|Trevor in Oscars glory... literally!|
Costume design can be about big, glitzy "wow" pieces, or accurate period research, but it is also about the interpretation of a world, and telling characters' stories through the way they choose to present themselves. Subtle color, fabric, and silhouette choices are all vital aspects of storytelling that often get overlooked. Sometimes a costume piece can be the very thing that allows an actor to fully embrace his or her character; the structure (or lack thereof) gives them a physical basis from which to do their work.
Simply because a film is set in the present does not mean an incredible amount of costume research and painstaking design work did not go into the character design. And while work does not necessarily constitute brilliance, brilliance can be subtle. And subtlety takes work and ingenuity that is not always recognized by the Academy. Gorgeous couture gowns are worthy of acclaim, but so are a fisherman's cap and a perfectly distressed yellow t-shirt, if it tells the right story.
Great films tell a story, and when all the technical elements come together the story comes live for the audience. Costumes can be memorable and iconic whether the costume piece is Cinderella's ball gown or Juno's orange and white striped shirt, a fact we hope the Academy realizes the next time this great honor comes around.
What do you think about this year's nominees? Do you have any favorite modern costume pieces?