Since 2008, my father and I have trekked out to the Fashion Institute of Design
and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles for its Annual Art of Motion Picture
Costume Design exhibition on South Grand Avenue. In the past, I have had the
chance to observe costumes from movies like Blades of Glory, Marie Antoinette, and
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Highlighted in each exhibition are costumes
from selected 2011 films, in addition to the Academy Award Winner for Costume
Design the previous year.
Award Nominee’s for Costume Design: W.E., Jane Eyre, Anonymous, Hugo, and
The Artist. Classic film costumes from Ben Hur and other various movies are also
displayed from the FIDM Museum Collection and the Department of Recreation and
Parks, City of Los Angeles, Historic Hollywood Collection. Lastly, the Larson Gallery,
within the exhibit, features garments associated with actual royalty including the
Queens Victoria, Alexandra, and Mary of England.
What is aesthetically pleasing about this exhibit is the chance to view each
costume in bright detail. The display highlights the garments in their glory, rather
than their primary location on an actor. Details become more prominent and
noticeable, as many of these costumes do not have much screen time. As a fan of
The Help (also displayed in this exhibit), one of my favorite pieces viewed up close
embellishments viewed in person were much more impressive than the way it was
displayed onscreen. It was also exciting to see how Sharen Davis, costume designer
for the film, incorporated vintage fabrics into 1960s-era designs from the civil-
rights movement. The costumes from The Artist were the most striking, as this 2012
movie was filmed entirely in black and white. The garments were displayed in their
gorgeous, vibrant colors (something not seen on screen) and fabrics, making it exciting to see how color affected tones on screen.
This exciting exhibit is a visual feast, and viewable at no charge! Opening on
February 14, 2012 and closing on April 28, this exhibition is open to the public from
10 am – 5 pm, from Tuesdays through Saturdays only. Located near the Los Angeles
Fashion District, you’ll be immersed in the heart of LA fashion with the famous
Santee Alley only a few blocks away.
If you are a fan of film or fashion (or both!), this exhibition is THE place for you.
Check it out before it’s too late!
Full list of film’s featured:
Alice in Wonderland (2011 Academy Award Winner for Best Costume)
The Artist (2012 Academy Award Winner for Best Costume)
Jane Eyre (2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Costume)
Water for Elephants
Anonymous (2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Costume)
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens
Hugo (2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Costume)
My Week With Marilyn
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
W.E. (2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Costume)