Jared Leto joker in the 2016 film Suicide Squad – Bridges decided to move away from that look and take a bold move to create a new burgundy color joker costume, in line with the attire the character wore in the earlier part of the movie. What we wear makes us who we are, and the Joker carries himself and his character perfectly. “The Joker suit came from something that was written in the script about Arthur owning an outdated jacket—a suit, in terra cotta” said Bridges. “I didn’t feel like that was a really strong color, so I suggested the burgundy, which was really hot in the ’70s.” No doubt the new burgundy look of the joker costume will stand its own with the classic purple joker costume. 


Figure 2 Joaquin Phoenix in Joker Warner Bros. Pictures


One of the best movies with a strong and sensible con artist taking down the men who have wronged them. A charming classic that will have you hanging on to each work, character, and their appearance. The American crime film is based on a non-fiction book and has shown spectacular adjustments. Highlighting moments, and places to bring forward a true work of art. Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson brought their experience and talent to the table with a movie that changed the way we see the world. Its strong characters come forward wonderfully in costumes that were hand-designed for each character of the movie. Showing off different sides of their personality by the clothes they carry on their body. A style statement is taken from the years between the 1950s to 1970s. 


Figure 3The Irishman, Netflix

Jojo Rabbit 

Set during World War II, the movie takes you through the life of a lonely German boy. You watch his life turn upside down when he finds a young Jewish girl in their attic. Her mother is desperate to keep the girl safe, as the world around them is falling apart. The boy and his imaginary best friend Hitler set out to help Jojo confront his aimless nationalism. Mayers C. Rubeo took on the Jojo Rabbit and took a deep dive into the script. Holding onto each line, character, and their reference perfectly. Which allowed him to create costumes that made the film what it is today. Spot on with everything from their ties, to their shoelaces. Creating a complete package that brings each character forward in the perfect light. Embracing their character as it was meant to be seen. 

Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood 

Set during 1969 in Los Angeles, the movie features a TV actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth. Following Rick and Cliffs struggle to make their way through the harsh changing industry. An industry that soon becomes unrecognizable to them, while their bond to work and breakthrough these barriers continues. Beautifully laid across as a transition period of the film industry, while showcasing how old actors and even stunt doubles cope with the change time brings. Arianne Phillips pulled a fashion page from 1969 and brought it to life in the movie. Both leading roles were perfectly on point when it came to fashion, their character, and personality. Showing off both sides of the same coin, as the city of Los Angeles shifted towards a more modern era. 

These five spectacular movies made their way through the crowd and stood out in terms of costumes. These costumes and costume designers are an integral part of each movie and have poured their hearts and soul into each costume they put together. Costume design category focuses on creativity, rather than simply taking on recreation. As anyone can recreate, but it’s the creative spin they put on each design; while staying within the characters limit is what sets them apart from the others. 

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