2013's Best Movie Costumes: Our Oscar-Worthy Picks

The Academy Awards are just around the corner! Click through to see which 10 movie wardrobes we loved most last year—both the Oscar-eligible and the sadly snubbed.


Why: I've already waxed poetic about the beautifully gothic, proper yet sultry wardrobe designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller (aka "Kurt and Bart") created for Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman's characters in this psychological thriller. Proof that big-screen costumes don't have to be over-the-top to make a serious statement.

Nominated? Alas, no.

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Oz the Great and Powerful

Why: This Oz reboot might've received mixed reviews from the critics, but there's no denying that Gary Jones totally nailed the wardrobe. Dressing the likes of Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis already sounds like a dream job, but Jones brilliantly communicated the essence of each of Oz's witches—Theodora, Evanora and Glinda—via their color-specific costumes.

Nominated? Nope.

©Walt Disney Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Spring Breakers

Why: Not only is the controversial Harmony Korine flick one of my favorite movies of the year, but costume designer Heidi Bivens perfectly captured the seedy Florida spring break party scene through the four lead actresses' neon-soaked, barely-there wardrobe (she reportedly called in roughly 300 bikinis for each girl to try!). From unicorn-embroidered pink ski masks to "DTF" sweatpants, the film offered up some of the most talked-about fashion items of any movie in 2013—not to mention a whole lot of Halloween costume inspiration. And don't even get me started on James Franco's remarkable transformation into gold-toothed drug dealer Alien. Seriously inspired stuff.

Nominated? Not in the costume category—and Franco tragically didn't earn a Supporting Actor nod either. For shame!

©Annapurna Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

The Great Gatsby

Why: In a story packed with extravagant parties, expensive cars and overflowing champagne coupes, the costumes director Baz Luhrmann's wife Catherine Martin created for this epic adaptation were the visual anchor of the entire plot. For maximum authenticity, Martin collaborated with the likes of Tiffany & Co., Prada and Brooks Brothers to craft sumptuous Jazz Age looks that quite honestly belong in a museum.

Nominated? Yes—and if it doesn't take home the statue, I'll eat my cloche.

©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

The Bling Ring

Why: To help bring the story of Hollywood's teenage crime ring to life, Sofia Coppola tapped costume designer Stacey Battat to recreate the label-heavy clubbing wardrobe of the late-aughts celeb set. She was also tasked with stocking the movie's onscreen closets with pieces that could have realistically been snagged from Lindsay Lohan and Rachel's Bilson's circa-2008 wardrobes. To glean inspiration, Battat told us she pored through old copies of Us Weekly.

Negative. And as real-life Bling Ring victim Paris Hilton might say, that's totally not hot.

Merrick Morton/©A24/courtesy Everett Collection

Blue Jasmine

Why: Simply put, a complete financial and emotional breakdown has never looked this good. Cate Blanchett's troubled Jasmine French had a lot on her plate, to be sure, but we sure did love those Chanel jackets and Hermès Birkins hanging in her closet.

Nominated? Unfortunately, costume designer Suzy Benzinger didn't earn a nod—but leading lady Cate did! You win some, you lose some. Unless you're Jasmine, in which case...you lose it all.

©Sony Pictures Classics/courtesy Everett Collection

12 Years a Slave

Why: 82-year-old costume designer Patricia Norris, whose work you might've also seen in Scarface and Days of Heaven, crafted a period-perfect wardrobe that fit right in with this heart-wrenching movie's plantation setting. And no detail went overlooked: Norris even gathered soil samples from each shooting location in order to accurately age the clothes!

Nominated? Yep. Norris has now been nominated for a total of six Academy Awards over the years, but has never won; this might just be her year.

Fox Searchlight

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Why: For the second film adaptation in the Hunger Games series, Trish Summerville (of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) was called in to work her costuming magic. And magic it was: from the Peacekeepers' insect-inspired armor to Effie Trinket's incredibly intricate cocktail dresses, every single onscreen look was a slam dunk.

Nominated? Unfortunately, the odds were not in Catching Fire's favor this year. Excuse us while we weep into our knitted cowls.

Murray Close/©Lionsgate/courtesy Everett Collection

American Hustle

Why: Costume whiz Michael Wilkinson beautifully referenced the most memorable '70s trends (Crazy perms? Check. Insane furs? Check. Wrap dresses? Check!), scouring the Halston and Diane von Furstenberg archives to bring the grooviest of eras to life. If ever a movie was more likely to make me want to dance to Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" for hours on end, I'd like to see it.

Nominated? Obviously. And since American Hustle leads the pack this year with a whopping 12 nominations, we're guessing Wilkinson has this prize in the bag.

Francois Duhamel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection


Why: Costume designer Casey Storm's interpretation of near-future fashion is fascinating: no metallic wraparound shades, neoprene jumpsuits or Capitol-ready makeup here! Instead, Storm outfitted the cast of this Spike Jonze indie in ultra-high-waisted pants, collarless button-downs and graphic midcentury patterns. The result? Retro-futurism at its finest.

Nominated? Infuriatingly, no. However, just like fellow snubbed flick Spring Breakers, Her did snag a collaboration with Opening Ceremony thanks to its stellar wardrobe.

©Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

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Senior Digital Editor

Yesterday morning, the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced—and come March 2, a handful of our favorite actors, actresses and directors will battle it out for those shiny statuettes at the big event.

But lest we forget, the folks in front of the camera aren't the only ones vying for Oscar gold; thanks to the Academy's costume design category, the people responsible for much of the overall aesthetic of these remarkable movies will also be up for major honors. And while we were thrilled (although not entirely surprised) to see American Hustle's Michael Wilkinson and The Great Gatsby's Catherine Martin receive their nods, many beautifully-costumed flicks were unfortunately overlooked. Click through above to see which movie wardrobes I loved most last year—both the Oscar-eligible and the sadly snubbed.

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