Costume designer Sandy Powell is in the running for her fourth Academy Award for her work in "Carol," in which costume met fashion with the well-heeled Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett). Set in the winter of 1952, Powell drew on specific editions of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar as inspiration for the on-trend socialite.
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The story is one of transgressive love; an affair between Carol and the younger Therese, played by Rooney Mara. Powell says that costume and body language was key to expressing their feelings in an era of sexual repression.
One of Carol's most iconic pieces is her fur coat, made from scraps of vintage blonde mink -- "from things that died many, many years ago, and were already coats," Powell adds. "I would never use new fur for anything."
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The film is Powell's third collaboration with director Todd Haynes. They previously worked together on "Velvet Goldmine" (1998) and "Far From Heaven" (2002). "Carol" is the latest in her longstanding relationship with Cate Blanchett.
courtesy of the Weinstein Company
Powell holds two nominations for Best Costume Design at this year's Academy Awards. The other is for "Cinderella" -- in which she also dressed Cate Blanchett. The designer and her team created eight versions of Cinderella's (Lily James) ball gown, using four miles of thread and 80 meters of fabric per dress.
Her fairytale outing followed Powell's latest collaboration with Martin Scorsese, whose films she has worked on since 2002's "Gangs of New York." In "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2010) she created power suits with angular shoulders for Leonardo Di Caprio and a flamboyant late 80s wedding dress for his on-screen wife Margot Robbie.
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Another period film, Scorsese turned to Powell for the look of 1930s Paris in "Hugo," earning herself an Oscar nomination in 2011 for dressing the likes of the inept Station Inspector, played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
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Directed by Julie Taymor, 2010's version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" cast Helen Mirren as Prospero, with Powell dressing Russel Brand as fool Trinculo.
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Powell won her third and latest Oscar for period drama "Young Victoria" (2009), charting the love affair of the British monarch and Albert, Prince Consort, in the nineteenth century.
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"The Departed" (2005) starred Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio and Matt Damon. It's most known as the film that finally secured the Oscar for Best Director for Martin Scorsese.
The designer's second Academy Award came from another Scorsese film, "The Aviator" (2004). Powell designed costumes for Cate Blachett, who played Katherine Hepburn and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
2002's ambitious historical drama "Gangs of New York" was one of Powell's toughest gigs, she says, purely down to the huge amount of extras involved. It was her first film with Scorsese and earned her a fifth Oscar nod.
In 1998 Powell was nominated for two different films, "Velvet Goldmine" and "Shakespeare In Love". She won her first Oscar for the latter, designing a vast range of costumes with all the pomp of the Elizabethan era.
Powell says her first big budget film was 1994's "Interview with a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles," staring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas and a young Kirsten Dunst.