Anyone even remotely familiar with the E! network knows the amount of preparation celebrities put into Academy Awards. And we, as shiny-things enthusiasts, eat it right up, with plenty of clamor about red carpet appearances. The unique costumes found in this year’s Oscar-nominated movies, though, have us feeling the love for the outfit choices of on-screen characters, too.
The roster of 2015 Oscar-nominated movies serves up a delightful palette of looks, ranging from Rosamund Pike’s pretty-yet-buttoned-up front in “Gone Girl,” to Meryl Streep’s exquisitely feral gray locks in “Into the Woods.” There were some characters, in particular, whose looks seamlessly transfer between eras and seasons, and can be easily customized to suit one’s distinct personality. Heading to a costume-themed Oscar party, or just looking for an edgy new outfit? These four leading ladies provide something for everyone.
Image: Alison Rosa
1. “Birdman”: Sam, played by Emma Stone
Costume designer Albert Wolsky’s résumé includes previous Oscar-nominated movies; he’s taken home two of his own for “Bugsy” and “All That Jazz.” For “Birdman,” however, Wolsky is tasked with determining looks for extremely complex characters, including the slightly troubled, fresh-from-rehab Sam. Instead of dressing Sam to be a stereotypical mess, however, her apparel is pronouncedly gritty, but no more so than many women her age. The look is created with ripped nylons under denim shorts with visible pockets, and unique tattoos: one, on her left shoulder, of a feather breaking off into flying birds (perhaps a nod to Sam’s title-character father), and a second of an old-fashioned key on her right wrist. Our favorite look, above, is achieved with the contrasting patterns of a plaid skirt (worn again over a pair of sheer black nylons), paired with a graphic tee. To finish the look, be generous with black eyeliner and skip the under-eye concealer.
2. “The Imitation Game”: Joan Clarke, played by Keira Knightley
There’s a reason why World-War-II-era films and literature are looked upon as so romantic, which is certainly aided by the period’s fashion. From bold lipstick to big curls, trends began during these years that seem to have lasted a lifetime. Case in point: Keira Knightley’s Joan Clarke in “The Imitation Game”, whom costume designer Sammy Sheldon dressed in patterned trench coats, colorful argyle sweaters and such timely accessories as a 1940s ladies’ watch, topped off with blond locks. Clarke, it’s worth mentioning, is a true-to-life character; the legend was a mathematician who aided in decrypting code during the war.
3. “The Grand Budapest Hotel”: Agatha, played by Saoirse Ronan
Agatha’s beautiful miniature cakes were one of the biggest star of Wes Anderson’s latest nominated film, but her girl-next-door, subdued look deserves a moment to shine. First, that hair: The top-braid up-do has provided fodder to countless beauty bloggers, and here, is pulled off effortlessly by this on-screen pastry chef. Her signature dress, while borderline frumpy on the surface, can easily be manipulated into a contemporary look with, for example, this belted frock from Altuzarra’s Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection. Consider pairing the dress with a tan overcoat like the one pictured above. Looking to really go for the full look? Don’t leave out Agatha’s notable Mexico-shaped facial birthmark. Bonus: Get the recipe for those brilliant little cakes here.
4. “The Theory of Everything”: Jane Hawking, played by Felicity Jones
Those able to cease sobbing long enough to see the costumes worn by “The Theory of Everything” characters are sure to be impressed. An interview with the film’s costume designer, Steven Noble, illustrates his attention paid to details from Jane Hawking’s biography, such as a memory of Stephen’s wearing a blue velvet blazer upon first the couple’s first meeting. Her ballgowns in the earlier part of the film come in a spring-like light blue, with vintage cuts that make for a classic look still used in formal attire today, like this piece from the Armani Privé Spring 2015 Couture collection. According to several bloggers and Yelp reviewers, the costumes from “The Theory of Everything” were recently on display at the Pasadena ArcLight Cinema.
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Top Image: Prayitno