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Barbie and Poor Things films star at Costume Designers Guild Awards 2024 gala

On the night of 21st February, Los Angeles was dressed up in its best gala to celebrate the 26th edition of the Costume Designers Guild Awards (CDGAwards). In an evening full of talent and glamour, Barbie and Poor Things stood out from the rest of the nominees.

Wendi McLendon-Covey hosted the evening, in an event full of unforgettable moments. Among them was the presentation of the Spotlight Award to Annette Bening, who has worked alongside renowned costume designers such as Albert Wolsky and Julie Weiss. Bening was recognised for her special awareness of the role and importance of costume design in the film industry. However, due to circumstances imposed by COVID, Bening was unable to accept the award in person.

In the category of excellence in period film, Oscar nominee Holly Waddington took the well-deserved recognition for her work on “Poor Things”. Likewise, Jacqueline Durran, another nominee for the coveted Academy Award, shone when she received the award for excellence in science fiction/fantasy film for her impeccable contribution to “Barbie”.

Contemporary costume also had its moment in the spotlight, with “Saltburn” costume designer Sophie Canale taking home the award. Also, in a moving posthumous tribute, Shawna Trpcic, who left us last year, was honoured for her extraordinary work on the Disney+ series “Ahsoka”.

One of the most touching moments of the evening was when Francine Jamison-Tanchuck received the Lifetime Achievement Award. She thanked her mentors, Ann Roth and Edith Head, and emotionally expressed: “I’ve come an incredible way in this industry, and in some ways I don’t think I’m done yet”. Music was also present at the gala, with the iconic Billie Eilish receiving the first ever Vanguard Award. In her remarks, Eilish shared: “Fashion has always been my form of expression more than anything else. It’s my tool of communication.

The evening was not only celebratory, but also addressed crucial issues in the costume design industry. Equal pay, a persistent issue over the decades, was highlighted as a central theme. With IATSE’s basic agreement negotiations scheduled for March, the union emphasised its call to action. Renowned designers such as B. Åkerlund and Mandi Line echoed the union’s struggle through their outfits, reminding us that fashion can also be a means of protest and social awareness.