The costume design race is a design dream, from the fantasy world of ‘Dune’ to 1970s London in ‘Cruella’, the iconic recreation of legendary dresses in ‘Respect’ and Lucille Ball’s mighty pants in ‘Being the Ricardos”, which help tell the story of a pioneer. Designers such as Chanel collaborated on the psychological drama “Spencer”, while Gucci opened its archives to “House of Gucci”.
Here’s a look at some of the contenders.
“Being the Ricardos”
Costume designer: Susan Lyall
Lyall built a wardrobe for performer Lucille Ball as well as creative producer and wife Lucille Arnaz, played by Nicole Kidman. For the latter, at one point, Arnaz wears pantsuits. With the film set around a week of filming the iconic ‘I Love Lucy’, Lyall occasionally wore Kidman in pants, even in the 1950s, a look mostly worn by trailblazers and not the staple of the guard. – dress of today’s women.
“She dressed like a boss and didn’t look like Lucy Ricardo in those brightly colored dresses with impeccable lengths,” Lyall says. “She wore pants like [the “I Love Lucy” character] Lucy Ricardo, who is sort of a pioneer in her own way. It was more important that she look like a Hollywood star in beautiful Californian and very modern colors. She doesn’t look like a secretary. She looks like the pioneer she was.
For Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz, Lyall was aware that Arnaz was sartorially gifted and had a great understanding of the power of what he looked like – he was handsome and came from a wealthy Cuban family. Bardem was won over by the green tuxedo jacket, which was not only an unusual color for a tuxedo, it was also linen – also unusual. “He stood out,” Lyall says.
Costume designer: Jenny Beavan
Beavan was called in by Craig Gillespie for Cruella de Vil’s origin story with Emma Stone. Set in London at the height of the punk era, Beavan have been tasked with their biggest project to date. In all, she created 47 costume changes for Cruella and 33 for the Baroness, played by Emma Thompson.
Its color scheme was black, white, gray and red. The highlight of the show was the “garbage dress,” in which Cruella emerges from a garbage truck in a massive couture creation. “We used so many old dresses and fabrics and whatever we could find,” she says. Another highlight was a red dress that
Cruella wears to a black and white party the Baroness is hosting. “The red dress comes at a time when Cruella needs to prove a point to the Baroness. I think at one point I saw 12 people sitting around the table – students and interns – sewing petals to the hand.
Costume designer: Janty Yates
Gucci opened up its archives to Yates, pulling some outfits and props in its aim to create the film’s key costumes for its characters.
In a key scene, Patrizia Reggiani’s (Lady Gaga) wedding dress created by Yates and fellow designer Dominic Young was inspired by Reggiani’s actual wedding dress. Made from white lace appliqués, the hi-lo wedding dress had a matching long veil. The dress took almost 10 weeks to sew, with all the work done by hand.
Yates also worked with Young for the look for the masquerade party, a flowing red cocktail dress. It was originally much longer, but Ridley Scott wanted more leg on actress Gaga, so she cut it 18 inches.
Costume designer: Jacqueline Durran
“We weren’t doing ‘The Crown’ in any way… it was about finding things that created Diana’s aura, her style or what she might have worn and putting them in whatever order we wanted for the movie,” Durran says of the costumes for “Spencer,” the Princess Diana-focused drama (Kristen Stewart) and her state of mind during a Christmas break with her in-laws.
The standout cream dress – also used on the film’s poster – was by Chanel. An original creation by Karl Lagerfeld from the mid-1980s, “it was far too precious for us to use. Chanel said we couldn’t use it outside and it could only be worn for a certain number of hours. In the end, they said they would do it for us in the sewing room. They made a fantastic, perfect replica of the original, and that was the dress from the movie.