SILVER screen’s most memorable outfits come to town in ACMI’s Hollywood Costume exhibition, and Carene Chong and Juliana Mare tell you how you can win two tickets to the show!
Screen legend Meryl Streep once said, “I think the clothes are half the battle in creating a character.”
For moviegoers, a good costume makes the film experience so much more enjoyable, whether that means envisioning yourself in the gorgeous gown Kate Winslet wore in Titanic or discussing the aerodynamic features of the high-tech suit from The Dark Knight.
But while you might never get your hands on the costumes of your favourite screen character, you can admire them up close at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s (ACMI) latest exhibition, Hollywood Costume.
Direct from the prestigious Victoria and Albert museum in London and five years in the making, Hollywood Costume features 100 costumes from 50 designers and includes 19 Academy Award winning pieces.
The exhibition is divided into three parts. The earliest costume is from the film Sex (1920), while the latest are from the 2012 drama Anna Karenina.
Whether it’s the Golden Age of cinema or the latest Hollywood blockbusters that catch your eye, this exhibition has plenty of costumes for you to gawk over. Stunningly intricate, lacy period gowns from Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Marie Antoinette will no-doubt dazzle even the lads, along with the wonderfully elegant and iconic frocks worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.
It’s not all glittery, glamorous dresses though. Equally impressive are the male costumes including the grungy ’90s Fight Club outfit rocked by Brad Pitt and the impeccably tailored, iconic suit worn by Daniel Craig as James Bond. And let’s not forget the superhero suits of Batman, Superman and Spider-man, all of which will impress you from their perches on the walls and ceiling.
But the exhibition is more than just a collection of clothes. Montages, film clips and 3D projections contextualize the outfits in their films, while interviews with Hollywood costume designers, directors and actors illuminate the creative process from script to screen and reveal the collaborative dialogue that leads to the development of authentic screen characters.
ACMI assistant curator Ulanda Blair helped put together Hollywood Costume and says she worked with two Australian costume designers to create separate displays that are exclusive to Melbourne.
“Already the exhibition features Marilyn Monroe’s costume from Some Like It Hot, which was designed by Australian designer Orry Kelly, as well as costumes from the set of Moulin Rouge! by Catherine Martin,” she says.
“But for the Melbourne exhibition, we will also be adding costumes from Bright Star designed by Janet Patterson.”
While the more famous outfits will definitely draw the crowds, Ulanda says visitors should keep an eye out for the lesser known pieces that are just as beautiful.
“There is this stunning, stunning dress worn by Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot (1967), designed by Melburnian designer John Truscott that is embroidered with all these beads and seashells. It really stands out and holds its own among all the other costumes,” she says.
Hollywood Costume is a chance to see your favourite characters in person, just minus the actors. The attention to detail that’s been put into cinema’s most iconic costumes is astounding. In fact, it’s almost as interesting as seeing just how tiny the waists of some of Hollywood’s darlings are.
|Meld has two single passes up for grabs to see Hollywood Costumes. To win, simply tell us in the comments section below about a movie costume you love and why you love it. Closing date for entries is Sunday May 12, and winners will be picked in a random draw. Don’t forget to leave your real name and e-mail address so we can get in touch with you.|
The exhibition is on from now until 18 August and tickets are $15.50 for students. For more information, visit the ACMI website.