It is the actors who get famous for playing roles in movies, but it is the designers and makeup artists who come up with the most unreal outfits and makeup. They bring such amazing outlooks that the Oscars had to include a specific category of ‘Best Costume Design’ in 1949.

As of the time of writing this article, there are 71 movies that have won this award. In this article, we walk you through 19 movies that have the most stunning outfits out of all the award-winning ones.

Hamlet (1948)

This was the movie that introduced the costume award to the Oscars. The award was given because of how well the costumes fit the description that Shakespeare gave in his play Hamlet.

Designer:Robert K. Furse

Awarded in: 1949

Hamlet (1948)

Sabrina (1954)

This black and white masterpiece from 1954 was an accurate depiction of the English culture at the time. The designer worked very hard to produce men’s suits and women’s skirts for the movie; she did a fine job at it as well.

Designer:Edith Head

Awarded in: 1955

Sabrina (1954)

Cleopatra (1963)

Quite possibly one of the hardest costumes to do at the time was done perfectly for the movie Cleopatra. The designers mimicked the Egyptian goddess with such stunning embroidery that it was a must for us to put the movie on the list.

Designers:Renié, Vittorio Nino Novarese and Irene Sharaff

Awarded in: 1964

Cleopatra 1963

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

When the producers decided to make the movie, the hardest part was figuring out how to design the clothes. There was only Shakespeare’s play to go by. But the way the costumes were made from that little information was a miracle and for that, the Oscar had to be given.

Designer:Danilo Donati

Awarded in: 1969

Romeo and Juliet (1968)
19 Movies with Gorgeous Outfits That Won an Oscar for Best Costume Design 20

The Great Gatsby (1974)

If someone were to be shown the outfits made for this movie, they wouldn’t be able to tell that they were made for a movie of the 70s; such was the quality of these outfits. The Great Gatsby was a fictional story which meant that the designers had to bring their imagination to reality.

Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Awarded in: 1975

The Great Gatsby (1974)

Star Wars (1977)

In the 50th Academy Awards, everyone knew who the Best Costume Award was going to. The concept of an outer-space related film was completely new. Thereby, for a movie that showcased the ‘out-of-the world’, the artists had to come up with something out of the world.

Designers:Edith Head and Burton Miller

Awarded in: 1978

Star Wars (1977)

Gandhi (1982)

This movie portrayed the English, Hindu and Muslim cultures – all at the same time. Costumes had to be made for the English royals, Hindu peasants, politicians and the general public of the early 1900s. The costumes did justice to the movie in every way.

Designers:Bhanu Athaiya and John Mollo

Awarded in: 1983

Gandhi (1982)

The Last Emperor (1987)

The artists presented the ancient Chinese culture exquisitely and absolutely nailed the clothing. The robe worn by Puyi (the main character of the movie) became famous because of how well-detailed it was and how exotic it looked.

Designer:James Acheson

Awarded in: 1988

The Last Emperor (1987)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

This novel-based gothic horror movie was one of a kind – it actually received the Best Makeup Award alongside the Best Costume Design Award. The traditional long, pointy teeth associated with Dracula were introduced in this movie.

Designer:Eiko Ishioka

Awarded in: 1993

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Titanic (1997)

For a movie to come out in 1997 and depict the English culture of 1912 so accurately was nothing less than an exquisite work of art. A wide variety of designer costumes had to be made. These had to be practical enough to fit the narrative as well.

Designer:Deborah Lynn Scott

Awarded in: 1998

Titanic (1997)

Gladiator (2000)

The Roman culture was relatively untouched by Hollywood before this movie. Therefore, the costumes were to be made from scratch with little to no reference material. A lot of research was involved to make the costumes.

Designer:Janty Yates

Awarded in: 2001

Gladiator (2000)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

This fantasy movie required creativity at its finest for all the costumes. The designers analyzed the personalities of the characters and built the costumes accordingly. There were 19,000 costumes that were made for this movie.

Designers:Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor

Awarded in: 2004

The Lord of the Rings

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

This film heavily emphasized the beautiful Japanese culture. Though it received a fair share of criticism, the movie very accurately showcased the Japanese female in all her tenderness. The makeup and dressings were very finely done.

Designer:Colleen Atwood

Awarded in: 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

The movie was a historical comedy, meaning it had far more work to be done in the costume department. All the costumes had different fabrications to make them look unique. Not to mention the sheer amount of costumes that were made.

Designer:Milena Canonero

Awarded in: 2007

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Many say that this movie was made just to receive the Best Costume Award. The amount of detail put in every single costume was put there to symbolize specific parts of the Queen’s life. Work had to be done not only on the costumes, but on things like the Queen’s throne as well.

Designer:Alexandra Byrne

Awarded in: 2008

Elizabeth The Golden Age (2007)

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Quite arguably, this could be one of the finest artworks ever done in the world of costume design and makeup. Every fantasy character can be judged easily by their outlook which proves how well the designs work.

Designer:Colleen Atwood

Awarded in: 2011

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

The Great Gatsby (2013)

To live up to the expectations of winning an Oscar for the original movie, the production team got help from giant clothing brands to produce the costumes for the remake. It’s safe to say that it paid off. The Great Gatsby even became a clothing style hereafter.

Designer:Catherine Martin

Awarded in: 2014

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Black Panther (2018)

This was a very tough one to pull-off because the theme was to have a synergistic integration of tribal African clothing with futuristic styling. The stylist had to work around tribal African accessories and had to paint some actors as well.

Designer:Ruth E. Carter

Awarded in: 2019

Black Panther (2018)

Little Women (2019)

The kind of cinematography that went into the movie meant that the costumes would pop more than ever. Thereby, the designer made every cut and wrinkle with absolute precision which can be seen in the movie. If something looks odd, it’s meant to be that way.

Designer:Jacqueline Durran

Awarded in: 2020

Little Women (2019)

Conclusion

Fashion designers are always hard at work to produce exquisite costumes that make our stars look good. However, they are still not credited enough. Next time you watch these movies, take a moment to cherish these hardworking professionals and their brilliant art!