Do you remember who won the Oscar last year for best costume design? Probably not. But you bet your Oscar de la Renta you recall who won the red carpet – Brie Larson, Ryan Gosling and Naomie Harris, take a bow and thank your haute couture brand.
But Colleen Atwood, costume designer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Take your trophy and run along, please.
At the Oscars, there are the winners and there are losers, and then there are the actual awards. It is ironic that an industry that pays so much attention to snappy duds and dazzling dresses underplays its behind-the-scenes costume-crafting rock stars. Addressing the underregard is the Canadian Alliance of Film and Television Costume Arts and Design (CAFTCAD), which has announced its inaugural Costume Design and Arts Awards ceremony, to take place in Toronto in late winter, 2019.
"A ceremony which honours the excellence in design achievements of Canadian costumers and artisans is long overdue," event chair Joanna Syrokomla said in a statement. "Their contribution to the evolution of the Canadian film and television industry cannot be underestimated, and recognizing these immense talents with a proper event that allows for nationwide eligibility is something I am very proud to be spearheading."
CAFTCAD was formed in 2008. Those eligible for a CAFTCAD award are costume designers and artisans who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents who worked on projects produced within Canada and had its costumes primarily built/created in Canada. The final list of prizes has yet to be determined, but it is expected that categories will represent inspired costuming in film and television – contemporary, period and sci-fi/fantasy – and in web series, commercials, music videos and short films.
There is no shortage of world-class costume designers in this country. Last week at the 20th-annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills, three Canadians were up for prizes: Luis Sequeira (for The Shape of Water), Renée April (for Blade Runner 2049) and Gersha Phillips (for the CBS television series Star Trek: Discovery).
Among the three, Sequeira was the lone winner, taking home the period-film trophy for his flair for Cold War fashion in Guillermo del Toro's monster movie about a fish-man who sweeps a mute janitor off her red-shoed feet. Sequeira, who also worked with del Toro on the director's FX series The Strain, is up for an Oscar at next month's Academy Awards.