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Tag Archives: American Horror Story

The 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards

24 Feb

Costume design took center stage last night at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards. A celebration that is TV Ate My Wardrobe award season high point as it showcases the incredible talent that has such a big influence on us here.

Film, TV and short-form are all included with period, contemporary and fantasy getting their own TV and film categories (this is the first year in which television has a fantasy option rather than the mini-series/TV one). Plenty of stars were in attendance both in a presenting capacity and to support the costume designers they have worked with and Besty Brandt was the evening’s host.

For the third year in a row Mindy Kaling wore a gown designed by The Mindy Project costume designer and Designers Guild president Salvador Perez; once again it is a look which shows how well Perez knows Kaling’s body and embraces her incredible figure. It is something he has done time and time again on The Mindy Project and of course it is bold in the color choice.Mindy KalingWinners included Michele Clapton taking home the first fantasy television award after winning for Game of Thrones last year when fantasy shared a category with period. Lou Eyrich also won two years in a row for American Horror Story despite a change of category (going from mini-series/TV movie to contemporary) and she can be seen in an incredible black ensemble with Beasts of No Nation winner Jenny Eagan below. Eagan won for True Detective in the contemporary category last year (and was also nominated for Olive Kitteridge).Lou Eyrich and Jenny EaganNon-costume designer special achievements were given to Quentin Tarantino who received the Distinguished Collaborator Award and Cate Blanchett was honored with the Lacoste Spotlight Award. Blanchett is in both films that Sandy Powell is nominated for this year (Carol, Cinderella) and she did not disappoint in her choice of custom Versace with a very impressive Tiffany necklace. Powell also looks fabulous with added mirrored and sparkle details.Cate Blanchett and Sandy PowellIn Blanchett’s speech she acknowledged the importance of working with costume designers saying “Everyone talks about their relationship with the other actors and the director, and of course those are important. But in the end, it’s in those costume fittings; those silent moments away from the rush, where you make manifest the psychological things you talk about in the rehearsal room. It’s the building blocks of a character.”

The Distinguished Service Award was given to master dyer Edwina Pellikka and The Knick’s Ellen Mirojnick not only won for The Knick this year, but she was also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award.Ellen MirojnickMirojnick’s work has spanned over 30 years and projects include many iconic costume moments such as Glenn Close rocking a lot of white in Fatal Attraction, all of those Wall Street suits, the Sharon Stone interview in Basic Instinct, recreating Charlie Chaplin’s famous look in Chaplin, Keanu Reeves in a white tee in Speed and so many flamboyant looks in the recent Behind the Candelabra. Some of Mirojnick’s pieces were on display as part of the stage decoration including Liberace’s incredible (and super heavy) fur coat that Michael Douglas wore in Behind the Candelabra and John Thackery’s signature white shoes from The Knick.Costume Designers Guild AwardsCostume Designers Guild Awards 2016Here is the full list of nominees and the winners have been highlighted.

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series

American Horror Story: Hotel – Lou Eyrich (Winner)
Empire (Season 1) – Rita McGhee
House of Cards – Johanna Argan, Kemal Harris
Ray Donovan – Christopher Lawrence
Transparent – Marie Schley

Outstanding Period Television Series

The Knick – Ellen Mirojnick (Winner)
Mad Men – Janie Bryant, Tiffany White Stanton
Masters of Sex – Isis Mussenden
Outlander – Terry Dresbach
Penny Dreadful – Gabriella Pescucci

Outstanding Fantasy Television Series

Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton (Winner)
Once Upon a Time – Eduardo Castro
Sleepy Hollow (Season 2) – Kristin M. Burke, Mairi Chisholm
Sleepy Hollow (Season 3) – Mairi Chisholm
The Wiz Live! – Paul Tazewell

Excellence in Contemporary Film

Beasts of No Nation – Jenny Eagan (Winner)
Joy – Michael Wilkinson
Kingsman: The Secret Service – Arianne Phillips
The Martian – Janty Yates
Youth – Carlo Poggioli 

Excellence in Period Film

Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Carol – Sandy Powell
Crimson Peak – Kate Hawley
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado (Winner)
Trumbo – Daniel Orlandi

Excellence in Fantasy Film

Cinderella – Sandy Powell
Ex Machina – Sammy Sheldon Differ
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – Kurt and Bart
Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan (Winner)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Michael Kaplan

Excellence in Short Form Design

“And So It Begins,” Old Spice Commercial – Mindy Le Brock

From the Makers of Happy & Merry, H&M Presents Katy Perry Commercial – B. Åkerlund

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth – Dance Battle, Video Game, Kaboom/Warner Interactive Commercial – Soyon An

Kevin Spacey, E-Trade Commercial – Johanna Argan

“Most Interesting Man in the World Wins on Land, Sea & Air,” Dos Equis Commercial – Julie Vogel (Winner)

All worthy winners and yet I am a little disappointed for Janie Bryant and Tiffany White Stanton that they didn’t win for the final season of Mad Men because there were so many standout costuming moments.Kiernan Shipka and Janie BryantHere is Bryant with Kiernan Shipka and both ladies are crushing it with their red carpet choices with Shipka opting for Alexander McQueen.

