As we launch the Best Costume Design category in our Oscars predictions center, it's important to note that period and fantasy films almost always win because of their elaborate, detailed garments. Luckily for Sandy Powell, she's got one of each this year: Disney's live-action re-telling of "Cinderella" and Todd Haynes's 1950s romance "Carol." Coincidentally, Powell dressed Cate Blanchett in both films. They also worked together on "The Aviator" (2004), which earned both women Oscars.
Powell has won three times out of 10 previous nominations, which makes her the most awarded designer of any major contender in this year's contest. Besides "The Aviator," she prevailed for "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and "The Young Victoria" (2009). That's still a far cry from the legendary Edith Head's record eight Costume Design Oscars, but Powell is nevertheless tied as the fifth most honored designer in the category's history.
But Powell isn't the only previous champ with multiple films in the running. Jacqueline Durran has been nominated four times in the last 10 years, winning in 2012 for "Anna Karenina" and earning her most recent bid just last year for "Mr. Turner." She hopes to return this year with the Shakespeare adaptation "Macbeth" or the fantasy extravaganza "Pan" — or both.
Meanwhile, Jenny Beavan has nine past nominations and a win for "A Room with a View" (1986) and is aiming for her first win in almost three decades for "Mad Max: Fury Road." Janty Yates won on her only previous nomination ("Gladiator" in 2000) and could return with another Ridley Scott vehicle, "The Martian." Alexandra Byrne prevailed on her fourth and most recent nomination, for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007), and this year arrives to the derby with a very different kind of film: the comic book blockbuster "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
More period films in contention include "Bridge of Spies" (Kasia Walicka-Maimone), "Brooklyn" (Odile Dicks-Mireaux), "The Danish Girl" (one-time past nominee Paco Delgado), "The Hateful Eight" (Courtney Hoffman) and "The Revenant" (two-time nominee Jacqueline West).
Who do you think will win? Make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Costume Design at the bottom of this post and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
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"Cinderella" Photo Credit: Moviestore/REX
"Carol" Photo Credit: Moviestore Collection/REX