HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 12: Ruth E. Carter, winner of the Best Costume Design award for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," backstage at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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The Top 25 Best Costume Design Winners So Far (Updated for 2023)

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, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, rank? What about last year’s winner in Cruella? 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. Memoirs of a Geisha
22. Cleopatra
21. Barry Lyndon
20. Cruella
19. Mad Max: Fury Road
18. Marie Antoinette
17. Ran
16. Amadeus
15. The Great Gatsby (2013)
14. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
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, Ben-Hur, Chariots of Fire, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Little Women

A scene from Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

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

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Robert Hamer
3 months ago

The most frustrating thing about this category is how myopic the voters often are when it comes to Oscar-worthy costumes. Every now and then there’s a cool The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert oddity (totally agree with you placing that among the top five, by the way), but for the most part, contemporary costumes are rarely even nominated, let alone win.

I think even the great Sandy Powell made note of this during one of her acceptance speeches, yet still, movies with excellent, character-specific or thematically insightful modern-day outfits in films like Young Adult, The Bling Ring, and A Simple Favor get passed over year after year.

Kellie
Kellie
3 months ago

After reviewing my list from last year several have been eliminated some have gone up or down the list, always enjoy this category.

1.Cruella
2.The Aviator
3.Black Panther
4.La Dolce Vita
5.Chicago
6.Memoir of A Geisha
7.Le Girls
8.All That Jazz
9.Topsy Turvy
10.Death on The Nile
11.Star Wars
12.West Side Story
13.8 1/2
14.Sabrina
15.Moulin Rouge (1952)
16.GrandBudapest Hotel
17.Gladiator
18.The Adventures of Priscilla
19.The English Patient
20.The Artist
21.Bram Stoker’s Dracula
22.Bugsy
23.The Sting
24.Some Like It Hot
25.An American In Paris

HM
Black Panther Wakanda Forever
Roman Holiday
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Facts of Life
A Place In The Sun
All About Eve
The Solid Gold Cadillac

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Written by Joey Magidson

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