Last year, my fellow Oscar guru Eric Henderson, channeling his inner RuPaul, sassily (and correctly) called this race for “the EDM-remixed, jazz-n’-titties antiquities” of The Great Gatsby, even though the film had landed face down in the Costume Designers Guild’s pool. We weren’t going out on a limb exactly, as AMPAS has shown a distinct preference for honoring duds so old that there’s no chance the winning designers could have pulled them out of their own closets. Which means that Inherent Vice’s presence here will likely be remembered, like the film itself, as a figment of a drug-addled imagination. A win for Mr. Turner, the only film here not to receive a nomination from the CDG, would be the second for a Mike Leigh production, though the film’s handsome but drab vision of painter J.M.W. Turner’s life is in sharp contrast to Topsy-Turvy’s opulent view of life in the Victorian theater. And in spite of every Ricky’s and Party City last year dumbing down Angelina Jolie’s signature look from Maleficent by repackaging it as, well, a sexy witch ensemble, a case for the film is easier to make—except three-time nominee Anna B. Sheppard must content with 11-time nominee Colleen Atwood, whose work on Into the Woods is practically a demo reel for her incredible range of fantastical styles. But Atwood is only a spoiler here, as this race belongs to another three-time winner: Milena Canonero, whose costumes for a different kind of fantasy, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the only best picture nominee in this category, are a showcase for her canny gift for delectably subtle affectation—for making clothes that could have been pulled out of Pharrell’s closet seem like they were stitched by the mice from Cinderella.
Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Could Win: Into the Woods
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel