Hollywood Costume opens at ACMI

Dorothy Costume 1Exploring the central role costume design plays in cinema storytelling Hollywood Costume brings together the most iconic costumes from across a century of filmmaking.

Direct from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and featuring 100 costumes by over 50 designers, Hollywood Costume is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the clothes worn by unforgettable and beloved film characters, from The Wizard of Oz (1939) to Titanic (1997) and Ben-Hur (1959) to Casino Royale (2006), many of the them never exhibited prior to the London season.

Five years in the making, Hollywood Costume is the most comprehensive exhibition about costume design ever created. The show unites classics from the Golden Age of cinema with the latest Hollywood releases, featuring costumes such as Scarlett O’Hara’s green ‘curtain’ dress designed by Walter Plunkett for Gone with the Wind (1939); Marilyn Monroe’s sequined dress from Some Like It Hot (1959) designed by the Australian-born Orry Kelly; the ‘little black dress’ designed by Hubert De Givenchy for Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).

Other notable inclusions are a costume worn by Elizabeth Taylor in her acclaimed role as the Egyptian queen in Cleopatra (1963); through to the original Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeve (1978) designed by John Bloomfield; Russell Crowe’s armour as Maximus in Gladiator (2000) by Janty Yates; Jany Termime’s Gryffindor uniform design in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) and Lindy Hemming’s high-tech Batman suit for The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

There are 19 Academy Award winning costume designs in the exhibition, including a costume from Anna Karenina (2012) by the 2013 Best Costume Design winner British designer, Jacqueline Durran, along with 16 Oscar nominated costumes.

ACMI will present a special display of Australian costumes from Hollywood films including an Oscar nominated design by Janet Patterson from Bright Star (2009) and, from Friday 24 May, three costumes from the forthcoming film, The Great Gatsby (2013), designed by Academy Award winner, Catherine Martin.

Hollywood Costume illuminates the costume designer’s creative process from script to screen and reveals the collaborative dialogue that leads to the development of authentic screen characters. Using montages, film clips and sophisticated 3D projections, costumes are contextualised with their original films, while interviews with key Hollywood costume designers, directors and actors deepen the investigation.

The exhibition is curated by eminent Hollywood costume designer, writer and academic Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis, an Academy Award® nominee whose design credits include Animal House (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983), and Coming to America (1988), for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Deborah’s designs for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as the title characters in The Blues Brothers (1980) will also be on show.

Hollywood Costume is on display at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) until Sunday 18 August 2013. For more information, visit: www.acmi.net.au for details.

Image: Dorothy Gale costume from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, designed by Adrian, 1939

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