Legendary designers Santo Loquasto and Bob Mackie are among the recipients of this year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards. For his achievements as both a costume and set designer, 14-time Tony Award nominee and three-time Tony winner Santo Loquasto will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Award's special Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design. Acclaimed costume designer Bob Mackie will receive the 2007 TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony on Friday, March 23, at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.

In addition to Loqauasto's Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement and Mackie's TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, costume designer Murell Horton will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award; famed theatre craftsman/designer Kermit Love will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award; and Rouben Ter-Arutunian, the famed designer and director, will be named the winner of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award.

Throughout her long and distinguished career, elegance and an attention to detail were the trademarks of costume designer Irene Sharaff. Sharaff was revered as a designer of enormous depth and intelligence, equally secure with both contemporary and period costumes. Her work exemplified the best of costume design. Such excellence is demonstrated by the winners of the 2007 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards, who were selected by the TDF Costume Collection's Advisory Committee. The TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards are presented through Theatre Development Fund's Costume Collection.

Santo Loquasto (Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement) has designed the sets and/or costumes for 58 Broadway productions. A 14-time Tony Award nominee, he has won the coveted award three times: The Cherry Orchard (1977 - costumes), Café Crown (1989 - scenic design) and Grand Hotel (1990 - costume design). Some of his more recent Broadway productions have been: Movin' Out (scenic design), A Touch of the Poet (costumes and scenic design), Three Days of Rain (costumes and scenic design), Shining City (scenic design) and The Times They Are A-Changin' (scenic and set design). On film, he has collaborated with Woody Allen on 24 films. His costume designs for Zelig (1983) and production designs for Radio Days (1987) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994) received Academy Award nominations. In the world of dance, he has designed works for Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Agnes DeMille, James Kudelka, Mark Morris, Helgi Tomasson, and David Parsons. One of the most prolific artists working in the theatre, Loquasto is represented on Broadway this spring with Prelude to a Kiss (scenic design); Inherit the Wind (costumes and scenic design) and 110 in the Shade (costumes and scenic design). He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bob Mackie (TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award) Costume and fashion designer Bob Mackie is a nine-time Emmy Award winner. His name is synonymous with television design, but his contributions to theatre and film are considerable. His theatrical credits include: Moon over Buffalo and Putting It Together, both starring Carol Burnett; Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public; Minnelli on Minnelli; Lorelei with Carol Channing; and the revival of On the Town with Bernadette Peters and Phyllis Newman. Mackie also designed Pennies from Heaven, Lady Sings the Blues and Funny Lady, all of which earned him Oscar nominations. Additionally, he designed the costumes for Broadway shows on television, including Once upon a Mattress starring Carol Burnett, Gypsy starring Bette Midler; Carousel; Brigadoon; Of Thee I Sing; and Kismet. His inventive and memorable designs have helped raise entertainers like Diana Ross, Elton John, Ann-Margret, Carol Channing, Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Bette Midler, and Cher to iconic status both onscreen and off.

Murell Horton (TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award) works in theatre, opera, dance, and fashion, but is generally most known for his design work at Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre. He has been nominated three times for the Helen Hayes Award for his work there: Camino Real starring Joan Van Arc (2001), Hedda Gabler starring Judith Light (2002), and Lorenzaccio with Robert Cuccioli (2006). In 2005, Murell designed Lysistrata at the New York City Opera and the Houston Grand Opera. At Manhattan's Pearl Theatre Company, he has designed costumes for The Barber of Seville, The Guardsman, Cymbeline, The Chairs, and Venice Preserv'd; and both scenery and costumes for Richard III, The Miser, and The School for Scandal.

Kermit Love (TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award)—almost everyone age two and over is familiar with the work of Kermit Love. For many years, he worked with the Muppets and is largely responsible for the look of some of Sesame Street's best-known characters. Jim Henson designed the idea for Big Bird, but it is Love who built much of the character and refined and improved the way Big Bird looks and works. He also built Mr. Snuffleupagus for Sesame Street and created the Snuggle Fabric Softener Teddy Bear, as well as the characters for the TV Series The Great Space Coaster (1981-86). Born in 1916, his earliest experience in costume design began with dressing marionettes as a child. In his early 20s, Love began a succession of survival jobs assisting costume designers, such as Rose Bogodonof and Kate Drain Lawson. He went on to design costumes on several Broadway productions and countless dance productions over the years. As well as teaching at the Pratt Institute, Columbia University and the University of Hawaii, he has created characters for 22 foreign versions of Sesame Street. Love has been instrumental in nurturing and encouraging the talent of a great many puppeteers and puppet builders, and his contributions to Jim Henson's Muppet Empire are world-renowned.

