Jenny Beavan: Costume designer responds to viral video of her Oscars win and defends her choice of outfit

'I’m short, I’m fat. I really would look ridiculous in a gown. What I was actually wearing at the Oscars was sort of an homage to Mad Max,' says Beavan

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The Independent Online

Academy-award winning costume designer Jenny Beavan has responded to the widely-shared video documenting the audience’s onstensible silence while she received her Oscar.

Beavan became a talking point after a Vine video captured the audience’s seeming lack of response while she walked down the aisle to accept her Academy Award for best costume design for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the 65-year-old designer responded to the video, which has been viewed more than 37 million times.

“Honestly, I didn’t clap the whole time (during the ceremony) — your hands get tired. We had done a huge amount of clapping by that time," she said.

"They didn't have to! I don’t mind in the least if they didn't clap. I felt really good, I felt the warmth, I was so proud of doing the film for George (Miller, Mad Max director) and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, really."

The acclaimed London-born designer was thrust into the limelight after Stephen Fry jokingly called her a “bag lady” at this year’s BAFTAs.

Beavan had broken BAFTA tradition by wearing a leather jacket, matched with a floaty, layered outfit and scarf, instead of formal attire.

She also shunned traditional black tie apparel at the Oscars, instead opting for a motorcycle jacket and trousers.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the two-time Academy Award winner defended her choice of outfit.

“I am a real jeans person," she said

"I have clothes to dress up in, but [the Oscars] was a really conscious thing of not just doing the plain black suit. I am British with a slightly rebellious character; I always have been. 

“But, actually, in truth, you’ve seen me. I’m short, I’m fat. 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 added that she hoped her get-up would have an affirmative impact on women’s sense of image.

“The only thing I would like is for my outfit to have a positive effect on what women feel about themselves," she said.

“You don’t actually have to look like a supermodel to be successful. If that could be a takeaway, I think that would be a good thing. 

“It is really good to have a positive feeling about yourself, because then you can do anything. People don’t have to clap for you; they don’t have to like the work.”