Fairy tale princesses, a colorful bellboy, an evil fairy, women in bright ‘60s minis or a British painter 200 years ago are some of the movie characters whose fantastical costumes are on display at the “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Over 100 costume designs are on display in the 23rd annual exhibition, which celebrates film fashions each year.
The assembled looks include period costumes from the ’50s and ’60s, futurist visions, royalty from the past and more. The free exhibit features outfits from the five movies nominated for this year’s Oscars in costume design. It also includes outfits worn onscreen by the casts of 18 other films, as well as garments from last year’s Oscar-winner for costume design, The Great Gatsby.
The films and costume designers nominated for this year’s Oscars, and presented in the museum display, are The Grand Budapest Hotel by Milena Canonero, Maleficent by Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Into the Woods by Colleen Atwood, Inherent Vice by Mark Bridges and Mr. Turner by Jacqueline Durran. (The Academy Awards show is Feb. 22.)
Four of the costume designers have previously taken home Oscar statuettes. Grand Budapest’s Canonero has already won three Academy Awards (for Barry Lyndon, Chariots of Fire and Marie Antoinette). Into the Woods’ Atwood has also won three Oscars, for her work on Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and Alice in Wonderland. Bridges received the honors for The Artist, and Durran won for Anna Karenina. Maleficent’s Sheppard was nominated, but did not win, for Schindler’s List and The Pianist. This is Clive’s first nomination.
The other movie wardrobes included in the exhibition cover a wide array of styles and genres. They include Belle, The Boxtrolls, Big Eyes, Dracula Untold, Birdman, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Fault in Our Stars, Get On Up, Gone Girl, the Guardians of the Galaxy, The Imitation Game, Jersey Boys, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Selma, Step Up All In, The Theory of Everything and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Since its debut in 1992, the FIDM Museum exhibition of movie costumes has showcased the talents of members of the Costume Designers Guild. The show emphasizes how much impact the wardrobe makes in a film or television show, creating an instant impression to convey the characters’ time period, economic status and more. Building on the success of the Oscar-timed costumes exhibit, the FIDM Museum has hosted a similar exhibition late in the summer for the past 8 years that featured costumes from television and nominees for Emmy Awards, which are presented each September.
The “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” display with be on exhibit at the FIDM Museum through Saturday, April 25th. The gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. (It is closed Sundays and Mondays). FIDM is located at 919 S. Grand Avenue, near L.A. Live, and is a couple of blocks f rom the subway. Admission is free for individuals (there is a charge for groups of 10 or more).
By Dyanne Weiss
Photo by Alex J. Berliner/courtesy of the FIDM Museum