Rouben Ter-Arutunian (TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award) was born on July 24, 1920 in Tiflis, Russia. A scenic and costume designer, he first designed costumes in 1941 for the Berlin State Opera Ballet. In 1951, he moved to the United States and in 1957 became a US citizen. His first Broadway credit was as costume and scenic designer on George Abbott's 1957 hit, New Girl in Town, starring Gwen Verdon. Over 20 Broadway credits followed including Donnybrook! (1961 - scenic design) and The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1964- costume and scenic design). He won a Best Costume Design Tony Award for the 1959 production of Redhead starring Gwen Verdon. He was nominated for four other Tony Awards: Advise and Consent (1961 - scenic design), A Passage to India (1962 - scenic design), Arturo Ui (1964 - costume design), and Goodtime Charley (1975 - scenic design). His extensive design credits also include ballet and opera in the US and around the world. He worked with many different choreographers and is especially well known for his collaborations with George Balanchine for whom he designed 34 ballets over a 25 year period. He worked extensively in television and in film and won a 1957 Emmy Award for Best Art Direction for his work on Twelfth Night. Ter-Arutunian is represented in many museums and exhibitions, including: The Museum of Modern Art; The Library and Museum of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Theatre Collection of Harvard University; and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Rouben Ter-Arutunian died in 1992.

The awardees were selected by the TDF/Costume Collection's Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leading members of the theatrical costume design community. They are: Gregg Barnes, Suzy Benzinger, Linda Fisher, Lana Fritz, Rodney Gordon, Desmond Heeley, Holly Hynes, Willa Kim, Carolyn Kostopoulous, Kitty Leech, David Murin, Sally Ann Parsons, Robert Perdziola, Carrie Robbins, Eduardo Sicangco, Scott Traugott, Jose Varona, Tony Walton, Patrick Wiley, and David Zinn.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, first presented to the legendary Sharaff in 1993, is bestowed upon a costume designer who, over the course of his or her career, has achieved great distinction and demonstrated a mastery of the art. The award is presented to a designer whose work embodies those qualities of excellence represented in the life work of Irene Sharaff: a keen sense of color, a feeling for material and texture, an eye for shape and form, and a sure command of the craft. Such a designer's achievement may stem from work for the theatre opera, dance or film or, as was true of Irene Sharaff, from all of them together.

Previous winners of the TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award are: Desmond Heeley (1994), Miles White (1996), Alvin Colt (1996), Patricia Zipprodt (1997), Jane Greenwood (1998), Willa Kim (1999), Ann Roth (2000), Freddy Wittop (2001), Theoni V. Aldredge (2002), Jose Varona (2003), Anthony Powell (2004), Florence Klotz (2005) and Lester Polakov (2006).

Named for philanthropist Robert L.B. Tobin, the recipient of the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design is an artist whose mastery of his or her craft as exemplified through his or her body of work, in one or more disciplines of theatrical design (costume, settings, lighting, sound), has become an inspiration to all designers. The Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatrical Design was first presented in 2004 to acclaimed set and costume designer Tony Walton. The award was presented in 2005 to Robert O'Hearn and to Franco Zeffirelli in 2006.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Young Master Award is presented to a designer whose work, beyond being promising, has come to fruition. The award, honoring a designer of distinction early in his or her career, is given in recognition of Irene Sharaff's wish to see young designers encouraged on their way to fully acknowledged success and excellence in the field.

TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award has been bestowed upon: Gregg Barnes (1994), Toni-Leslie James (1996), Paul Tazewell (1997), Martin Pakledinaz (1998), Suzy Benzinger (1999), Robert Perdziola (2000), Constance Hoffman (2001), Gregory Gale and Jonathan Bixby (2002), Anita Yavich (2003), Mirena Rada (2004), David Zinn (2005) and Emilio Sosa (2006).

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award, which was created in 1999, recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Among those who this award honors are: assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that take sketches and turn them into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers who dedicate their lives to turning raw talent into professional accomplished designers, and authors who create the texts and trade publications without which designers could not function.

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Posthumous Award, also created in 1999, recognizes, celebrates and remembers those artists who have pioneered the art of costume design, setting the standard for years to come. TDF believes that in reliving and reviewing the body of work of these artists, a new generation of designers is able to learn and grow, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before them.

TDF Irene Sharaff Artisan Awards have been previously awarded to: Ray Diffen (1999), Woody Shelp (2000), Barbara Matera (2001), Paul Huntley (2002), Maria Brizzi/Grace Costumes (2003), Nino Novellino (2004), Vincent Zullo (2005) and Martin Izquierdo (2006); and the Posthumous Award to Raoul Pene DuBois (1999), Lucinda Ballard (2000), Aline Bernstein (2001), Cecil Beaton (2002), Ruth Morley (2003), Lemuel Ayers (2004), Oliver Messel (2005) and Lila De Nobili (2006).

This year's TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards Ceremony is being generously underwritten by The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.