Oscars rivals ‘King’s Speech’ & ‘Alice in Wonderland’ winners with Costume Designers Guild

At their 13th annual awards on Tuesday, the Costume Designers Guild honored three categories of films: fantasy, contemporary and period. The latter race is where the majority of the eventual Oscar nominees originate. Last year, three of of the CDG choices for period film made the final five at the Oscars, while in 2008 and 2007 four made the cut with the costume designers in the Art Directors branch of the academy.

However, this year, the CDG named only three period nominees — “The Fighter,” “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” — and the first of these was snubbed at the Oscars. The CDG chose the regal designs of Jenny Beavan for “The King’s Speech” as the best in the genre this year. She won her only Oscar out of eight bids for “A Room With a View” back in 1986 which also featured Helena Bonham Carter.

Two of the three fantasy nominees — “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Tempest” — got Oscar noms with “TRON: Legacy” left out of the running. For the CDG, the work of Colleen Atwood on “Alice in Wonderland” was the standout. Atwood is a two-time Oscar champ for her work on Rob Marshall‘s first two films — “Chicago” and “Memoirs of a Geisha” and this marks her ninth bid. 

At the Oscars, the fiercest competion for Beavan and Atwood could be reigning champ Sandy Powell (“The Young Victoria”) who owns two other Oscars (“Shakespeare in Love,” “The Aviator”). She too is competing for the ninth time with her designs for “The Tempest.”

All five of the CDG contemporary nominees — “Black Swan,” “Burlesque,” “Inception,” “The Social Network” and “Wall Street 2” — were snubbed at the Oscars when “I Am Love” emerged as a nominee. Amy Westcott‘s designs for “Black Swan” won over the CDG.

Last year, “The Young Victoria” — a sumptuous period picture — won both races, marking only the sixth time in the 12-year history of the CDG that their champ prevailed at the Oscars. Period pieces tend to win at the Oscars; the last fantasy film to prevail was “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003 while the last contemporary movie to win was “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” in 1994.

The kudos, which also honored costume design in television and commercials, took place at the Beverly Hilton and were hosted by Kristin Davis. Tributes were paid to Halle Berry (the Lacoste Spotlight Award), designer Julie Weiss (the Disaronno Career Achievement in Film and Television Award) and director Joel Schumacher (the Distinguished Collaborator Award).


“The Fighter” – Mark Bridges
“The King’s Speech” – Jenny Beavan
“True Grit “– Mary Zophres

“Alice in Wonderland” – Colleen Atwood
“The Tempest” – Sandy Powell
“TRON: Legacy” – Michael Wilkinson & Christine Bieselin Clark

“Black Swan” – Amy Westcott
“Burlesque” – Michael Kaplan
“Inception” – Jeffrey Kurland
“The Social Network” – Jacqueline West
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” – Ellen Mirojnick

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