Sandy Powell (costume designer)

Sandy Powell OBE (born 7 April 1960) is a British costume designer. She has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design fifteen times, winning three awards for the films Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Aviator (2004), and The Young Victoria (2009).[1] She has also received fifteen BAFTA Award nominations, winning for Velvet Goldmine (1998), The Young Victoria, and The Favourite (2018). Powell has been a frequent collaborator with directors Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes, having designed the costumes for seven of Scorsese's films and four of Haynes's.[2][3][4][5]

Sandy Powell

Sandy Powell Viennale 2015 a.jpg
Born (1960-04-07) 7 April 1960 (age 60)
London, England
Alma materCentral School of Art
OccupationCostume designer
Years active1985-present
RelativesAnthony Powell (cousin)

Early lifeEdit

Powell was born in London in 1960,[6] and grew up in Brixton and Clapham.[7] Her father worked in casinos, while her mother was a secretary.[8] Powell learned to sew from her mother on a Singer sewing machine,[9] drew pictures of clothes, designed and made outfits for her dolls, and started making her own clothes from a young age.[10] She also developed an interest in film and theatre from an early age.[8]

Powell attended Sydenham High School,[9] and in 1978 she completed an art foundation course at Saint Martin's School of Art, where she became acquainted with Lea Anderson, who later became a dancer and choreographer as well as Powell's collaborator.[11] In 1979, Powell began a BA in theatre design at the Central School of Art and Design, but left after two years before completing her degree and started working for fringe theatre companies.[9][6]

CareerEdit

After leaving Central, Powell began a working relationship with dancer and choreographer Lindsay Kemp, whom she greatly admired. She designed costumes for his productions, the first of which was the show Nijinsky at La Scala in Milan.[10][12] In the early 1980s, Powell became acquainted with filmmaker Derek Jarman, who became a mentor and an influential figure in her life.[8] Following Jarman's advice, she spent a year working on music videos.[13][14] She made her entry into the film industry in 1986, designing costumes for the Jarman film Caravaggio.[9]

In 1992, Powell achieved prominence in the period drama film Orlando, directed by Sally Potter.[12] Operating on a limited budget,[15] Powell created elaborate costumes for the gender-switching and time-traveling protagonist (played by Tilda Swinton), for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.[16] Powell also began a collaboration with director Neil Jordan, which would produce a total of five films including The Crying Game (1992), Interview with the Vampire (1994) and Michael Collins (1996).[15]

Powell received dual nominations at the 71st Academy Awards for her two 1998 films, Velvet Goldmine and Shakespeare in Love. Echoing the contemporary tone of Shakespeare in Love, Powell opted to sacrifice historical accuracy in her costume designs but still managed to achieve "emotional accuracy", according to Salon critic Stephanie Zacharek. The detail on the costumes of Gwyneth Paltrow's Viola and the thematic significance of her costume changes were also noted as highlights of the film. For her work in the film, Powell won her first Academy Award for Best Costume Design.[16]

Following her win at the 71st Academy Awards, Powell began her collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, starting with his 2002 epic period drama film Gangs of New York, for which she earned her 5th Oscar nomination. The two reunited for the 2004 biographical drama film The Aviator, for which Powell won her second Academy Award.[17]

 
Costume worn by Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria, designed by Powell.

In 2010, Powell won her third costume design Oscar for her work in the film The Young Victoria.[18]

Powell was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for her services to the film industry.[19]

In 2016, Powell received her second dual nominations at the 88th Academy Awards, having been recognized for her works in Kenneth Branagh's Disney live-action adaptation of Cinderella and Todd Haynes' Carol.[20]

In 2019, Powell garnered her third dual nominations at the 91st Academy Awards for her works in Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite and Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns, making her the most nominated costume designer in Academy Awards history after Edith Head.[21]

In 2020, Powell received her 15th Oscar nomination in her seventh collaboration with Martin Scorsese in his epic crime film The Irishman, for which she shared the nomination with her co-designer, Christopher Peterson.[22][18] At the same year, Powell collected many stars' signatures on a white suit in a widely publicized tour of 2020 awards ceremonies, including the 92nd Academy Awards and 73rd British Academy Film Awards, to be auctioned to raise funds for the preservation of director Derek Jarman's home, Prospect Cottage.[23]

Film creditsEdit

 
Detail of the costume worn by Helen Mirren in The Tempest, designed by Powell.
Year Title Director Notes
1986 Caravaggio Derek Jarman
1988 The Last of England
1991 Edward II
1992 Orlando Sally Potter
The Crying Game Neil Jordan
1993 Wittgenstein Derek Jarman
1994 Being Human Bill Forsyth
Interview with the Vampire Neil Jordan
1995 Rob Roy Michael Caton-Jones
1996 Michael Collins Neil Jordan
1997 The Butcher Boy
The Wings of the Dove Iain Softley
1998 Velvet Goldmine Todd Haynes
Hilary and Jackie Anand Tucker
Shakespeare in Love John Madden
1999 Felicia's Journey Atom Egoyan
Miss Julie Mike Figgis
The End of the Affair Neil Jordan
2002 Far from Heaven Todd Haynes
Gangs of New York Martin Scorsese
2003 Sylvia Christine Jeffs
2004 The Aviator Martin Scorsese
2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Stephen Frears
2006 The Departed Martin Scorsese
2008 The Other Boleyn Girl Justin Chadwick
2009 The Young Victoria Jean-Marc Vallée
2010 Shutter Island Martin Scorsese
The Tempest Julie Taymor
2011 Hugo Martin Scorsese
2012 Suspension of Disbelief Mike Figgis
2013 The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese
2015 Cinderella Kenneth Branagh
Carol Todd Haynes
2017 Wonderstruck also executive producer
How to Talk to Girls at Parties John Cameron Mitchell
2018 The Favourite Yorgos Lanthimos
Mary Poppins Returns Rob Marshall
2019 The Irishman Martin Scorsese with Christopher Peterson
2020 The Glorias Julie Taymor
TBA Mothering Sunday Eva Husson Filming

