This article contains IndieWire’s past Best Costume Design predictions for the 2023 Oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season, and republish previous versions (like this one) for readers to track changes in how the Oscar race has changed. For the latest update on the frontrunners for the 95th Academy Awards, see our 2023 Oscars predictions hub.
The State of the Race
“Elvis,” “Babylon,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and dark horse “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” were nominated for the Best Costume Design Oscar on Tuesday. They were also nominated for the the 25th Costume Designers Guild Awards (to be held February 27 at Fairmont Century Plaza).
Additional CDG nominees omitted from the Oscar race included Best Picture contenders “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “TÁR,” and “Women Talking,” along with “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and “Nope.”
Given her track record, two-time Oscar winner Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby,” “Moulin Rouge!”) remains the favorite for Baz Luhrmann’s delirious “Elvis” musical biopic, especially with Austin Butler a top Best Actor contender for his charismatic performance as Presley. Martin creatively breaks down the King of Rock’s flamboyant wardrobes into ’50s teenage rebellion, ’60s Hollywood icon, and ’70s Vegas glam comeback — represented, respectively, by a pink-and-black suit, a tight, black, leather-on-leather outfit, and a white jumpsuit.
There are two other Oscar winners in the race: Ruth Carter (“Black Panther”) returns in Ryan Coogler’s “Wakanda Forever” sequel to expand her Wakandan wardrobes (especially for Angela Bassett’s Oscar-nominated Queen Ramonda — a first acting nom for Marvel), and to tap the ancient Mayan civilization with a touch of sea life for the underwater Talokan people. Jenny Beavan, last year’s winner for “Cruella,” is nominated for “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” a tour de force about haute couture in ’50s France.
However, there is sudden momentum for first-time nominee Shirley Kurata, costume designer for the Daniels’ multiverse extravaganza “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which has become the favorite for both Best Picture and Best Director, and picked up an Oscar-leading 11 nominations. Kurata traces several variations on the film’s characters, but her main focus was on the colorful and exotic costuming worn by Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu (nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively) for their reality-hopping kung-fu encounters.
Finally, there’s four-time nominee Mary Zophres, who delivers the greatest work of her illustrious career in “Babylon,” Damien Chazelle’s magnum opus about Hollywood’s wild party in the late ’20s. Gathering costumes and fabrics from all over the United States and Europe, she proceeded to fit 250 speaking parts and 7,000 backgrounds. But the highlight was dressing Margot Robbie’s sex goddess, including her unforgettable red party dress.
Below are the nominees ranked in order of likelihood to win:
“Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Marvel/Disney)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” (Focus Features)
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