2023 Costume Design Career Achievement Awards

Ruth E. Carter (Film)

Ruth E. Carter via Wikipedia Commons by Gage Skidmore

“Thank you to FashFilmFete for honoring a career that enriched the black experience on screen and allowed audiences to understand us through the powerful storytelling medium of costume design. Over my career, every historical film or biopic I costume designed set the stage to introduce Afrofuturism in the Black Panther films. With this career achievement award, I’m proud that Afrofuturism continues to be celebrated.”

Ruth E. Carter has fashioned costumes for stage, television and film for more than 40 years. Film, specifically, is the medium that has catapulted her design work into legendary status. 

The award-winning costume designer made history twice with the iconic Black Panther franchise when in 2018 she became the first Black person to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design, and in 2023 at the 95th Academy Awards she became the only Black woman to win two Oscars, with her second win for the Black Panther sequel.

Carter’s penchant for cultivating Afrocentric costuming, both historical and fantastical, has made an indelible impression on the film industry as well as filmgoers. The legacy she has created with her work will undoubtedly be a beacon for future generations of designers.

As one of the most prolific costume designers of the 21st Century, Carter has stitched her niche amongst the elite in her field. She has collaborated with Hollywood glitterati running the gamut from directors Spike Lee, Ryan Coogler and Ava Duvernay to actors such as Angela Bassett, Whitney Houston and Chadwick Boseman.

The HBCU graduate has costumed more than 40 films including critically acclaimed and award-winning movies such as “Malcom X” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and period films with narratives woven in the fabric of American history such as “Amistad” and “Selma.”

Her work is a testament to the power of costume design in film, as she seamlessly integrates historical accuracy, cultural authenticity and artistic flair to create costumes that transform the characters and transport the audience to different places and times — real and imaginary.

In recognition of her groundbreaking career, FashFilmFete is honored to present Ruth E. Carter with the inaugural Career Achievement Award for Costume Design in Film, for her outstanding contributions to the industry. She not only elevated the art of costume design on the silver screen, but has also had a profound impact on representation and diversity in film.

Patricia Field (Television)

Patricia Field via patriciafield.com by Josef Jasso

“It feels good to be honored for the role my work has played in engaging viewers and helping shape a narrative that showcases a woman’s individuality through the lens of fashion. My theory is that fashion is an art form that depicts the story and the mood of the time. I’m grateful to have been a contributor to the art form, and I thank FashFilmFete for this recognition.”

“I like my money right where I can see it: Hanging in my Closet.”

That memorable line uttered by “Sex and the City” character Carrie Bradshaw and the other witty commentary featured on the popular TV series is upstaged only by the unforgettable fashions that graced the screen, courtesy of the show’s costume designer — Patricia Field. Her costuming of the film is so iconic, it would be apropos to rename the series “Fashion and the City.”

Field’s career began in the 1980s and her boundary-pushing style quickly became synonymous with the “it” crowds in New York City. Her 30-plus-year costuming TV shows not only included HBO’s “Sex and the City,” but TV Land’s “Younger” and Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” as well. However, it would be her work on “Sex and the City” that revolutionized the way women dressed on television. 

The renowned costume designer’s contributions to the industry are undeniable. Field’s meticulous attention to detail and unabashedly bold aesthetic brought characters to life and showcased unapologetically feminine and strong women on TV. Her design prowess was also seen on the big screen in films such as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Second Act.”

Field created costumes that captured the essence of the characters, while enhancing the storytelling and shaping the narrative. Her legacy will continue to inspire costume designers and fashion enthusiasts for generations to come.

Her work has not only influenced the way that characters are dressed on screen, but has also had a lasting impact on fashion as a whole, notably in the way that people dress in real life. Her bold use of color and texture, mixture of patterns and prints — has inspired countless trends.

In recognition of her illustrious career, FashFilmFete is honored to present Patricia Field with the inaugural Career Achievement Award for Costume Design in Television, for her outstanding contributions to the industry. She not only elevated the art of costume design in television, but has also had a profound impact on the representation of women on the small screen.