Check back on Friday for more looks from the Costume Designers Guild Awards as part of “Out of the Box: Look of the Week.”

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Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable – “I Want to Play Everything I’ve Never Played Before” (Update! Watch the Full Video)

11 Jun

This is the one I have been waiting for and every year the drama actress roundtable is the highlight of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy series. It might be a premature declaration as there are still more discussions to come as part of this season, but I am pretty confident in this assertion after reading the transcript and watching the clips which have been made available prior to SundanceTV airing it in full come August (Update – you can now watch the full discussion at the end of this post). I do want to point to the comedy actress chat as another enlightening and fascinating entry into the roundtable Hall of Fame. And now there is another group to add to my boozy lunch wish list.

The line-up is entirely different to last year (sometimes there are repeats) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honourable Woman), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex). Gone are the questions of ‘how do you balance work and family?’ and instead there is a strong focus on their work from the shows they are currently on to past experiences. There are four Oscar nominees among these women (some multiple) and a two time winner showing the caliber of talent television attracts particularly when it comes to complex roles for women. A mixture of cable and network with ages ranging from 32 to 66 shows how well television caters to a range of experiences.

THRAs the cover so boldly states there is a focus on race, sex, age and nudity with the latter coming up on multiple occasions. Lizzy Caplan and Ruth Wilson joke about the name of their network – “Showtits” – and sex plays a big part in both Masters of Sex (it is in the title after all) and The Affair. Sex isn’t just there for sensationalism or to be gratuitous; it is worth noting that both shows have a female showrunner with Caplan going so far as pointing out that Michelle Ashford is kinda prudish and those scenes can be hard for all involved.

How to Get Away with Murder is Viola Davis’ first starring role on prime time and she talks about her initial concerns when she took the project on including her appearance. There is one point which really sticks with me and is worth quoting in full exemplifying why this roundtable series strikes a chord:

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I’ve performed in basements, churches, off-Broadway. I want the work to reflect my level of gifts and talent. I don’t want it to reflect my color, my sex or my age. That’s what I want most.”

The comedy actresses talked about bad auditions and incidents earlier in their careers where they maybe tried to adjust their look for an audition. This is something Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses in terms of her appearance and how she has been judged in the past in terms of being ‘sexy.’ Gyllenhaal also mentions her interest in nudity and what she looks for in a sex scene.

Cookie Lyon has made such a huge impact on the TV landscape this season and Taraji P. Henson jokes “I hate that bitch. She’s stolen my identity! My friends don’t want to talk to me unless it’s about Cookie.” I’m only halfway through Empire but within the first few minutes of seeing this character on screen it was love. Henson also reveals who she sometimes channels when she is playing Cookie and the answer is not who you might expect. There are no boundaries when it comes to want roles Henson wants to play “I want to play a superhero. I want to be a Bond girl. I want to play a man. I want to play a white woman. I want to play everything I’ve never played before.”

There are more clips to watch here before the full thing becomes available in August.

THR drama actress roundtableIn terms of the styling of the group it turns out I wasn’t proved wrong after all with an explosion of sparkle and while Ruth Wilson is the lone person in print (a beautiful Erdem frock), there is some color with Viola Davis’ Lanvin and range of styles suiting the wearer in question. Lizzy Caplan’s Donna Karan ensemble is reminiscent of her Donna Karan Atelier Emmy stunner from last year (Caplan also chose this designer when she wowed at the Met Gala last month). During the chat Caplan wears an oversized tuxedo jacket and looks super cool while doing so. Excellent lipstick game from all the ladies with Caplan’s fuchsia reminding me of my new favorite lip color. And now if you will excuse me I will be drawing hearts around this entire conversation.

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

Update! Watch the full uncensored Emmy Drama Actress roundtable below.

