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'Birdman', 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Top Costume Designer Guild Awards: Winners List

It’s yet another triumph for Birdman as Albert Wolsky won the Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Film tonight at the 17th annual CDG Awards. Milena CDG TrophiesCanonero’s The Grand Budapest Hotel won for Excellence in Period Film. They will square off against each other at the Academy Awards on Sunday. (Full winners list is below.)

Canonero’s costumes from the era between the World Wars beat fellow Best Picture Oscar nominees The Imitation Game, Selma and The Theory Of Everything along with Inherent Vice. Birdman was up against Boyhood, Gone Girl, Interstellar and Wild for the contemporary film nod. Jacqueline Durran, a Best Costume Design Oscar nominee for Mr. Turner, was missing from the CDG Award noms.

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“We are the collaborators to these wonderful directors,” Canonero said onstage — Milena Canoneroafter presenter Beau Bridges opened the envelope before reading the nominees, catching himself just in time. “With Wes (Anderson), by the way, it’s great fun. People think he’s a control freak, he’s not. (Laughs) Aside from the little things, he gives you great freedom. This is my third film with him. He always gets production to get us all in the same hotel. We share dinners. I hope to make more movies with him again. I hope he asks me. It’s really Wes’s vision we followed.”

Albert WolskyWolsky, a two-time Oscar winner for Bugsy and All That Jazz, said at the podium: “I was thrilled when I finally had the chance to work with Alejandro Inarritu. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. It was a real labyrinth. It was endless. We only had six weeks to shoot. It was like being thrown out of a cannon.”

Costume designer Colleen Atwood’s Into The Woods beat out four of the biggest films of 2014 for the Excellence in Fantasy Film Wicked-Stepsisters-Into-the-Woodshardware: Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and Maleficent. Presenters Tony Hale and Betsy Brandt did a quick skit satirizing how a costume designer works with an actor. Costumer: “I just walked through sleet and snow to get your costumes.” Actor, nonplussed: “Mmm hmmm.” Onstage, Atwood said just yesterday she was doing a fitting with an actor whose measurements were a little dated. The actor: “I was hoping for a little more color.” Atwood: “Oh really, I was hoping for someone with a 32-inch waist, not a 38.”

On the TV side, True Detective won for contemporary series, beating House Of Cards, Ray Donovan, Saturday Night Live and Scandal. Designer Jenny Eagan took a long time to get to the stage, and presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson tickled the crowd with a song in which he repeated, “Long walk to the stage,” adding, “Third verse, same as the first.” Game Of Thrones, costumed by Michele Clapton, prevailed in the period/fantasy category.

There was a lively crowd on hand at the Beverly Hilton as Shameless star Emmy Rossum hosted the 17th annual shindig, which honors costumers in seven categories spanning film, TV and commercials.

Patricia Arquette had a hard time reading the teleprompter as she presented Boyhood helmer Richard Linklater with the guild’s Distinguished Collaborator Award for Richard Linklater CDG Awardshis support of costume design and creative partnerships with costume designers. “That’s what happens when you pass 40,” she ad-libbed. “Watch out, kids.” Linklater took the stage to a standing ovation. “To win an award with the word ‘collaborator’ in it is an honor,” he said. “I’m here as a director to tell all costume designers, we’re pretty full of ourselves, right? Egotists. And yet I don’t know one director who thinks they can be a costume designer. In other words, we are completely dependent on and in awe of what you do. I can’t think of anyone you work more closely with, besides the actors themselves, to create a character.”

Harrison Ford presented this year’s CDG Career Achievement Award to Aggie Guerard Rodgers. They worked together on a number of films including George Lucas’ American Graffiti in 1973 — her first pic — Star Wars sequel Return Of The Jedi, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and 1993’s The Fugitive. Ford admittedly wearing aAggie Guerard Rodgers; Harrison Ford tuxedo from an old movie that he got for free — read a note from Lucas, who the actor said was “in Chicago, changing diapers.” Lucas’ note said Rodgers is responsible for Princess Leia’s gold bikini in Jedi. “Strange woman,” Ford ad-libbed. “Michael Douglas called her a ‘flirt,’ who could encourage her male actors to try on more clothes than expected… Her memoir should be called Inseams I Have Known and Loved.”

Rodgers earned an Academy Award nomination for The Color Purple and also worked on such films as Best Picture Oscar winner One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, The Rainmaker and Fruitvale Station. “To all the actors who saw this crazy woman come into the trailer or fitting room but still put on what I asked to put on, you’re amazing,” she said onstage. “Fruitvale Station was non-union, and the guild was really mad at me. But sometimes you have to do things with your heart. You must go forward and support these young people who are trying to do good things,” she said, to much applause before she added: “We are hard on our crews. We don’t support their family life. We must think about each other deeper and harder each day. Long live the union!”

The 2015 Edith Head Award for the Advancement and Education of the Art of Costume Design went to Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a two-term CDG past president and guildLandis CDG Awards activist for nearly 40 years. Her husband John Landis presented the award. He said she refers to fashion — which often is confused with a costume designer’s work — as the F word. “From Indiana Jones to Animal House, Deborah’s costumes have become cultural icons,” he said. “I wish I had a dollar for every knockoff of that damn red leather jacket from the ‘Thriller’ video.” Nadoolman Landis’ speech included a shout-out to her grandparents “for teaching me how to sew and teaching me to love the union.” She added later: “And (thanks to) my husband, John, who makes all of this possible. You’re trouble, but you’re the love of my life.”  A Best Costume Design Oscar nominee for Coming To America, her credits also include Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Blues Brothers Movie, An American Werewolf In London, Trading Places and Three Amigos. “When you are negotiating for your next project, be brave,” she told the crowd. “Take time to consider, ‘What would Edith Head do?’”

Last up tonight, Laura Dern presented two-time Best Actress Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams) with the Lacoste Spotlight Award. The prize honors an actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design. After a clip reel of her work, Watts sainaomi-watts-247d: “After watching all those clips, I’m glad I have in my contract that I get to keep all the clothes. I love clothing. I love costumes. I love designers. I feel like it’s such a huge part of my life. I grew up with my mother, who made our clothes, hand-sewed them. Sometimes a duvet cover would become a dress. Not unlike the Von Trapps. She went on to become a costume designer. I don’t know if many of you in the room know that. I would see her go to work and develop these great relationships with actors. I would watch these relationships evolve. That had to have influenced my desire to become an actress. When I first take on a role, I develop ideas with the director, but the very next person I have to connect with is the costume designer. We put our hearts and mind and blood and soul into our roles, but the costumes are a big part of that. ”

Here is the full list of winners at the 2015 Costume Directors Guild Awards:

Excellence in Contemporary Film
Birdman – Albert Wolsky
(Presented by Beau Bridges)

Excellence in Period Film
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
(Presented by Michelle Monaghan)

Excellence in Fantasy Film
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
(Presented by Betsy Brandt and Tony Hale)

Excellence in Commercial Costume Design
Army, “Defy Expectations, Villagers” – Christopher Lawrence
(Presented by Kiernan Shipka)

Outstanding Contemporary Television Series
True Detective – Jenny Eagan
(Presented by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jonathan Groff)

Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series
Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton
(Presented by Mindy Kaling and Ike Barinholtz)

Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Mini Series
American Horror Story: Freak Show – Lou Eyrich
(Presented by Jon Voight)