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Costume designers and celebrities turn out for the 2011 Costume Designers Guild Awards

February 23, 2011 | 10:31 am

“I love costume designers!” said Kristin Davis, who hosted the 2011 Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel on Tuesday night. The actress knows a thing or two about how clothing can enhance a character after having worked with famed designer Patricia Field on the "Sex and the City" TV show and movies. Dressed in a strapless, black-and-white polka-dot Valentino gown and black-and-white printed Lacoste cuff (Lacoste was the evening’s presenting sponsor), Davis started off a star-studded program full of A-list celebrity presenters who were there to honor the work of costume designers in CARFT11ECAN3V89WCA72V53FCA5XK3JCCAPU5880CA8G90MWCAJNFTNOCA9JDV10CAH3ABM6CA38YOJ1CABPV7SLCAJEEQVZCABHKXIPCAGBPO43CAQ0YY1KCAR01TZGCAQEEL4ZCACA6Q80CA2R1K6M film and television from last year.

Director Joel Schumacher, who received the award for distinguished collaborator, said it best: “Costume designers have to be psychiatrists, drug counselors and relationship counselors in those trailers because that’s where everything comes out. And of course everyone thinks they’re fat!” He would know. Schumacher started his Hollywood career as a costume designer with a $200-a-week salary. “I still have my [CDGA] card,” he said. “You have to have a backup in this town.” Something tells us he’ll be OK.

Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Robert Duvall, Diane Lane and Billy Bob Thornton took the stage to honor costume designer Julie Weiss, whose work includes more than 40 feature films, from 1989's "Steel Magnolias" to the 2010 film "Secretariat." “You can’t budget the imagination,” Weiss said. Judging by the applause, it was a sentiment shared by virtually every creative mind in the room.

The Lacoste Spotlight award went to Halle Berry, who looked ravishing in a fuchsia lace gown by Elie Saab. The actress’ on-screen looks have certainly been varied. Prim and polished in her role as Dorothy Dandridge, she also portrayed Cat Woman. Berry’s transformation over the years  was apparent in a video montage showing her many roles. What has she learned from working with so many costume designers over the last two decades? “Stylists are not costume designers!” she said emphatically. “Not to belittle stylists, but there’s a huge difference, and we honor costume designers for bringing our characters to life.”

Excellence in contemporary film: Amy Westcott, "Black Swan"
Excellence in period film: Jenny Beavan, "The King’s Speech"
Excellence in fantasy film: Colleen Atwood, "Alice in Wonderland"
Outstanding contemporary TV series: Lou Eyrich, "Glee"
Outstanding TV movie or miniseries: Cindy Evans, "Temple Grandin"
Outstanding period/fantasy TV series: John Dunn and Lisa Padovani, "Boardwalk Empire"
Commercials: Aude Bronson-Howard, Chanel -- Bleu de Chanel
Disaronno career achievement in film and television: Julie Weiss
Lacoste Spotlight: Halle Berry
Distinguished collaborator: Joel Schumacher
Hall of Fame: Michael Dennison

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos, from top: Halle Berry with her Spotlight Award. Kristin Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. From left, Diane Lane, Robert Duvall, costume designer Julie Weiss, Billy Bob Thornton, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Credit: Michael Caulfield / Getty Images