It was another winning night for TV favorites “Game of Thrones,” “American Horror Story: Hotel” and “The Knick” as their respective costume designers Michele Clapton, Lou Eyrich and Ellen Mirojnick took home trophies presented at the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards.
Held Feb. 23 at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom, in ceremonies hosted by actress Betsy Brandt, the gala evening honors costume designers in television, film and commercials.
It’s also a night that lauds others in the industry, in this case, Cate Blanchett and Quentin Tarantino, who were respectively awarded the Lacoste Spotlight Award and the Distinguished Collaborator Award.
Starting off with a montage of the year in costume design, it was easy to appreciate the range of genres and historical eras brought vividly to the screen in shows including “Ray Donovan,” ”Empire,” “Outlander,” “Transparent,” “The Wiz Live!” and “Mad Men” and in films including “Cinderella,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Beasts of No Nation,” “The Danish Girl” and “Carol” that were nominated for CDGAs.
The first award of the night set the bar for excellence, with Eyrich’s win in the contemporary television series category for “AHS: Hotel.” In the spirit of some of its over-the-top costumes — hello, Lady Gaga — she wore a commanding black silk suit with an oversized collar and a matching two-pointed cap.
“I almost didn’t come tonight because I couldn’t find anything to wear,” she joked. “There’s always the thought you could get into your pajamas and binge ‘Downton Abbey.’”
Mindy Kaling presented the award for the outstanding period television series category, while first joking that she was getting the Pillsbury award for best muffin top.
The winner: ”The Knick,” triumphing over other contenders “Mad Men,” “Masters of Sex,” “Penny Dreadful” and “Outlander.”
“It’s the most joyous work I’ve done in so long,” said ”The Knick’s” Mirojnick, who was also the recipient of the Career Achievement Award later in the evening, along with Edwina Pellikka, awarded the Distinguished Service Award.
In the fantasy television series category, the costumes of “Game of Thrones” took the prize over the other nominees, “Once Upon a Time,” “Sleepy Hollow” (Seasons 2 and 3 were nominated) and “The Wiz Live!”
On the big screen, Jenny Eagan for “Beasts of No Nation,” Paco Delgado for “The Danish Girl” and Jenny Beavan for “Mad Max: Fury Road” were awarded the trophies.
In the short form category, Julie Vogel won for “Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World Wins on Land, Sea & Air.”
And speaking of interesting men, Tarantino was brought on stage after an intro by two of his stars of “The Hateful Eight,” Kurt Russell and Jennifer Jason Leigh, who has been nominated for an Oscar for her role. As they were in that film, they were chained together as they highlighted some of the writer/director’s canon, including “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” “Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained.”
“I always took costume design seriously from ‘Reservoir Dogs’ on,” said Tarantino. “Every guy looks better in a black suit, kinda bad-ass. I’ve always been attracted to costumes in movies and in comic books.”
But he made a point of complaining that none of his costume designers has ever been nominated for an Oscar. “Maybe because I don’t do period pieces with balls? We may not have those awards — but what we have is Halloween costumes based on the characters, meaning it’s pierced the consciousness of people.”
The awards ceremony was sponsored by Lacoste, which presented its annual Spotlight Award to actress Cate Blanchett, who has worn costumes well in films ranging from “Elizabeth” to “The Aviator” and “Blue Jasmine.”
She was given her award by three-time Oscar winner Sandy Powell, who worked with Blanchett this year on both “Carol” and “Cinderella,” for which she racked up two more noms for best costume design.
“To give her an award she hasn’t already received, you almost have to invent it,” Powell said of Blanchett, who dazzled the crowd wearing a sleek Versace full-length black gown and a dazzling, extravagant Tiffany bib collar necklace made of countless diamonds.
“In the end, it’s in the costume fittings that you make the manifest of the character,” said Blanchett of her process in assuming her numerous and memorable roles.
As a style icon who will make another red carpet appearance at the Oscars on Sunday as a best actress nominee for “Carol,” her next sparkling, attention-grabbing accessory could be made of gold. If not, she already has two at home.