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MARILYN VANCE - Costume Designer

Marilyn Vance is a well known & successful award winning Costume Designer in the entertainment industry, having designed over 60 Feature Films, Television films and Mini-Series. Vance has an innate talent for communicating her broad creative vision to collaborating with directors, production designers and cinematographers all the while serving the integrity of the film moving the story along….from Contemporary to Period to Fantasy, all with the same eye for style and design to enrich the film and characters. Vance set the trends of the time with her character designed portrayals in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink and Pretty Woman. Vance was the first female to costume design for the action genre, designing 48 hours, Die Hard 1 & 2, The Untouchables, Predator 1 & 2, & Time Cop


Being devoted to character and story she achieves an authenticity no matter the genre: from the gripping period dramas Sommersby and The Untouchables to the fantasy world of Mystery Men, Streets Of Fire and The Rocketeer to the adventure films Romancing The Stone and The Getaway to name a few. All designed with a vision to create consistently believable characters.Marilyn Vance’s career has garnered her an Academy Award nomination for The Untouchables, BAFTA nominations for The Untouchables and Pretty Woman. In addition, she was nominated for the Saturn Award for Mystery Men and won the Saturn Award for The Rocketeer.  She was nominated for a Costume Designers Guild award for the miniseries Bonnie and Clyde and was on the cover of the Costume Designers Emmy issue magazine with a two-page spread of Bonnie and Clyde being it was a first time two-night event for THE History Channel, A&E and Lifetime simultaneously.


In 2009 The Costume Designers Guild honored Vance with the Career Achievement Award at their yearly event sponsored by Lacoste and Swarovski. A collage reel of some of the films she costume designed was edited for the event. In 2012 Vance was asked by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to participate in an exhibition to be mounted and travel for four years around the world exhibiting Characters through Costume in Film from 1912 to 2012. The films chosen to represent Pop Culture and considered Iconic for character are Die Hard, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, The Untouchables and Pretty Woman. In 2015 an exhibit mounted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences along with The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and curated by Deborah Nadoolman Landis an Academy Award nominee for costume design launched the exhibit held in the soon to be Academy Museum for a limited time.  The Hollywood Costume exhibit celebrated and examined costume design as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling.  The Pretty Woman Red Gown and the very distressed Die Hard Undershirt and Pants were displayed in this unique setting along with 100 other iconic costumes from the 1900’s to present day. At this time the Die Hard costume is in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian.


For Vance, total involvement and a collaborative spirit are key. As a costume designer she found she had influence over the look and feel of a film, producing was a natural segue. Not one to limit her creative reach, she channeled her energies into producing as well as costume designing the studio films Time Cop, Judgment Night and The Getaway. The Independent films that Vance shepherded from script to screen and produced are Embrace of the Vampire, The Legend of Gator Face and Digging to China. Vance developed the concept, designed and was an executive producer on the television series Pacific Blue.  She also designed and produced the television series, Unknown Sender. For theater, she designed the play In Heat and painted the scenic backdrop for the play along with another designer/painter.  The play was reviewed in the LA Times as being OZ like. In 2016 Vance costumed designed Betraying the Lion a play (filmed) set in the16th century Venice Ghetto with 25 actors having significant parts. The play was staged at The Museum of Tolerance.​  

Marilyn started a podcast-show "Designing Hollywood" with her Manager & Publicist Martika Ibarra. The Podcast has been recognized and popular among the film industry.

The show is dedciated to "All things Movies & It's Industry Proffesionals" The Costume Designer Magazine a very respected publication did a story on Designing Hollywood . 

The podcast can be found on Youtube as well! 

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Costume Designer Credits

2018-2019 Hawaii Five-0 (TV Series) (25 episodes)

2019 Magnum P.I. (TV Series) 

2016 Mother's Day

(Pre-Production) Manson Girls

2015 Cleveland Abduction (TV Movie)

2015 The Bronx Bull

2014 Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs (TV Movie)

2014 Kiss Me

2014 Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (TV 

2013 Bonnie & Clyde (TV Mini-Series) (2 episodes)

2012 True Bromance (Short)

2008 My Best Friend's Girl

2008 Two Sisters (TV Movie)

2004 The Girl Next Door

2002 Hard Cash

1999 Mystery Men

1997 Trojan War

1997 G.I. Jane

1995 Jade

1994 The Getaway

1993 Judgment Night

1993 Sommersby (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1992 Used People (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1992 Year of the Comet

1992 Medicine Man (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1991 The Last Boy Scout (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1991 Ricochet (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1991 The Rocketeer (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1991 Hudson Hawk (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1990 Predator 2 (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1990 Parker Kane (TV Movie) (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1990 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1990 Die Hard 2 (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1990 Pretty Woman

1990 The Last of the Finest

1989 Little Monsters

1989 The Package (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1989 Uncle Buck (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1989 Road House (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1988 The Jogger (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1988 The 40th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (TV Special)

1988 Die Hard (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1988 The Great Outdoors (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1988 Action Jackson (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1987 Throw Momma from the Train (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1987 Cross My Heart

1987 Predator (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1987 The Untouchables (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1987 Some Kind of Wonderful (as Marilyn Vance-Straker)

1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

1986 Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling

1986 Pretty in Pink

1985 Weird Science

1985 Brewster's Millions

1985 The Breakfast Club

1984 The Wild Life

1984 Streets of Fire

1984 Romancing the Stone

1982 48 Hrs. (as Marilyn Kay Vance)

1982 Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again (as Marilyn Kay Vance)

1982 Fast Times at Ridgemont High


IMDB Awards & Nominations:




Academy Awards

1988 Nominee
Oscar Best Costume Design
The Untouchables (1987) 


BAFTA Awards

1991 Nominee
BAFTA Film Award Best Costume Design
Pretty Woman (1990) 

1988 Nominee
BAFTA Film Award Best Costume Design
The Untouchables (1987) 


Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films

2000 Nominee
Saturn AwardBest Costumes
Mystery Men (1999) 

1992 Winner
Saturn Award Best Costumes
The Rocketeer (1991) 


Costume Designers Guild Awards

2014 Nominee
CDG Award Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
Bonnie & Clyde (2013) 

2009 Winner
Career Achievement AwardFilm


Online Film & Television Association

2014 Nominee
OFTA Television Award Best Costume Design in a Non-Series
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014) 

LACMA MUSEUM - Pretty Woman
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