Fashion

Black Swan Costume Designer Speaks out on Oscar Controversy

Amy Westcott breaks her silence in her first interview and sets the record straight 

While the fashion world was a-flutter over the Mulleavy sisters’ first foray into the world of costume design, it seems the sisterly duo behind the Rodarte label may have ruffled a few feathers by their growing notoriety as the designers behind the now infamous Black Swan costumes. Specifically, those of Amy Westcott’s, the “official” costume designer behind the psycho ballet thriller’s overall look.

After it surfaced that the Mulleavy sisters would not be named on any Academy Awards nominations because they were not named in the front-end credits, some fashion bloggers, most notably Fashionista.com, spoke out against the perceived snubbing. Westcott—who has been nominated for a BAFTA and has so far been silent on the controversy—decided to speak out in an interview with Clothes on Film. In response to Rodarte’s domination of the film’s publicity, Wescott stated:

I was happy for Rodarte’s persistent publicity efforts at first; I’m so proud of the film and anything that brings it to an even wider audience is genuinely welcome. I tried to put aside my ego while being airbrushed from history in all of their interviews, as I’m just not that kind of person anyway. But when articles were planted that attacked me personally as if I had conspired against them I felt nothing but despair and betrayal. I don’t have a publicist working for me, needless to say, and I was asked to stay quiet –“not to engage”, to avoid any bad press towards the film. Unfortunately this seems to have proven detrimental to the perception of my work on Black Swan. I didn’t make the rules that the Guild and the Academy set and I am proud of my professionalism and commitment to my work, so to have my name dragged into such ill-informed gossip is galling and hurtful to say the least.

Wescott goes on to clarify that while the Mulleavy sisters did design some of the film’s costumes, they were not responsible for the overall costume design. They created only seven styles as opposed to the whopping 40 that had been reported. Since Black Swan was unexpectedly snubbed from receiving an Oscar nomination for costume design, the controversy hopefully ends here and we can go back to focusing on Portman’s riveting performance and the fact that we’ve never seen a crazed ballerina look quite so chic.  

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