AccoladesEdit

Academy AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
1993 Orlando Best Costume Design Nominated
1997 The Wings of the Dove Nominated
1998 Shakespeare in Love Won
Velvet Goldmine Nominated
2002 Gangs of New York Nominated
2004 The Aviator Won
2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Nominated
2009 The Young Victoria Won
2010 The Tempest Nominated
2011 Hugo Nominated
2015 Carol Nominated
Cinderella Nominated
2018 The Favourite Nominated
Mary Poppins Returns Nominated
2019 The Irishman Nominated

British Academy Film AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
1993 Orlando Best Costume Design Nominated
1994 Interview with the Vampire Nominated
1997 The Wings of the Dove Nominated
1998 Shakespeare in Love Nominated
Velvet Goldmine Won
1999 The End of the Affair Nominated
2002 Gangs of New York Nominated
2004 The Aviator Nominated
2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Nominated
2009 The Young Victoria Won
2011 Hugo Nominated
2015 Carol Nominated
Cinderella Nominated
2018 The Favourite Won
Mary Poppins Returns Nominated
2019 The Irishman Nominated

Critics' Choice Movie AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
2009 The Young Victoria Best Costume Design Won
2011 Hugo Nominated
2015 Carol Nominated
Cinderella Nominated
2018 The Favourite Nominated
Mary Poppins Returns Nominated
2019 The Irishman Nominated

Costume Designers Guild AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
2004 The Aviator Excellence in Period/Fantasy Film Nominated
2009 The Young Victoria Excellence in Period Film Won
2010 The Tempest Excellence in Fantasy Film Nominated
2011 Hugo Excellence in Period Film Nominated
2015 Carol Nominated
Cinderella Excellence in Fantasy Film Nominated
2018 The Favourite Excellence in Period Film Won
Mary Poppins Returns Nominated

Satellite AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
1997 The Wings of the Dove Best Costume Design Nominated
1998 Shakespeare in Love Nominated
2002 Gangs of New York Nominated
2004 The Aviator Nominated
2009 The Young Victoria Nominated
2015 Cinderella Nominated
2018 The Favourite Won

Saturn AwardsEdit

Year Film Category Result
1994 Interview with the Vampire Best Costume Design Won
2011 Hugo Nominated
2015 Cinderella Nominated
2018 Mary Poppins Returns Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Official Academy Awards Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  2. ^ "What Inspires Martin Scorsese's Go-to Costume Designer". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ "In conversation with costume designer Sandy Powell". The Daily Telegraph. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Todd Haynes: 'She said, there's a frock film coming up, with Cate attached … It sounded right up my alley'". The Guardian. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  5. ^ "'American Horror Story,' 'Carol' Costume Designer and Director Teams Discuss Collaborations". Variety. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Bromwich, Kathryn (17 July 2016). "On my radar: Sandy Powell's cultural highlights". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  7. ^ Dziautaite, Modesta (26 February 2006). "Sandy Powell: Behind the Silver Screen". 1 Granary. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "'Carol' and 'Cinderella' Costume Designer – Sandy Powell – In Conversation". Film Doctor. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d "Sandy Powell OBE, RDI". University of the Arts London. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  10. ^ a b Bromwich, Kathryn (22 January 2020). "The Irishman Costume Designer Sandy Powell on Her Career in Drama". W. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  11. ^ Harries, Rhiannon (5 September 2010). "How We Met: Lea Anderson & Sandy Powell". The Independent. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b Bromwich, Kathryn (23 November 2019). "Sandy Powell: 'I am not afraid to be adventurous and go against the grain'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  13. ^ Feinberg, Scott (23 February 2016). "'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Sandy Powell ('Carol' & 'Cinderella')". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  14. ^ Kelsey, Colleen (18 February 2016). "Fashioning Sandy Powell". Interview. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  15. ^ a b Hirschberg, Lynn (20 December 1998). "A Dresser for the Ages". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  16. ^ a b Zacharek, Stephanie (6 May 1999). "Queen of the cross-dressers". Salon. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  17. ^ Cusumano, Katherine (10 June 2016). "Costume Designer Sandy Powell On Dressing Martin Scorsese's Leading Women, and 15 Years of Collaboration". W. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  18. ^ a b Mead, Rebecca (9 December 2019). "De-Aging De Niro with Suits and Spanx". The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  19. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 12.
  20. ^ Chan, Stephanie (14 January 2016). "Oscars: Costume Designer Sandy Powell Scores Two Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  21. ^ Brian Welk (14 February 2019). "How Double Oscar Nominee Sandy Powell Tackled Both 'The Favourite' and 'Mary Poppins Returns'". TheWrap. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  22. ^ Cosgrave, Bronwyn (3 February 2020). "Sandy Powell on Working With Martin Scorsese: "The First Thing He Does Is Look at the Costumes"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  23. ^ https://www.phillips.com/detail/sandy-powell/UK090320/1

External linksEdit