© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

 

© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

 

© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

 

© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

 

© 2012 Adorngirl V&A Hollywood Costume

When I was invited to the press preview of the next major V&A exhibition entitled Hollywood Costume, it was not entirely what I expected; my mind envisioned grand costumes from period dramas, and couture gowns, but it was an education. I say education because again I was reminded that costume  is not an accurate portrayal of a society as a whole, only indicitive of one part of society.  “It’s not really about the clothes“, a profound statement from the senior guest curator, and Hollywood costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who took five years to acquire all the pieces for the exhibition; with vast enthusiasm she explained how it was really about the character and how costume was an integral part of making an audience believe in the story, believe the characters on screen existed before the opening credits; albeit the second character. In fact she asked “who is your favourite character?” in her quest to find costumes that had meaning amongst different generations. Deborah refused to pick her favourite costume, but regaled us with an anecdote about the blue, and white gingham dress from the wizard of oz, and how she determined its authenticity. I believe the exhibition will be popular because of this fact catering not just to fashion enthusiasts, and designers but to movie goers as well, and their sense of cinematic nostalgia. The structure displaying a diverse range of movie genres across the glamour of  golden age cinema, with the bride wore red (1937) to sci-fi of star wars and the penultimate villain Darth Vader. (Spoiler alert) The Jack Sparrow costume featured at the talk is actually going straight back to movie studios for Johnny Depp to wear in Pirates 5. The exhibition is due to open in October this year (I know, seems like such a long way away) but you can actually book tickets now, and it was hinted there were still pieces to be added

 

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