Whether you’re a film buff, TV enthusiast, or lover of the arts, you’ve seen the incredible work of costume designer Anne Dixon. With over 25 years’ experience designing costumes for feature films (The Right Kind of Wrong, Fugitive Pieces, Saint Ralph, Bollywood Hollywood), TV shows (Working The Engels, XIII, Lost Girl, and Battle of the Blades), as well as numerous operas (Giovanni Unmasked, Burnt Toast) and dance performances (Karen Kain: Dancing in the Moment, Margie Gillis: Wild Hearts in Strange Times, and The Firebird for The National Ballet of Canada), Dixon’s creativity knows no bounds when it comes to making the clothes as integral to the story as one of the main characters. It’s no wonder she was the 2014 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design, given out annually to mid-career professional costume designers in Ontario to further their work in the future. We caught up with Dixon to find out more about her fascinating career…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am a costume designer for film and television, dance, opera, and theatre. I am honoured to be this year’s recipient of The Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award. During TIFF 2014, CAFTCAD celebrated its members’ participation in the film industry with The Ontario Arts Foundation at The Spoke Club, highlighting the award with some of my designs and costumes. I have a feature film I designed (What We Have by Maxime Desmons) opening at The Atlantic Film Festival. I just finished shooting a comedy romp, Total Frat Movie by Warren Sonoda, and I’m totally thrilled and excited to be starting designing Born To Be Blue, a feature film about Chet Baker set in the 50s and 60s, by Robert Budreau, produced by Jennifer Jonas and Leonard Farlinger, with Ethan Hawke playing Chet.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
Discovering and researching different worlds, eras, silhouettes on each project then designing and trying to sculpt the characters with all its subtleties and nuances.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My Macs (laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone), red wine, and good friends!
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of its vibrant diversity.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
I have two favourites. 1290’s Edward’s – I love this bistro! It oozes warmth, you relax, experiment with the tastiest of wines, the menu changes each week depending on what’s in-season, what’s fresh from the farm, and Chef Edward’s creativity never ceases to amaze your palate. He keeps you coming back wanting more! My other favourite is Avli, a Greek restaurant on the Danforth. I can feel the warm sun of Greece, sometimes there’s a bouzouki playing delicately in the background, and all I’m missing is a breeze from the Mediterranean Sea. I bring my friends, I have meetings, it’s my go-to restaurant. It’s fresh, it’s got a special touch, it’s Chef Lambros’ own grandmother’s recipes served at your table. It’s intimate, it’s authentic, it feels like family!
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines and why do you sport their fashions?
Wotever Inc, a one-stop shop for anyone in the film industry, and, wotever the conditions I’m filming in, I am geared up head to toe with ethical and predominately Canadian brands/companies.
What products are always in your beauty/grooming bag?
Mascara and eyeliner. With the insane hours I work, at least my eyes are always focused (in every way!).
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
Not being cheeky… I don’t follow trends; I have my own style.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
Body Blitz Spa to soak, restore, replenish, get massaged, get scrubbed, take in the therapeutic water circuit, sit in the steam room – it’s fabulous. You detox, relax, shed away the insanity of life, and re-balance!
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
anne-dixon.com is the best way to reach me or keep in touch to see what I’m doing!