The nominations for the Costume Designers Guild Awards will be released on Wednesday, recognizing the achievements of the artisans that created some of the most memorable outfits and clothing designs of the year. Following the 10-month eligibility window, the community of over 1,200 members separates the film categories into three groups — contemporary, period and sci-fi/fantasy.
The distinctions between contemporary and period tend to get blurred, especially with modern subjects like Princess Diana in “Spencer” and Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard” among the selections. However, per the CDG rules, “any entry with at least 51% of all costumes existing in a historical era greater than 25 years [on or before December 31, 1995] from the current entry year will be considered a period entry.”
That puts Jacqueline Durran (“Spencer”) and Sharen Davis (“King Richard”) into the period film field, where it’s indisputably the most competitive. Three of the five nominees from CDG typically translate to an Oscar nomination for best costume design. Ten of the last 11 winners for period film have received an Oscar nod, except the eventual Oscar-winner “Little Women” by Jacqueline Durran, who may have missed CDG due to late screeners. Three of the 11 won the Oscar for costume design — “Anna Karenina” (2012) by Durran, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014) by Milena Canonero and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (2020) by Ann Roth.
An obvious favorite with the CDG, Jacqueline West, seemingly the presumptive frontrunner for “Dune,” will battle it out in the sci-fi/fantasy domain. That leaves a good opening for an artisan or two to gain momentum, notably “Nightmare Alley” by Luis Sequeira (former winner for “The Shape of Water”) and “Cruella” by Jenny Beavan (two-time CDG winner for “The King’s Speech” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”).
The fantasy realm often fills out the rest of the field at the Oscars, as shown with “Mulan” and “Pinocchio” getting in last season. However, that’s not always a given seen by the lack of crossover in 2019, with CDG winner “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and “Aladdin” failing to make the cut. Aside from “Dune,” only Malgosia Turzanska’s slick work on “The Green Knight” feels safe in this arena. This is mostly because we’re unsure how many superhero films will make the shortlist with “Eternals,” “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “The Suicide Squad” all in the assortment. Marvel’s Black Widow by Jany Temime will be among the contemporary contenders.
Contemporary hasn’t had an Oscar nomination crossover since “La La Land” (2016), which lost in a surprising upset at the Academy Awards to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” With that said, Ruth E. Carter has come up in conversations with awards voters for her work in the sequel “Coming 2 America,” and as a former winner for “Black Panther” (2018), she could find a way to slip into the mix.
The final predictions for the Costume Designers Guild are below:
Excellence in Contemporary Film
- “Annette” (Amazon Studios) – Pascaline Chavanne, Ursula Paredes Choto
- “Black Widow” (Marvel Studios) – Jany Temime
- “Coming 2 America” (Amazon Studios) – Ruth E. Carter
- “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix) – Edward K. Gibbon
- “No Time to Die” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Alternates: “In the Heights” (Mitchell Travers), “CODA” (Brenda Abbandandolo)
Excellence in Period Film
- “Belfast” (Focus Features) – Charlotte Walter
- “Cruella” (Walt Disney Pictures) – Jenny Beavan
- “House of Gucci” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Janty Yates
- “Licorice Pizza” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Mark Bridges
- “Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures) – Luis Sequeira
Alternates: “Spencer” (Jacqueline Durran), “West Side Story” (Paul Tazewell)
Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film
- “Dune” (Warner Bros) – Jacqueline West
- “Free Guy” (20th Century Studios) – Marlene Stewart
- “The Green Knight” (A24) – Malgosia Turzanska
- “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Marvel Studios) – Kym Barrett
- “The Suicide Squad” (Warner Bros) – Judianna Makovsky
Alternates: “Eternals” (Sammy Sheldon), “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sanja Milkovic Hays)