Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hollywood Costume Exhibition Launches at V&A

Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers, Wizard of Oz.

The V&A’s ‘Hollywood Costume’ has launched and I was fortunate enough to be present at the exhibition preview on Wednesday. The V&A have pulled together some of cinema’s best-known, and loved, costumes which explore the art of costume design and illustrates how it assists in building both character and storytelling. The exhibition brings together all of my favourite characters in film and their memorable costumes, from Holly Golightly to Indiana Jones, Captain Jack Sparrow to Taylor Durden. Each costume gives a fantastic insight into thsee pivotal cinematic moments. 

Alice Ayres (Natalie Portman), Closer.

Also on display are film clips of specially commissioned interviews with directors, costume designers and the actors themselves including Tippi Hedren and Robert de Niro. The exhibition team at the V&A has done a fantastic job of curating ‘Hollywood Costume’, the projection tables and notes featuring costume briefs, images and inspiration help to give a greater understanding of the character and its costume. Each costume stands in a spotlight with a photograph of the actor who wore them suspended above; this really helps to bring the costumes come to life.

Elizabeth I (Judy Dench), Shakespeare in Love.

It’s almost impossible to select a favourite costume from the exhibition, however Tippi Hedren’s pale green suit (below) that she wore throughout ‘The Birds’ was incredibly striking. Hitchcock deliberately chose the shade for its cinematic qualities, and it still seems incredibly timeless and perfectly depicts the character. As Martin Scorsese says in his video interview, ‘Costume is character’.

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), The Birds.
Tippi Hedren.
Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), Brokeback Mountain.
Ocean's Eleven.
Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), Ocean's Eleven.
The Narrator (Edward Norton), Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), Fight Club.
Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett), Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes), Shakespeare in Love.

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