Close Knit Community On Display At 17th Annual Costume Designers Awards

Costume Designer Lou Eyrich received an award for her work on American Horror Story: Freak Show. Photo credit: M. Galas

By: Marjorie Galas

Backstage at the 17th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards, interviews were put on hold as designers ran to hug and congratulate each other. The good vibes continued into the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel as designers cheered on their peers and embraced every member of their crew.

“From the fabric dyers to fabric gathers to seamstresses and wardrobe stylists and assistants,” said actress Emmy Rossum (Shameless) as she kicked off the evening’s program. Many actors who attended the presentation also paid high tribute to the costume designers who defined their characters over the years. John Voight recalled costume designer Ann Roth suggesting he give the “fringed leather jacket a try” in “Midnight Cowboy”. “She was a genius then and still is,” said Voight. Mindy Kaling, wearing a dress fashioned from a green silk sari by CDG Presidnet and “The Mindy Show” costume designer Sal Perez stated that by creating designs for full figured actresses “that are not size zero, but are fashionable and fun, sends a strong message to girls everywhere.” Harrison Ford remarked “A picture is worth a thousand words; a costume is worth everything.”

Early in the program, Perez cheered the dedication of the union members and their steady commitment to bringing a tax credit to California. “This is what we can do together as union members. We have powerful virtue.” Through the course of the evening, the guild presented three special awards. The Edith Head Award for the Advancement and Education of the Art of Costume Design was bestowed to Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who launched the earliest incarnation of the guild in 1997. Landis created a groundbreaking costume design exhibit with the Royal Albert Museum in London and was instrumental in installing and promoting the Academy’s Costume Exhibit. Landis read a list of specific people who greatly influenced her throughout her life, including her grandparents “who taught me how to sew” and her parents who “Told me never to say no.”

Oscar nominated actress for her role in “Boyhood” Patricia Arquette presented the Distinguished Collaborator Award to director Richard Linklater. “This is such a cool award show, can I keep the table cloth?” joked Linklater. He thanked the guild, stating “I don’t know any directors who could do the job of a costume designer.”

Upon receiving the Career Achievement Award, Aggie Rodgers again paid tribute to Landis. “Every time you speak, you tell producers just how important costume designers are.” Rodgers went on to inform the crowd she brought young producers with her “to witness the closeness of the costume designers’ community.”

Rounding out the ceremony, actress Naomi Watts was presented the LaCoste Spotlight Award. She recalled her mother sewing outfits for her from used duvet covers. “Like the (Sound of Music’s) Van Trapp family.” Her mother eventually became a costume designer and instilled a great appreciation for the art upon Watts. “It is a true honor to be recognized by people I so closely love and admire,” said Watts.

For a complete list of the Costume Designers Guild Award winners see below. To learn more about the CDG, please visit: http://costumedesignersguild.com/

OUTSTANDING MADE FOR TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINI SERIES
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Lou Eyrich
OUTSTANDING PERIOD/FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES
Game of Thrones
Michele Clapton
OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARYTELEVISION SERIES
True Detective–‐
Jenny Eagan
EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL COSTUME DESIGN
Army ‘Defy Expectations, Villagers’–‐
Christopher Lawrence
EXCELLENCE IN FANTASY FILM
Into the Woods
Colleen Atwood

EXCELLENCE IN PERIOD FILM
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Milena Canonero
EXCELLENCE IN CONTEMPORARY FILM
Birdman
Albert WolskyWeek