Hollywood Costume Exhibition

Yesterday Patrick and I went to the Hollywood Costume Exhibition in LA. I really had no idea what I was getting into when we visited, I just saw that is boasted a great number of costumes, and the website showcased the first shot we see of Kate Winslet as Rose in Titanic, and I was sold! As I’ve been to a fair number of museums and special exhibits, I figured ahead of time that they would not allow photography inside, and I was correct in that assumption, though I was still saddened, especially when we began walking through. So you’ll just have to settle for what I wore to the exhibit.

As it was quite cool, and we even got rained on a bit, I was chose to wear the outfit I had intended to wear to the Blue Skies Disneyland meet-up. This hat is a favorite of mine, though it hardly gets the wearing it deserves as I don’t have very many pieces that match its ice blue tone, and I believe it has yet to even be seen on the blog, despite owning it for about a year I believe! Anyway, enough about my clothing, on to raving on the exhibit!

The exhibit showcases over 150 costumes from Hollywood’s early days, including one of Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp suits through very recent films such as American Hustle and The Hunger Games. Not only are these magnificent costumes on display, they are aided by information regarding their development including quotes from actors, directors and of course costume designers involved in the film. Filmed interviews with actors, directors and costume designers are also utilized, with some period interviews with people who are no longer with us, such as Edith Head. Additionally many of the costumes were displayed on mannequins befitting the characters who originally wore the costumes, in pose and props.

I’ll say this, it was a miracle I did not walk out of there in handcuffs as some of my all-time favorite costumes were on display. First my mouth dropped at the sign of Judy’s green and white number from Vertigo, an outfit I would wear on a daily basis in a heartbeat. Then I turned a corner to see Marion Ravenwood’s “Streets of Cairo” outfit from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the very same that I had spent countless hours on recreating. Initially I was terrified to step up to it, fearing that even though I had poured over many screencaps I would still come home loathing my creation. However, I will say I am still quite pleased with what I made, but not without wanting to add some details I observed upon close inspection of the real deal in order to create a more accurate cosplay. The Marion costume was also side by side with Willie’s gold and red opening act dress from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and one of Elsa’s suits from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as one of Indy’s famous ensembles. I then cast my eyes upon Satine’s pink and rhinestone covered number from Moulin Rouge! when she tells Christian “Let’s dance!” Then I saw a costume that made me grip Patrick’s arm so tight he told me I was hurting him. It was Lynn Bracken’s black velvet and white stain lined hooded coat from when she makes her first appearance in LA Confidential. I have been longing to make this coat for years now, but have held back, not happy with the fabric options I was finding in many of the stores, but one of these days, I will make a screen accurate version, although in the meantime I purchased this beauty (which has yet to make its debut on the streets of LA) to tide me over until I make my own.

Among other favorites on display were Darth Vader and Han Solo from Star Wars, Mary Poppins’ arrival outfit from Disney’s Mary Poppins, Tippi Hedren’s green outfit from The Birds, two outfits from Baz Luhrmann’s recent take on The Great Gatsby, including Gatsby’s pink suit, one of Johnny Depp’s costumes from Sweeney Todd and a Captain Jack Sparrow costume from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, several costumes from the various Elizabeth the First films that have been made over the years, Queen Guinevere’s intricate crochet and pumpkin seed gown from 1967’s Camelot, one of Faye Dunaway’s outfits from Bonnie & Clyde, and most notably Marilyn Monroe’s infamous white dress from The Seven Year Itch and Dorothy’s blue and white outfit as well as ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, among so many others.

On our way out I made sure to purchase a catalog of the exhibit, though in flipping through it is more like a history of costuming in film rather than really showcasing all of the costumes on display, but nevertheless I cannot wait to read it. Additionally, I purchased a copy that was signed by the curator of the exhibit, Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a costume designer whose credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area before March 2nd, I can’t recommend the exhibition enough. You can learn more and purchase tickets on-line.

Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Hat: Simply Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Palm Tree Brooch: Living Threads, Portland, Oregon
Hollywood Charm Bracelet: Don’t remember!
Seamed Fishnets: Buffalo Exchange, I think…
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Purse: Christmas gift from my sister

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