That’s Not My Age Podcast: Award-Winning Costume Designer Sandy Powell
After a longer than intended hiatus (it was meant to be a ‘slow’ podcast, but not this slow…), the That’s Not My Age podcast is back with a magnificent guest. One of my Style Heroines, the Academy-Award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. With three Oscars on her South London mantlepiece, for: Shakespeare in Love (1999), The Aviator (2005) and The Young Victoria (2010), Powell’s creative talent is undoubtable. Beginning in 1992 with a nomination for Orlando, directed by Sally Potter and starring Tilda Swinton, she has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards and 16 Baftas, across her career. The 60-year-old costume designer has worked on over 40 films including five Martin Scorsese flicks, probably because, ‘Scorsese is a shoe man. He always gets in a good shot of the shoes.’ As well as behind the scenes on iconic fashion movies such as Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven, Velvet Goldmine and Carol; and The Favourite by Yorgos Latimos (Olivia Coleman won an Oscar for her performance as Queen Anne).
Earlier this year, Powell was nominated for her work on Scorsese’s The Irishman. Following Bafta’s ‘sustainable ceremony 2020’ suggestion, she uncovered the toile made for a trouser suit for the 2019 Oscars and armed with a Sharpie, wore the calico two-piece to this year’s awards ceremonies where she asked the great and the good of the film industry to sign the suit to raise money for Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage. Continuing her philanthropic work, Powell is now raising funds for the charity Refuge with the help of Chiara Menage founder of the website Menage Modern Vintage.
Like many of us during lockdown, the award-winning costume designer had time to sort out her old clothes, ‘My work takes me away on location for months at a time. Lockdown forced me to spend time at home and gave me the opportunity to breathe, think and catch up with my life,’ Powell says, ‘I realised I was fortunate to be in a secure position during lockdown, but at the same time I was becoming aware of the rise in cases of domestic abuse and how awful it must be for some people to be trapped at home. We chose Refuge as the best way to help people in these terrifying situations, to overcome abuse and rebuild their lives.’
The Sandy Powell Collection featuring red carpet dresses, vintage pieces, designer shoes and a couple of her trademark jackets is available online at Menage Modern Vintage from today. Prices start at £55. All the proceeds go to Refuge.
The That’s Not My Age podcast is now recorded using a web-based application on my computer. This is our first remote recording, and it is odd not being in a room with someone, not seeing a person’s facial expression or knowing if they’re about to continue talking…But it also means we can go global. Stay tuned!
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Producer and audio engineer: Linda Ara-Tebaldi
Host: Alyson Walsh
Guest: Sandy Powell
Music: David Schweitzer
Artwork: Ayumi Takahashi
Coordinator: Helen Johnson