The Oscar for Costume Design Goes To...


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by Kristin Marino
Fashion School Review Columnist

February 19, 2007


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The 2006 Academy Awards are nearly here. Those of us who follow fashion design can't wait for the Oscars. Of course we'll talk for days about the memorable designs (and fashion disasters) paraded on the red carpet. But we'll also anticipate the winners (film and designer) of the Award for Achievement in Costume Design.

A Winning Design Formula?
Oscar loves historical and fantasy flicks. In 2003, the fantasy film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the Oscar for Costume Design. The 2004 winner was the historical biopic about Howard Hughes, The Aviator. Another historical film took top Oscar fashion design honors the following year, when Memoirs of a Geisha won the costume design nod.

Looking to the Future of Costume Fashion Design
Look to 2006 costume design nominee Patricia Field for The Devil Wears Prada to perhaps break the spell that fantasy and historical films have cast over Oscar in the past. The quirky haute couture sense that made Field so famous for her costume work in Sex in the City reaches new fashion forward heights in Devil. Whether set in 1997 England or in tenth-century China, the rest of the nominated films are historical pieces and include: Marie Antoinette, Curse of the Golden Flower, Dreamgirls, and The Queen.

A Fashion Career on Stage and Screen
Most fashion design schools offer classes and even degrees in costume design. In fashion design school costuming classes, students learn the vocabulary and history of costume design while studying art, architecture, cinema, color theory, textiles, and history. Whether you choose a fashion design degree with a costume design minor or an MFA in costume design, you'll learn how to accurately represent the fashions from the dawn of man to present time.

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About the Author
Kristin Marino is obsessed with haute couture, even though she lives in Reno, Nevada, where you can't even get Gucci or Louis Vuitton, let alone Jimmy Choo. She has a Bachelor of Art in English Composition from the University of Nevada.

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