The Oscar nominations were announced this morning by a well-meaning, but ultimately blandly dressed Anne Hathaway, including in the category of Costume Design, with frontrunners Nine and Coco Avant Chanel leading the pack.
This year was rich with possibilities in the costume category, with the Chanel biopic providing a fashion-centric favorite and Nine's eye candy ensemble of stage costumery serving as the film's only redeeming quality. Plus, we're always suckers for a good period film, and The Young Victoria matched its heartbreaking love story with a spectacular aesthetic carried regally by Miss Emily Blunt.
Bright Star was another period goody (although we're always baffled by that 19th century period of dress that made every woman look pregnant) and Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, bringing in the fascinating model-esque face of Lily Cole against the brooding beauty of Johnny Depp and Heath Ledger made for a darkly fantastical wardrobe romp.
Coco Avant Chanel designer Catherine Leterrier created the pre-Chanel-as-we-know-it wardrobe for the film's heroine, enjoying the support of the House of Chanel and drawing on their archives for inspiration and plucking from it for certain pivotal scenes. For Nine, costume designer Colleen Atwood brought to life the sumptuous style of Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 and the roaring 60s in Italy. Kate Hudson, playing a coquettish young Vogue staffer, struts out in go-go boots and white fringe, and all the megawatt leading ladies slink easily across the film's landscape in seductive getups that just ooze richness and sex appeal.
It's destined to be a tough choice when spinning costume confections from the inspirational likes of poetry, royalty, fantasy, Fellini and Chanel.