Breaking the rules

“Mad Max” designer on her instantly-iconic Oscars outfit: “Why not try doing something a little bit fun?”

Jenny Beavan accepts her Oscar for best costume design for Mad Max. ((L) Getty Images; (R) Getty Images)

The 2016 Oscars were studded with the usual roster of big names, but the breakout star of the show was without doubt Jenny Beavan, who won the Best Costume Design award for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road. Beavan made a rather unconventional wardrobe choice: black jeans, a scarf, and a motorcycle jacket bedazzled with the symbol of Immortan Joe, the villain of Mad Max. And as she strutted down the aisle to collect her award, a number of celebrities did not clap. A Vine capturing the audience’s lackluster response shows Spotlight director Tom McCarthy doing a full-on double take. The Revenant director Alejandro G. Inarritu sits with his arms crossed, looking displeased. Inarritu has pointed out that he later clapped for Beavan as she made her way onto the stage, but the Vine showing his initial reaction has run wild, racking up 37 million views.

In the wake of the hullabaloo, Beavan spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her Oscars outfit. “I’m short, I’m fat,” she said. “I really would look ridiculous in a gown. What I was actually wearing at the Oscars was sort of an homage to Mad Max — a kind of biker outfit. I thought, ‘If I can’t beat them, or if I can’t sort of join them, then why not try doing something a little bit fun?’” Beavan also said that she can understand why people weren’t clapping; it was a long night full of applause-worthy moments, and “your hands get tired.”

Regardless of how the audience responded, Beavan felt pretty awesome about her win. “I don’t mind in the least if they didn’t clap,” she said. “I felt really good, I felt the warmth, I was so proud of doing the film for George [Miller, director of Mad Max] and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, really.”

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.

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