Articles >

From Black Swan to Wall Street – Diverse Styles At 2011 CDG Awards

A woman becoming a swan.  Re-defining a classic Wall Street villain.  Exposing a new generation to “Rocky Horror.”  The nominees honored at this year’s Costume Designers Guild Awards set the style for a wide variety of subjects.  Prior to the evening’s festivities, the nominees shared some insights into their work on the television or feature films they were nominated for.

To illustrate the transformation of Natalie Portman’s character in “Black Swan,” costume designer Amy Westcott and her team worked closely with the makeup department to define the look for the movie’s climactic scenes.

“We worked (with the hair and makeup department) on the previous films so we had a relationship.  We were a train that just kept going and communicating back and forth. We put it together, and when things didn’t work, we just kind of scratched our heads and worked out a new plan, and tried it again.”

As costume designer for the original “Wall Street,” Ellen Mirojnick was faced with the decision to either incorporate the styles found in the original movie or redefine Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

“It was tempting to let Gordon Gekko, the icon he had become, become bigger than life, but that wasn’t the story.  I had to put that aside, build his arc, and become Gekko-ized, if you would,” said Mirojnick.  “An evolution of the Gekko he once was.  That’s the approach that I take – dissect the information in the script, and hope that I allow each character to be part of the story in a way that becomes seamless and effortless.”

Lou Eyrich, nominated for her work on “Glee,” found working on this season’s various tribute shows, such as Madonna’s “Vogue” video and a staging of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” provided interesting creative challenges.

“I don’t like just like replicating somebody else’s styles,” said Eyrich.  “I had a lot of appreciation for what they do and their style, but I liked taking it and making it our own.  With ‘Rocky Horror,’ we made it a little more modern.  True fans of ‘Rocky Horror’ would get what they wanted, but it gave the kids a new interest in ‘Rocky Horror.’”

Alonzo Wilson, the costume designer for “Treme,” had the challenge of balancing the mood found in post-Katrina New Orleans with the lively spectacle of Madis Gras.

“Capturing New Orleans at that time is a mixed emotional period,” said Wilson.  “We did have all the spectacle that Madis Gras and Carnival should bring at that time which is not featured in our storyline. We captured that in our Madis Gras Indians.  That was a good bit of work for us because the Madis Gras Indians are a secret culture.  We managed to tie into some of the local Madis Gras Indian chiefs, and we were able to bring some of that to light on our series.”

Below is a list of this year’s Costume Designers Guild Awards:

Excellence in Contemporary Film: “Black Swan” – Amy Westcott

Excellence in Period Film:

“The King’s Speech” – Jenny Beavan

Excellence in Fantasy Film:

“Alice in Wonderland” – Colleen Atwood

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries:

“Temple Grandin” – Cindy Evans

Outstanding Contempory Television Series:

“Glee” – Lou Eyrich

Outstanding Period / Fantasy Television Series:

“Boardwalk Empire” – John Dunn and Lisa Padovani

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design:

“Chanel – Bleu de Chanel” – Aude Bronson-Howard

To hear more from these and other interviewees from the Costume Designers Guild Awards, visit our Facebook page:!/pages/LA-411/35618526357?sk=app_2392950137