The 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards

18 Feb

An evening celebrating costume design sounds rather marvelous and the Costume Designers Guild hosted their annual ceremony last night with Shameless star Emmy Rossum as host. Mindy Kaling wore a beautiful custom made gown from Mindy Project costume designer* and president of the guild, Salvador Perez as she did the previous year.

*Several of Mindy’s coats from this season of The Mindy Project are custom Salvador Perez and I would love every single colorful houndstooth creation in my life. 

Mindy Kaling Salvador PerezBig winners include Michele Clapton for Game of Thrones and Jenny Eagan took home the contemporary TV costume design award for True Detective. Harrison Ford presented Aggie Guerard Rodgers with the career achievement accolade – the list of movies she has worked on is long and varied – and academic Dr. Deborah Nadoolman Landis received the inaugural Edith Head Award for the Advancement and Education of the Art of Costume Design. Naomi Watts was presented with the Lacoste Spotlight Award (Amy Adams was last year’s recipient) and Boyhood director Richard Linklater collected the Distinguished Collaborator honorary award.

Here is the full list of nominees with the winners highlighted:

OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY TELEVISION SERIES 
House of Cards – Johanna Argan
Ray Donovan – Christopher Lawrence
Saturday Night Live – Tom Broecker, Eric Justian
Scandal – Lyn Paolo
True Detective – Jenny Eagan (Winner)

OUTSTANDING PERIOD/FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES
Boardwalk Empire – John Dunn
Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton (Winner)
The Knick – Ellen Mirojnick
Mad Men – Janie Bryant
Masters of Sex – Ane Crabtree

OUTSTANDING MADE FOR TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES 
American Horror Story: Freak Show – Lou Eyrich (Winner)
Houdini – Birgit Hutter
The Normal Heart – Daniel Orlandi
Olive Kitteridge – Jenny Eagan
Sherlock – Sarah Arthur

EXCELLENCE IN CONTEMPORARY FILM
Birdman – Albert Wolsky (Winner)
Boyhood – Kari Perkins
Gone Girl – Trish Summerville
Interstellar – Mary Zophres
Wild – Melissa Bruning

EXCELLENCE IN PERIOD FILM
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero (Winner)
The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon Differ
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Selma – Ruth E. Carter
The Theory of Everything – Steven Noble

EXCELLENCE IN FANTASY FILM
Guardians of the Galaxy – Alexandra Byrne
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Kurt and Bart
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood (Winner)
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard, Jane Clive

EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCIAL COSTUME DESIGN 
Army ‘Defy Expectations, Villagers’ – Christopher Lawrence (Winner)
Direct TV ‘Less Attractive’, with Rob Lowe – Mindy Le Brock, Jessica Albertson
Dos Equis ‘Most Interesting Man in the World Walks on Fire’ – Julie Vogel
Kia Soul Hamster Commercial Featuring ‘Animals’ – Anette Cseri
Smirnoff ‘The Mixologist’ – Laura Jean Shannon

A few quick thoughts with regards to the some of the winners and while there might not be the same wealth of fantasy on television as with film, the number is still relatively high and some quality work is missing out on getting recognized by the doubling down of period and fantasy in the same category. Game of Thrones would be hard to beat regardless of what category it was in, regardless it might be tome to broaden the number of categories. That is the hardest category for me in terms of picking a winner as all the work on these shows is not only excellent, but we cover several of them in extensive detail here. This is my only real grumble with the TV half of the awards and even when I think American Horror Story is a mess you can always count on the costume design of Lou Eyrich. Jenny Eagan didn’t manage the double and I loved her Olive Kitteridge work, but one out of two is pretty good.

In the film categories it isn’t surprising to see Colleen Atwood win for Into the Woods, although Kurt and Bart’s Mockingjay designs and how they tweaked Effie’s look in every scene is where my love lies. The period category is particularly difficult as all five are incredible in terms of costume design (and you can read my thoughts on the costumes of The Imitation Game here) and Milena Canonero continues her Grand Budapest Hotel winning streak; is the Oscar next? The grungy costuming of Emma Stone in Birdman was one of my favorite aspects of this movie and Birdman continues its award season hot streak with Albert Wolsky taking home the contemporary prize.

And because it is hard to resist a TV mother/daughter reunion here is Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant with January Jones and Kiernan Shipka at the awards show.

 

The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Drama Roundtable

2 Jun

Roundtable season is here and I was waiting for the full video to be available on YouTube before I discussed the drama actress Hollywood Reporter session. The full transcript can be read here, but some of the points don’t come across in the same amusing tone and you’ll also miss out on Sarah Paulson’s John Travolta impression.

