From Marie Antoinette to Black Panther, the Best Costume winners at the Oscars are a celebration of the best in the film and fashion industries.

With the Oscar Awards on the horizon, I like to think back the winners of the golden statuette from previous years. There are many categories–Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Song, Best Movie, etc. But one that I truly love is Best Costume. I love to see the nominees for this category, and if possible, I try to watch the films before the day of the awards. This time among the nominees we have Disney’s Cruella, Nightmare Alley, a psychological thriller, the science fiction film Dune, the musical Cyrano and the new adaptation of West Side Story. Each of these films has managed to win over the hearts of audiences and film critics. And they have some of the most impressive costumes. I already have my favorite. Do you?

The first Oscar for Best Costume Design was awarded in 1949. Originally, the category was divided into color and black-and-white films, and the first statuettes went to Hamlet (1948) and Joan of Arc (1948). Since then, 86 films have won the coveted award, including space operas like Star Wars (1977), and dramas like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Anna Karenina, movies based on historical events, like Cleopatra and Titanic, or those based on fantastical worlds, like Mad Max: Fury Road and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is an awards category full of magic. Unlike the others it must transmit an emotion, tell a story, and captivate the audience through clothing.

Of all the films that have won the Oscar for Best Costume Design, I have compiled a list of the ones you must watch if you, like me, love fashion.

Marie Antoinette (2006)

This film directed by Sofia Coppola is one of the most famous and beloved in the world of fashion. There is a camp aesthetic in this cult film thanks to the styling and the soundtrack–both of which are foreign to the time in which the film takes place. I love the outfits inspired by the 18th century but with a twist that makes them more modern and youthful. With a range of pastel tones, the dresses in this film are like a character themselves.

  • Who designed the costumes? Milena Canonero.
  • Where can we watch it? Amazon Prime.

The Phantom Thread (2017)

This film full of romance and drama–that at certain moments can feel heavy and slow– allows us to see how Haute Couture houses work and get a glimpse into the creative minds of the designer. We see how inspiration is born, how a woman becomes a muse, and how these feelings are transmitted to each garment in a collection. This film is a peek into a surreal world of the needles, threads, patterns, and fabrics found in the atelier of any great designer.

  • Who designed the costumes? Mark Bridges.
  • Where can we watch it? Amazon Prime.

The Great Gatsby (1974)

The story of Jay Gatsby and his lost love Daisy Buchanan is one of the saddest there is. Set in the roaring ’20s in glittering New York, this film is a classic. This film is full of glamor and luxury, almost to a decadent level. The looks created for this film help drive the narrative of the myth and fantasy around the 1920’s–a world full of excess, fashion, and parties. There are two versions of this film and each are impressive, but my favorite, is the one from 1974.

  • Who designed the costumes? Theoni V. Aldredge.
  • Where can we watch it? AppleTV.

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

This film transports us to a beautiful time in ancient Japan. We learn about the wonderful world of geishas, ​​where beauty exists in perfection and tradition and rituals in which Japanese women transform themselves, applying makeup made from natural ingredients and sumptuous garments made of fine silk. The story moves us, but it’s the attention to detail in the moments in which we see the geisha getting ready that the film shines. This is a testament to the beauty of an ancient tradition.

  • Who designed the costumes? Colleen Atwood.
  • Where can we watch it? Amazon Prime.

Sabrina (1954)

This film is a must for fashion lovers and fans of Audrey Hepburn. It’s a modern retelling of the classic Cinderella fairy tale, where love breaks down barriers and lovers live happily ever after. In the world of fashion, this film is of the utmost importance since it was thanks to this film that the designer Hubert de Givenchy, who designed some of the garments for the film, met Audrey Hepburn. And from that moment on, the actress became the designer’s muse.

  • Who designed the costumes? Edith Head.
  • Where can we watch it? AppleTV.

Black Panther (2018)

You may not think of fashion when you think superhero movie, but contrary to what you might think, the world of comics shares several parallels with that of fashion. In this film of the Marvel universe, not only get a wildly successful story, but also one of the most impressive costume designs we’ve ever seen on film. The way in which African culture is celebrated through the Black Panther‘s costumes is simply perfect. Every outfit in the movie is simply beautiful.

  • Who designed the costumes? Ruth E. Carter.
  • Where can we watch it? Disney+.



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