Oscar history split between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’ for Best Costume Design

In a recent article, I discussed the last 10 winners of Best Production Design at the Oscars and compared elements of their winning work to this year’s nominees. Well, it’s now time to turn our attention to the other design category – costumes. Let’s take a look back at the last decade of winners of Best Costume Design to help predict who will that category this year. 

2017 – “Phantom Thread” – 50s London
2016 – “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – fantasy, 1920s New York
2015 – “Mad Max: Fury Road” – action, apocalyptic society
2014 – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – 30s Europe, fictional country
2013 – “The Great Gatsby” – 1920s New York
2012 – “Anna Karenina” – 1870s Russia
2011 – “The Artist” – 1920s Hollywood
2010 – “Alice in Wonderland” – Victorian England, fantasy world
2009 – “The Young Victoria” – Victorian England
2008 – “The Duchess” – 18
th Century England

England has proven to be a popular place with academy voters with four of the last 10 winners taking place across the pond. Two were setset in Victorian England, one in 18th Century Devonshire, and another in London of the 1950s.

The Royals are popular subjects, too, with “The Duchess” and “The Young Victoria” telling us of the lives of the Duchess of Devonshire and Queen Victoria, respectively. The latter of those won  “The Favourite” costume designer, Sandy Powell, her third Oscar.

SEE How often do the Oscars for Costume Design and Production Design go to the same film?

Three of this year’s nominees — “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” and “Mary Poppins Returns” — are set in the United Kingdom. The latter may be set in post-war London but it also mixes this period with the fantastical, which “Alice in Wonderland” did to Oscar-winning effect.

The other two British films dress royalty – Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I in one, and Queen Anne in the other. o. It’s perhaps “The Favourite” which is slightly ahead here. “Mary Queen of Scots” is set at the end of the 16th century while “The Favourite” takes place at the start of the 18th as did “The Duchess.”

There isn’t much evidence to support an upset by “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” None of the last 10 was set in the wild west. “Black Panther” is set in a fictional country (Wakanda) as was “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” And it combines traditional costumes with fantastical designs just like “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until February 24

Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in all 24 categories. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your Oscar winner predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.

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