Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition at FIDM

Although the traffic of downtown Los Angeles makes getting there a hassle, you will soon forget all about it when you step inside the Museum of Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). Currently on display is an exquisite display of costumes from recent movies such as The Duchess, The Young Victoria, An Education, The Last Station, Bright Star. 

This exhibition is the eighteenth annual presentation of costumes from motion pictures timed to coincide with the Academy Awards. These costumes "represent the creativity and skill of the costume designer in creating the mood and aura of the period in which each film is set. Whether they are elegant embroideries and ruffles or gritty denims and fleece, costumes must fit the style and tone of the movie, requiring equal amounts of research, skill and talent."

To see costumes up close allowed me to appreciate the complexity of intricate workmanship in a way that one cannot see in a movie. Who knew that anyone still hand stitched garments? Plus I got a more realistic sense of an actor's size - finding Penelope Cruz to be more petite than I expected based on her costumes for Nine and Ben Stiller to be taller than I thought based on his costume for Night at the Museum. The displays were impeccable with clear labeling and lighting. I lingered for a long time in front of the costumes for Young Victoria (which won the Academy Award 2010 for Costume Design). There were seven gowns on display including five for Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria and two for Miranda Richardson as the Duchess of Kent. Plus there was a display case with a replica of the Imperial State Crown and the George III Tiara executed in faux jewels but looking real enough!

The staff of this gallery are eager to please and there is also a lovely gift shop showcasing books on fashion and other fashionable treats! If you cannot get there, check out their enchanting and educational blog. 

Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition
February 9 - April 17, 2010

919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA


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