The Artists Behind the Crafts

2012-42 FEA Costumes Cloud Atlas H

"Cloud Atlas" makeup and hairstyling (here on Halle Berry as Jocasta Ayrs) traversed age, race and time periods.

This year's contenders in costume design and makeup and hairstyling include people who have had great success -- Snow White and the Huntsman costumer Colleen Atwood is a three-time winner with nine noms; Men in Black 3 makeup artist Rick Baker has seven Oscars and 12 noms -- and others in search of their first Academy recognition.

Anna Karenina
Costume Design

In 2004, Jacqueline Durran took on Pride & Prejudice, helmed by a then-unknown Joe Wright and starring up-and-comer Keira Knightley. Her costumes were nominated for an Oscar in 2005 and again in 2008 for Wright's Atonement, also starring Knightley. Perhaps the third collaboration, on this classic Russian love story, will be the charm. Durran's research into the 1870s Russian obsession with French culture sparked her pairing of 1950s Dior, Balenciaga and Lanvin bodices with era-accurate full skirts. She notes, "High-society Russians mirrored their ballrooms so they could watch themselves pretending to be French." 

Snow White and the Huntsman
Costume Design

Colleen Atwood is an Academy favorite, having won Oscars in 2002, 2005 and 2010 for Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and Alice in Wonderland. She exhibits in Snow White her mastery of character progression by costume. Take bloodthirsty Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), for whom she sewed several hundred turquoise dung-beetle shells onto a satin gown to telegraph "a rotting-from-the-inside look that [director] Rupert [Sanders] wanted," she says. "Ravenna thinks she can be queen again, but she's flawed so she deteriorates, and her costumes crumble with her."

Les Miserables
Costume Design

According to Paco Delgado, director Tom Hooper's edict was, "The costumes must be faithful to the period." Victor Hugo's French novel takes place from 1815 to 1832, a tumultuous time in French history -- and without Marie Antoinette-type riches to visually alleviate the rags. The Spaniard's raw-seamed creations are so beautiful, however, that Vogue published a fashion spread with stars including Anne Hathaway in costume, not couture.

Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling

Costume designer Joanna Johnston has worked with Steven Spielberg on four films, but while War Horse, Munich and Saving Private Ryan were nominated for best picture, her costumes have not yet been recognized. In Lincoln, Johnston's early Americana fashions are flawless, from Abe's iconic stovepipe hat to Mary Todd's triple crinoline petticoats. In the film, actress Sally Field dons them during the span of a few months in 1865, the year of Lincoln's assassination. "Crinoline was at its peak of popularity," Johnston says. Also notable: makeup artist Lois Burwell, who transformed Daniel Day-Lewis without the use of prosthetics or a fake beard.

Cloud Atlas
Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling

For this film, directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, the tagline is "Everyone is connected." Yet the two head makeup artists -- who disguised the same six actors, including Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, in six time periods, a feat sure to draw Oscar voters' attention -- were unusually disconnected. After six weeks of prep, Jeremy Woodhead and Daniel Parker never saw each other again. "We were in different time periods, in separate units in different parts of the world, so it was like working on two different films," says Parker. "I would hear from the actors, 'Oh, Jeremy did this on me and it was incredible' and vice versa." Costumers Kym Barrett and Pierre-Yves Gayraud may be nommed for work that spanned centuries using color or pattern to establish a character's throughline.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling

Peter?Jackson's long-awaited precursor to his Lord of the Rings trilogy looks poised for both craft noms. The director's longtime makeup and hair designer Peter King won an Oscar for Return of the King in 2004, but "this has turned out to be a larger film because there is much more attention to detail," says King. The film may also be recognized for costume design by Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor.

Men In Black 3
Makeup and Hairstyling

This month, iconic makeup artist Rick Baker receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's already in Guinness World Records for having won the most makeup Oscars (seven, and five more noms). Having called the MIB franchise the most frustrating and defining brand of his 40-year career, Baker, who won for the first film in 1997, makes a cameo in MIB 3, appearing as an alien with an exposed brain.