costume designer, Milena Canonero
Costume designers are some of the most talented people on the planet and rarely get the type of recognition that famous fashion designers garner. In film, theatre and TV, there is a whole different set of criteria that designers have to adhere to, the most obvious of which is time period/era. Beyond that, the designer must to explore the minds and personalities of the characters; what would they wear and why? There is a tremendous amount of research that goes into creating appropriate ensembles before the pencil even touches the paper.
Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange
I’ve always admired the Italian born, award-winning designer, Milena Canonero. Her first job in costume design was for the film A Clockwork Orange, directed by the late Stanley Kubrick. Then, in 1976, she won an Academy Award for her work on the film, Barry Lyndon. Canonero followed up with another Academy Award and a BAFTA for best costume design in 1981, for Chariots of Fire. She won a second BAFTA Award for The Cotton Club in 1986, but it wasn’t until 2007 that Canonero finally nabbed another Academy Award for best costume design for her work on Sofia Coppola’s, Marie Antoinette.
Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette
Chariots of Fire, 1981
Richard Gere & Diane Lane in Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club
Although she didn’t take home awards for the other films to which she donated her talents, I’m sure we all remember her amazing work on The Godfather III, Out of Africa, Dick Tracy, Titus, and The Affair of the Necklace. In 2001, Canonero received the Career Achievement Award in Film from the Costume Designers Guild.
Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa
Madonna and Beatty in Dick Tracy
Not only does Canonero design costumes for film, she has worked on several operas and also served as costume designer for the popular TV series Miami Vice. So, I suppose we can credit Ms. Canonero with Don Johnson’s semi-iconic sport jacket and T-shirt look!
Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas in the 80's series, Miami Vice