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Meryl Streep, “La La Land” Complete 2017 Costume Designers Guild Awards

By: Marjorie Galas

Actress Mandy Moore made some fast friends Tuesday February 21st 2017 when she hosted the 19th Annual Custome Designers Guild Awards. Emceeing the event that recognizes costume design in film, television and commercials, Moore kicked off the evening by highlighting her best practices on set.

“I arrive with my own underwear and always hang up my clothes,” said Moore as the crowd hooted and approval.

Guild president Salvador Perez applauded the orgs continued commitment to diversity. Perez stated the CDG had active members from every background ethnic culture and denomination, making it one of the most diverse organizations in the industry.

Upon receiving the distinguished service award, illustrator Lois De Armond reflected on the call that came informing her of her nomination. When asked if she’d attend, she stated, “Why wouldn’t I?”

Said De Armond, “This is my 32nd year with the guild and I keep working, keep learning, and keep up my skills.”

Designer Bob Mackie give a heartfelt tribute to Hall of Fame inductee Ret Turner. Turner, who got his start in variety shows, created costumes for people as diverse as Patti Page, Diana Ross and Cher.

Turner had been working until his death in May 2016, and was the oldest working member in the CDG.

“A wealth of up-and-coming designers drew from him”, said Mackey. “Go re-watch his shows. Pay attention, there is a lot to learn there.”

Before the evenings career achievement award recipient, Jeffry Kurland, was brought on stage he was heralded by the likes of Christopher Nolan, Woody Allen and Dianne Wiest. Wiest recalled her first fitting with Kurland for Allen’s ‘Purple Rose of Cairo”.   She found the items the costume designer pulled for her to be outlandish.  When she turned around and looked in the mirror, however, she saw herself as her character.

“I had been in the hands of a sculptor.   He created something I would never imagined out of brown paper bags and bits of beads,” said Wiest.

After recalling some personal highlights Kurland encountered throughout his years as a custom designer, he concluded his speech by thanking his wife.

“You’ve been by my side for the past 29 years, and I couldn’t have done it without you,” said Kurland.

James Corbin was on hand to announce the final award winner of the evening, Meryl Streep, who was receiving the Distinguish Collaborator Award. After recalling his first meeting with the actress who mistook him for a waiter, Corbin jokingly referenced President Trump’s demeaning tweet against her.

“It’s great to see someone finally giving Meryl an award,” said Corbin. “She majored in costume design but failed, so you can always say ‘I’m better than Meryl Streep’.”

Upon receiving the award, Streep stated, “It is amazing to share that moment in the mirror with costume designers: that moment of creation, where we share a mutual happy surprise I am so grateful I honor your artistry.

Here are the winners of the 2017 Costume Designers Guild Awards:

Excellence in Contemporary Film

La La Land – Mary Zophres

Excellence in Period Film

Hidden Figures – Renee Ehrlich Kalfus

Excellence in Fantasy Film

Doctor Strange – Alexandra Byrne

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series

American Horror Story: Roanoke – Lou Eyrich, Helen Huang

Outstanding Period Television Series

The Crown – Michele Clapton 

Outstanding Fantasy Television Series

Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton, April Ferry

Excellence in Short Form Design

Pepsi: “Momotaro” Episode Four, featuring Jude Law — Ami Goodheart