Last Night, we attended what must be one of the most laid back awards ceremonies in the entertainment biz: New York Women in Film & Television's Designing Women event, which honors women (and one man) excelling in their (often under-appreciated) fields doing hair, makeup and costumes for films and TV shows.
Tina Fey, who looked INCREDIBLE, was especially appreciative of her makeup team on 30 Rock: Jenn Jorge Nelson and Julie Teel. When presenting them with their award, she described being a makeup artist thusly: “You need the eyes of an artist, the hands of a surgeon, and the firm but tactful demeanor of a women’s prison gynecologist.” Achievements she highlighted included using a press-on nail to give the appearance of a crooked tooth and giving Jon Hamm a woman's hand.
"Anywhere that you get to laugh all day is a great thing," Nelson told us before receiving her award. "There's always something strange going on--two black swans is a great example." Yes, it is. Was it the strangest though? "I definitely think shaving Will Forte over a garbage can is always up there as one of the weirder things," said Teel.
Understandably, though, the job can be stressful and the days long. "I think because it’s kind of a take on Saturday Night Live, they think that we have Saturday Night Live’s hair and makeup closet and we don’t so it’s kind of like, "Surprise! We need side burns and mutton chops tomorrow at 8 in the morning...It has its moment of like, you want to stab somebody in the face." We thought it best not to ask to whom the stabbing would be directed.
The entire design team of Boardwalk Empire, who were presented the ensemble award by the extraordinary Steve Buscemi, also do not have easy jobs. Tasked with outfitting an ensemble cast and tons of extras in accurate Prohibition era clothes, it's no wonder the team was so huge they almost didn't fit on the stage. So how do they do it? "We use about 95% vintage on the show," head costume designer John Dunn explained. "We have vendors throughout the country who help us and we go to all the vintage shows here in town as well." For the principal characters, however, most of the clothing is made new--and the leading men are apparently just as obsessed with the costumes as ladies like Paz de la Huerta and Gretchen Mol. "The actors love the clothes because when they get a suit on, they become somebody else and they’ve never had custom made suits and it makes them very excited."
Another honoree was costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone, who's recent credits include Moneyball, The Adjustment Bureau and Capote and when she told us she also did the costumes for Wes Anderson's upcoming film Moonrise Kingdom, we freaked out a little. Anderson's films are always extremely stylized and we were already obsessed with the '60s costumes in the film, just based on the trailer. "He has such a creative vision," she explained. "I always say it's like playing a great game of ping pong with an opponent who is probably better than you because it's his vision and it's his film and its quite exciting and it keeps you on your toes. I think Moonrise Kingdom came out amazing because it was such a strong game."
We're not entirely sure what that means but she may have just created the next Margot Tenenbaum, so we're obsessed with her.