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The Top 25 Best Costume Design Winners So Far (Updated)

Emma Stone as Cruella. Costume design by Jenny Beavan. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Memorial Day! Here comes another one, folks. 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, Cruella, rank? What about last year’s winner in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom? 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. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
23. Ben-Hur
22. Cleopatra
21. Memoirs of a Geisha
20. Cruella
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, The Aviator, Chariots of Fire, 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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10 months ago

I think this list is different from what it would have been a few years ago. I now am more drawn to later fashion ( 1920’s on ) I appreciate what all of them have accomplished .The imagination for fantasy and futuristic times are as impressive as the attention to detail for the past.

1. Chicago
2. The Aviator
3. Black Panther
4 . Death on the Nile
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. Cruella
7. The Artist
8. The Wonderful World of Brothers Grimm
9. Some Like It Hot
10. The King and I
11. Little Women
12 . Star Wars
13. Gandhi
14. Sabrina
15. The Sting
16. Titanic
17. The Great Gatsby ( 2013)
18. Gladiator
19. Alice In Wonderland
20. An American In Paris
21. Dangerous Liaisons
22. The English Patient
23, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
24. Amadeus
25. Cyrano de Bergerac

Honorable mentions – A Room With A View , Restoration, West Side Story, Shakespeare In Love, The Last Emperor



Written by Joey Magidson

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