One aspect I find fascinating is seeing who out of the group is the most vocal and who only really speaks when specifically addressed. This isn’t to say that some of these women are trying to steal the spotlight from others, it’s just some of them are much more experienced when taking part in these types of discussions or they are naturally more talkative. Having a balance between those who take charge and the more shy participants is a good roundtable attribute as it means there is always going to be someone sharing, but it doesn’t descend into talking over each other chaos.

THR drama actress

The lack of diversity on the cover is troubling and as this excellent piece points out, Jessica Paré (who I adore, definitely not a Megan hater here) is far from being a lead actress on Mad Men. Of course these roundtables are subject to who is available and this automatically rules out Kerry Washington (new baby). Washington shouldn’t be the only flag bearer of diversity and other figures such as Nicole Beharie, Lucy Liu, Danai Gurira and Archie Panjabi are a few that spring to mind. This isn’t just a Hollywood Reporter issue as the forthcoming Variety drama actress panel has a similar problem.

THRLet’s get the other negative talking point out of the way and there is an insistence when it comes to the styling of drama actress covers to go for a pastel color palette (Vanity Fair is another offender), neutrals or monochrome; bold color is seemingly reserved for comedic actresses and this coding is rather tired Also why are they all looking so timid? They all portray women who would not stand for this nervous approach so it’s disappointing to see The Hollywood Reporter go for a shot like this.

Oh and Keri Russell somehow makes the Burberry Prorsum lace and granny panties look work; this is an incredible skill as I recoiled when I first saw this on the runway last September.

*End of rant*

The actual conversation manages to skirt around the “having it all” trap – a man will never get asked about juggling family and work – with children only coming up while they discuss paparazzi intrusion and scenes that have been difficult to shoot. Julianna Margulies’ tip to get rid of paps is to wear the same outfit to the gym as it looks like the photos are from the same day and Claire Danes talks about how aggressive they are when she is with her son, which is super shitty. The difficult scene Danes shot on Homeland occurred when she was seven and a half months pregnant and she was portraying a kidnapped Carrie Mathison. Also shooting love scenes while pregnant are as awkward as you can imagine, especially when the baby is kicking super hard. Baby Danes is not a Carrie/Brody shipper.

One fascinating part of the conversation deals with career lows and while this could end up being rather trite, there is a good cross section of success/failure stories. Both Keri Russell and Claire Danes experienced success in their first shows at a young age (and both won Golden Globes for these performances) and have followed a similar career trajectory. Although Russell doesn’t seem to have experienced the same low points as Danes and seems rather content with how it’s all turned out so far. Danes talks about her acting transition period and how doing Temple Grandin changed her acting outlook “I really didn’t have any tolerance for a limited kind of secondary role. I had to wait for Carrie on Homeland. She was the first character who could match Temple’s dynamism. It was the first time I was scared into action, and that felt great.”

Julianna Margulies has also been on not one, but two hit shows and also had a large period of time between both. Whereas Sarah Paulson was on a show that was expected to do well (Studio 60) and it was canceled after one season “It was not only my expectations I was dealing with; I was dealing with everybody else’s expectations about something that was disappointing for them, too.” Jessica Paré is currently experiencing what it feels like to be on a cultural phenomenon that is coming to an end and it sounds like she’s pretty terrified at the prospect as “I’m going back to that place of not having work and not knowing what’s next.”

Awards success doesn’t always translate into an influx of fascinating offers as Vera Farmiga can attest and after her Oscar nomination for Up in the Air she didn’t get a whole lot of work. With Bates Motel she initially resisted, but after reading the script she realized there was something to the part and reimagining of this story. Later on Farmiga refers to the “sophistication in the writing of female characters on TV” and this group reinforces the notion that there are far stronger and varied roles for women on TV as opposed to film. This also translates to the creative forces behind the camera with Julianna Margulies listing all the women who work on The Good Wife “My unit production manager is a woman, two of my executive producers are women and three of the writers.” Female directors have worked on all of these shows with the exception of American Horror Story.

As I’m currently watching Felicity for the first time and I’ve written about the love triangle in a pre-social media era, a question about this show and how its defining moment in pop culture would have been received on social media is going to peak my interest. Of course it is haircut related and Keri Russell is pretty shoulder shrug about the whole thing as a shocking TV moment “You think a haircut’s going to beat out blow jobs? That’s so tame compared to what’s going on now.”

For more including a bakery venture I want to happen and unfiltered thoughts on John Travolta’s Oscar mispronunciation watch the whole discussion below.

 

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