Actual Nominations: As with Cinematography the category was split into BW and color and featured a cross-section of epics and musicals, featuring many of the same films as were nominated for Cinematography. The official winner for BW was Night Of The Iguana but there really isn’t a lot to pick between this and the other nominees- Hush Hush, A House Is Not A Home, Kisses For My President, The Visit. Again the colour nominations are more interesting, with Harry Stradling picking up the win for My Fair Lady. Completing the nominations are Becket, Mary Poppins, Molly Brown, and What A Way To Go. Edith Head’s designs were nominated in both colour and BW, but she did not pick up a win this year.
My Winner: BW: Night Of The Iguana. Colour: Mary Poppins. Few films of the decade had such vibrancy in all areas as Mary Poppins, so it gets my vote over My Fair Lady.
My Nominations: My Fair Lady. Mary Poppins. Band Of Outsiders. A Fistful Of Dollars. The Fall Of The Roman Empire. Zulu.
I’ve added 4 films to the 2 carried over from the official nominations, and only 1 of the 6 is BW. Band Of Outsiders has that timeless cool French Chic thanks largely to Christiane Fageol’s work which is in stark contrast to my other picks. A Fistful Of Dollars is as you would expect, all dirty, beaten ponchos, but it was films like this which started the endearing look and people like Carlo Simi and Maria Casado who perfected it. My final picks are historical epics, a genre which relies heavily on Costume Design to convey authenticity and tone. It may seem easy to pick a popular outfit of the time and put actors in it, but it takes an unprecedented amount of time, detail, and dedication to get everything just right. Arthur Newman may not have had a large career in Wardrobe, but each feature he worked on has that memorable touch. In Zulu he oversees the costumes of our band of under siege soldiers but also the tribal garments of the marauding warriors. However, my win goes to the joint venture between Veniero Colasanti and John Moore (who also provided the Set Design) whose experience of working together on other hits such as El Cid pays off for the lost epic The Fall Of The Roman Empire. Their designs range from outfits for soldiers of all levels to pure tunics for senators to luxurious dresses for Sophia Loren.
My Winner: The Fall Of The Roman Empire.
Let us know your picks for the best Costume Design of 1964!