Talk about wardrobe pressure: What, exactly, does a costume designer wear to a star-studded gala where the guests are fellow costume designers?
For Randall Christensen, one of the behind-the-seams designers of the sexy flamboyance that is ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" the answer is almost crystal clear: He may be sporting a tuxedo made with the Swarovski-crystal-embellished lapels for today's 13th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
While he's also thinking about something less flashy, he was leaning toward the bling: "You can't wear enough sparkle," says Christensen, "and hey, it's the Costume Designers Guild Awards. If I can't wear it there, wear the heck can I wear it."
Christensen is among the impressive list of esteemed Hollywood costume designers whose peer-nominated work in film and television will be up for awards at tonight's ceremonies. Among the 2011 nominees are the costume designers responsible for the imaginative wardrobes worn by the casts of "Black Swan," "Alice in Wonderland," "Glee," "True Grit," "Burlesque" and "Modern Family." (And that's an abbreviated list.)
The star-studded gala, hosted by Kristin Davis, takes place at the Beverly Hilton, where the 2011 Lacoste Spotlight Award will be presented to Halle Berry, in recognition of her professional excellence and appreciation of the importance of costume design. Director Joel Schumacher will receive the Distinguished Collaborator Award, and costume designer Julie Weiss will receive the Disaronno Career Achievement in Film & Television Award.
This year's nominees include another StyleList favorite: "Mad Men" costume designer Janie Bryant, who's set trends dressing the retro characters of the Emmy-winning AMC series. Bryant, who also designs nail polishes and a ready-to-wear collection for QVC, is nominated in a category alongside John A. Dunn of "Boardwalk Empire" and Joan Bergin of "The Tudors."
Bryant plans on wearing sparkling, strapless couture gown by personal favorite Jovani, and says being nominated by her peers is a special thrill: "As costume designers, we are trained to be extremely detail oriented. It's an incredible honor to be recognized by other costume designers, who have the same discerning eye, so to speak."
Bryant tells us she was especially excited about honoring and celebrating the work of "Alice and Wonderland" nominee Colleen Atwood who was "definitely one of my favorites of the year."
Christensen, who won an Emmy for his work on season six of "Dancing With the Stars," called his nomination "encouraging and a bit humbling." "I am profoundly proud as my fellow designers are not only nominating, but the voting body for this award."
Speaking of looks we love from television and film, check out Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" hair and the honey-blond highlights Jennifer Lopez has been sporting on "American Idol."