Style & Beauty

Amy Westcott, 'Black Swan' Costume Designer, Speaks Out About Rodarte Controversy

Clothes on Film caught up with "Black Swan" costume designer Amy Westcott and among the topics discussed was the sort of controversy about Rodarte not being listed as the film's costume designers (and thus not being eligible for an Oscar nomination, which the movie didn't get anyway). THR previously reported:

A source tells us the Mulleavy sisters were "naive about movies" and didn't negotiate credits in their initial deal. They also weren't members of the Costume Designers Guild (they are now). We hear Fox Searchlight wanted to submit both parties for Oscar consideration, but guild rules say only the official designer is eligible for a nom.

Although Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy have been vocal about the pieces they created for the film, Westcott pointed out to Clothes on Film, "In all, there were 7 costumes in the collaboration with Rodarte, not the '40' that keeps coming up in the press."

Here are some excerpts from the Clothes on Film interview:

Clothes on Film, Chris: Are you aware of the controversy surrounding yourself and fashion house Rodarte (the Mulleavy sisters) in the press; that they should be credited alongside you as costume designers?

Amy Westcott: Controversy is too complimentary a word for two people using their considerable self-publicising resources to loudly complain about their credit once they realised how good the film is.

CoF: Do you feel as though you are being vilified for something out of your hands?

AW: 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.

Westcott added, "I was too trusting, and never saw this 'controversy' coming. Suffice to say that I will never be put in this position again." To read the rest of the fascinating interview, head over to Clothes on Film.