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The Top 25 Best Costume Design Winners To Date

We’re back at it! Continuing on with this weekly series of mine that I’m doing here at the site, we’re talking the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there.

Aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing like I mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months, including of course the big eight categories. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t exist (a fictitious Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I currently am toying with. We’ll see about that one. I’m also deciding what to do with Best Animated Feature, but perhaps we’ll cross that bridge next week and deal with it then.

Today I’ll be knocking off another one of the technical categories, with this one being the fashionistas favorite…the Best Costume Design field. As you all know by now, depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing pretty specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners. For now though, I’m still keeping it fairly simple. Like I’ve said over the past month or so though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the lists anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs once again…

This particular time around, I’m just going the overview route once again, since the look of these costumes is really what matters for this category, sort of above anything else. Also it really just depends on what sort of costumes you’re partial to. There are really all sorts that have won the Academy Award here, so it’s a matter of taste. Do you respond more to overt costume dramas? Period pieces? Fantasy epics? Science fiction adventures? There’s something for everyone.

I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Star Wars, which perhaps will surprise some, but hear me out. What other Oscar winning costume design has been as engrained in our culture as in that one? We all know what every costume in that flick looks like. Additionally, recent winners like Black Panther and Phantom Thread also find strong positions here. The other odd one in my top ten (and even my top five) is from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, due again to how much it stays with you. The other ones in my top echelon include some usual suspects like Chicago and Gladiator, along with movies such as The Age of Innocence, All That Jazz, Bugsy, The Last Emperor, Shakespeare in Love, and Titanic. I didn’t overdose on the sort of cliched costume drama period pieces that often win here, but I know many others will love those more than I, so it’s just a matter of taste here, as mentioned above.

Here now is how I’d rank the 25 top winners of the Best Costume Design Oscar:

25. The Aviator
24. Cleopatra
23. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
22. The Artist
21. Memoirs of a Geisha
20. The English Patient
19. Ben-Hur
18. Marie Antoinette
17. Barry Lyndon
16. Ran
15. The Great Gatsby (2013)
14. Amadeus
13. Moulin Rouge! (2001)
12. Bugsy
11. Black Panther
10. Shakespeare in Love
9. All That Jazz
8. Titanic
7. The Age of Innocence
6. Phantom Thread
5. Gladiator
4. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
3. The Last Emperor
2. Chicago
1. Star Wars

Honorable Mention: Chariots of Fire, Ghandi, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Mad Max: Fury Road

Stay tuned for another installment next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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