FIDM’s 19th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibit

On view will be actual costumes from over 20 movies from 2010.

This exhibtion is free to the public and will be open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Museum & Galleries will be closed April 22 through April 25 for Spring Recess. Group tours may be arranged by calling the college at 213.623.5821 x3367.

Burlesque costumes by Costume Designer, Michael Kaplan

Award season is in full swing with much of the coverage focused on what the stars are wearing on the red carpets in front of the Kodak Theatre, the Beverly Hilton Hotel, or the Shrine Exhibition Center. However, on February 5th, the place to be was the FIDM Museum’s Gala Opening of the 19th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, which shines the spotlight on the costumes worn in the films being honored with nominations and awards.

Before there is a red carpet there is a film, in which the contribution of the costumes is incalculable in telling the story. Costumes help actors develop character, and offer nuances and an enriching authenticity to every scene. They are vital in taking actors and audiences to Alice’s Wonderland, the old West of True Grit, and the technology controlled future of Inception.

For the 19th year in a row, the FIDM Museum honors the work of costume designers by presenting actual costumes seen on the big screen. Costumes from 20 of the year’s most important films and work from some of the industry’s most accomplished designers are displayed in the museum.

This exhibition is a rare opportunity to get an up-close view of over 100 original costumes from 2010. Here are a few insights into the creation process:

Clash of the Titans : “The people (in the town and palace of Argos) are living a very decadent life, so I decided it should look like a Versace party. I used all natural silks and cottons, hand-pleated and dyed to pale apricots, creams, peaches, yellows and pinky terra-cottas, with lots of handmade gold jewelry.” —Lindy Hemming

Shutter Island : “We had to make 44 versions of the orderly outfit Teddy puts on because it is drenched and rumpled in the hurricane and he goes through different adventures in it; he goes into the sea, walks along cliffs, and sleeps in a cave. He passes through various stages of dirtiness, if you will, and that was a process.” —Sandy Powell

Burlesque: “The finale had to top everything else. …I decided not to use fabrics… Then we realized how many hundreds of hours were going to go into each costume.” In all, some 250,000 Swarovski crystals in fifteen different colors went into the intricately linked costumes. —Michael Kaplan

True Grit : One of his (Rooster Cogburn’s) most distinguishing features is his eye patch, for which Zophres presented Bridges with several choices based on her research. “Jeff instantly gravitated towards the most raw one—it looked like a piece of leather he had tanned himself and stuck on his head…Joel and Ethan then let him decide which eye Rooster had lost.” —Mary Zophres

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: “Very few people on the films I do go to the set in a new costume. We always have to break it down first. I want costumes to look real, even in a fantasy film like this. Our breakdown department employs tools like a cement mixer. Once the leather goods are newly made, we put them in the cement mixer for a couple of hours with a few stones, and they come out looking well used. They also use cheese graters to distress costumes, believe it or not.” —Penny Rose

True Grit

Many of the costume designers featured in this exhibition were on hand at the Opening Night Gala to celebrate their craft while they mingled with the press, their peers, and other VIPs.

In attendance were Academy Award® Nominees for Best Achievement in Costume Design, Colleen Atwood, Costume Designer for Alice in Wonderland, Mary Zophres, Costume Designer for True Grit, and Jenny Beavan, Costume Designer for The King’s Speech.

Other costume designers that accompanied their work in the exhibition were Mary Claire Hannan, FIDM alum and Costume Designer for The Kids Are All Right, renowned Costume Designer, Judianna Makovsky with her costumes from The Last Airbender, Deborah Hopper, Costume Designer for Hereafter, Costume Designer, Julie Weiss, for Get Low, Costume Designer Lindy Hemming, for Clash of the Titans, and Jeffrey Kurland, Costume Designer for Inception.

Also on view are the costumes from Clash of the Titans by Lindy Hemming, Robin Hood by Janty Yates, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky by Chattoune Bourrec and Fabien Esnard-Lascombe, The Wolfman by Milena Canonero, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps by Ellen Mirojnick, Shutter Island by Sandy Powell, Burlesque by Michael Kaplan, Nanny McPhee Returns by Jacqueline Durran, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Isis Mussenden, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time by Penny Rose, and The Tempest by Sandy Powell, 2011 Academy Award® nominee for Costume Design.

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