Poll: Current Movie Costume Designer Smack-Down


Let’s pit designer against designer in a cage-match fight to the death! OK, it’s not that gruesome, but who doesn’t love a little competition where we get to be the judge, instead of some stuffy academy. Here are nine of the most prolific frock flick designers for you to chose from. We’ve narrowed it down to only still-living costume designers who work on films and have been active in the past 30 years. Later, you can vote on classic-era costume designers and TV costume designers!

Need a reminder of who’s who? Check our archives as you vote…



Why’d you vote for your fave? Who’d we leave off the list?


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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

17 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Tough choices except maybe Alexandra Byrne. Didn’t care for the movies she did costumes for. I wish I could have voted for 2: Sandy Powell and Gabriella Pescucci, but went with Ms. Powell.

    • Amanda

      Gabriella Pessucci is absolutely my favourite. I’m disappointed they used Dangerous Beauty and Van Helsing (much as I personally loved it) credits, but not really stunning work like The Borgias and Penny Dreadful. I think Sandy Powell is probably TECHNICALLY better but Gabriella Pessucci has such a wonderfully distinctive flair.

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Or better yet, do one with Best Renaissance costume designer, Best… Like the Oscar’s.

  3. Angie Sola

    Can you please review Ophelia? I should like to know what you thought of the costuming.

  4. Bronze the Sling

    Why did the designer of the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film get mentioned and not the designer of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice? (I realize it probably sound like I’m complaining but I’m seriously not I’m just posing an ignorant question, sorry I know nothing about costume designers, ignore this comment if you want.)

    • Trystan L. Bass

      As we said, this is for film costume designers & TV costume designers will come later. Dinah Collin did the costumes for the 1995 TV miniseries, but she actually didn’t do costumes for that many other TV shows/movies that folks may recognize so who knows if she’ll be in the TV poll…

  5. Jennie B

    Really hard not to just give it to James Acheson because of Dangerous Liaisons, but Sandy Powell has a practicality to the creation of her designs that I like. The “fun with monochrome” of The Favourite is killer

  6. Patrick Keogh

    I am exactly zero percent surprised Alexandra Byrne is at the bottom and Sandy Powell is at the top.

  7. Johnny Hintergardt

    Anthony Powell for his period perfect work in Death on the Nile and Tess.

  8. CatnipTARDIS

    Having seen some works from nearly all if not all of these designers, I have to go with Colleen Atwood. I’m really mad you’re making me choose, though! Jenny Beavan is so versatile (and when she goes inaccurate, it’s with good reason and consistent throughout the product, a la Ever After) and Sandy Powell’s attention to detail is absurd (The Young Victoria is freakishly well done), but Colleen has a certain fantastical whimsy in her work. Even her biggest and wildest pieces never detract from the character, instead adding to and completing said character. Her use of texture and unconventional materials is phenomenal. Seeing her work in person is gobsmacking—it’s a crime most people will only get to see it on film where it gets comparatively washed out and visually flattened.