Fancy a glimpse at Audrey’s original Givenchy LBD from Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Or maybe you prefer the sweet styling of Judy Garland’s gingham pinafore from The Wizard of Oz? Looking for something completely different? Then maybe Batman’s suit from The Dark Knight Rises fits the bill?
All of the above will be on display at the V&A this autumn as part of their Hollywood Costume exhibition, sponsored by none other than the king of Hollywood bling himself, Harry Winston.
Over 100 of the most iconic costumes designed for the silver screen have been gathered together for the exhibition that opens 20 October. The costumes cover a century of cinema, from the silent pictures of Charlie Chaplin to the motion capture wizardry of Avatar.
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Hollywood costume designer and senior guest curator, said:
“This landmark exhibition will provide a once in a life-time opportunity to explore the most beloved characters in Hollywood history and gain insight on the role of the costume designer and their vital contribution to cinema storytelling.”
Through three galleries, visitors will discover the story of costume design. Hollywood Costume will introduce the role of costume design before considering the importance of costume in creating a character’s identity.
Some of the exhibits will be clearly recognisable as “costumes”, such as the Elizabethan-style gowns designed by Alexandra Byrne for Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Others will be far subtler, like Jake Gyllenhaal’s ensemble from Brokeback Mountain, designed by Marit Allen.
Creative collaborations between filmmakers, actors and costume designers will be placed under the spotlight. Tim Burton has worked with designer Colleen Atwood on nine films, including Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland, whilst Alfred Hitchcock and Edith Head’s famous partnership included 11 films.
Whilst the art of costume design will be at the heart of the exhibition, there will also be plenty of opportunities for a pure pop culture rush. The final section of the exhibition is a glorious celebration of Hollywood heroes, heroines and femme fatales. Marilyn’s chiffon cocktail frock from Some Like it Hot will be shown alongside Gryffindor uniforms from Harry Potter. And let's not forget John Travolta's, erm, flattering suit from Saturday Night Fever.
Now, if only the V&A Shop could sort out a range of affordable replica costumes...
20 October 2012 – 27 January 2013
Time: 10am-5.45pm daily, late night opening on Fridays until 10pm
Admissions: £14.00 Concessions: from £9.00
Main image: The Wizard of Oz (1939), MGM/The Kobal Collection Other images: Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Universal/Working Title/The Kobal Collection/Greg Williams; Saturday Night Fever (1977), © 2012 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved