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The Top 25 Best Costume Design Winners So Far

Here comes another one! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you think!

This time around, it’s the Best Costume Design field. If I’m being honest, the nominees and winners in Costume Design are rarely my favorite films. As you might imagine, costume dramas and period pieces dominate the ranks. That being said, there are some exceptions like Black Panther (all hail Ruth E. Carter) and Star Wars (my personal favorite of the lot), for example. Some of the winners, whether I personally love them or not, are absolutely iconic. So, there’s no denying the staying power that a few of these victors have on their side. Where does the latest winner in the category, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, rank? Find out below…

Here are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Costume Design Oscar, to date:

Star Wars

25. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
24. The Aviator
23. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
22. Cleopatra
21. Memoirs of a Geisha
20. Ben-Hur
19. Mad Max: Fury Road
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: The Artist, Chariots of Fire, Ghandi, The English Patient, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Little Women

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): Viola Davis as Ma Rainey. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Stay tuned for another category later on this week or early next week!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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