FTW: Tickets to Hollywood Costume exhibition in Melbourne

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. 

Dorothy's famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (1939). Photo (right): Juliana Mare

Dorothy’s famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (1939). Photo (right): Juliana Mare

From left to right: Worn by Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Dame Judi Dench in Shakespeare In Love; and Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. Photo: Juliana Mare.

From left to right: Worn by Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Dame Judi Dench in Shakespeare In Love; and Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. Photo: Juliana Mare.

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.

The Spider-Man costume worn by Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Spider-Man costume worn by Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man. Photo: Juliana Mare.

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.

There are 14 comments

  1. Min Yi Teh

    I like James Bond’s tux (Casino Royale 2006). Some might think that it’s simple and plain/ old school. Well,it not as glamorous as other Hollywood costumes but the tux did a great job in painting the extra layer of “sophistication/ spy-ish vibe” on Bond. I have to say that the most powerful tool Bond has is his classics tux. A good tux is men’s best friend!

  2. kerry horvath

    Luv to see Roses Dresses from Titanic
    flowing regal very romantic
    nearly ‘Queen of the world’
    stunning vision on celluloid

  3. Cleone Tan

    I’d love to be able to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz! A girl can never have too great a love for pretty shoes 🙂

  4. Simin Xu

    For me, it’d be Jack Sparrow’s hands down, with Johnny Depp having worn it for 4 successful franchises! He’s a pirate at his best!

  5. Harry

    I loved Johnny Depp’s ‘Jack Sparrow’ costume from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He just really looked like a pirate.

  6. Julie

    Derek Zoolander in his Derelicte costume – because he is really really ridiculously good looking don’t you think? 😉

  7. Laura

    Can’t forget the famous white dress Marilyn Monroe wore in the Seven Year Itch. Who can resist doing a Marilyn when the wind blows ?!?

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