BEST: The ladies of American Hustle
Wardrobe designer Michael Wilkinson pulled vintage dresses from the vault at Halston and created custom gowns for Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. ”It’s the ’70s! All the women had burnt their bra by then,” he says of the skin baring costumes. Adams’ character alone had more than 50 changes, including a scene-stealing ,a href=”http://popstyle.ew.com/2013/11/15/amy-adams-sexy-scene-stealing-american-hustle-swimsuit/” target=”_blank”>macrame bathing suit. ”Amy had a pair of bright purple stretch jeans that she called her ‘happy pants.’ They were literally so tight she had to lie down on the floor of her trailer, [hook] a coat hanger around the zipper and gently pull it up. They made her legs look like they were six feet long.”
BEST: Masters of Sex
”Everybody is covered up in millions of layers, but what we’re trying to do is get their clothes off,” admits costume designer Ane Crabtree. While viewers wait to see more skin, they can ogle the sexy silhouettes of the ’50s period wardrobe and imagine what lies beneath. ”It’s scary and overconstructed, five times the power of Spanx,” Crabtree says of the vintage foundation garments Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) and Libby Masters (Caitlin Fitzgerald) wear. ”It makes it hard for her to use the bathroom between takes, but it gives her a beautiful bust-to-waist-to-hip ratio.”
WORST: House of Versace
The real Donatella Versace refused to have any involvement with the project, which meant that costume designer Claire Nadon didn’t have access to the family fashion label’s archives. Instead, Nadon created original costumes in the spirit of Versace and scour vintage clothing stores and eBay for authentic pieces — all on a Lifetime movie budget.
Thanks to costume designer Lyn Paolo, Gladiators seem to be just as obsessed with finding out what Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is wearing each week as they are with figuring out the plot twists.
WORST: Spring Breakers
What could be worse than watching a gun-toting Selena Gomez parade around in a bikini, a ski mask, and high tops? Opening Ceremony’s Spring Breakers collection, a line of crop tops, swimsuits, and sweatpants adorned with images like pot leaves and the acronym ”DTF.’
BEST: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
After taking over the costume department for the second installment of The Hunger Games movies, rock star designer Trish Summerville pulled together a wardrobe worthy of the Capitol. Not only did Summerville’s work inspire a high-end clothing collection for online retailer Net-a-Porter, it sparked a DIY fashion frenzy.
BEST: Claire Underwood on House of Cards
Tom Broecker — the longtime costume designer for Saturday Night Live — worked wardrobe magic on season one of the Netflix series House of Cards. Though Senator Underwood (Kevin Spacey) wears some very sharp bespoke suits from Saville Row, it was his wife Claire (Robin Wright) who took the art of power dressing to a whole new level.
WORST: Tyne Stecklein and Bill Nye's week 3 Dancing With the Stars routine
If they awarded a mirrorball trophy for worst dressed, Bill Nye would have been this season’s winner. Ignoring a doctor’s orders to stay off his torn quadricep, Nye hit the floor dressed as the Times Square knockoff version of Daft Punk. As DWTS recapper Annie Barret put it, Nye ”brandished a leg immobilizer and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles breastplate in order to basically shuffle around and move his arms like a robot.”
WORST: Malkina in The Counselor
From Reiner’s (Javier Bardem) vintage Versace shirts to Westray’s (Brad Pitt) cowboy hat and Penelope Cruz’s fire engine red Armani dress, there was a lot going on with the costumes in The Counselor. And after the scene where sociopathic ex-stripper Malinka (Cameron Diaz) gets it on with a car, it was difficult to fully appreciate her amazing Thomas Wylde wardrobe.
WORST: Hannah's mesh tank top on Girls
Jenn Rogien scored a (well-deserved) nomination for a 2013 Costume Designers Guild award for her contemporary costume design on Girls, and I understand that pieces like Marni’s gold vinyl dress and Jessa’s ”depression” kimono help tell the story on Girls, but I can’t forgive Hannah for the sartorial crimes she committed in season two. The sleeping bag hoodie — which Elijah said made her look like a ”sad little glow worm” — the dirty underwear, and the parade of shorteralls were bad enough, but it was the yellow mesh tank top that clinched her spot on this year’s worst list.