Hollywood Costume at the V&A

Kate Winslet in Titanic
John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones
Dorothyfrom The Wizard Of Oz
Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Kate Winslet in Titanic John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones Dorothyfrom The Wizard Of Oz Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age
By Phoebe Frangoul October 16, 2012
20th Century Fox/Paramount/The Kobal Collection
© 2012 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
Lucasfilm/Paramount/The Kobal Collection
MGM/The Kobal Collection
Universal/Working Title/The Kobal Collection/Greg Williams
Think about your favourite films and a piece of clothing often springs to mind – from Dorothy’s ruby slippers to Indiana Jones’ hat – costume plays a vital part in the movies. The Victoria and Albert museum is celebrating the role that clothes have always played in film through their autumn blockbuster exhibition, Hollywood Costume and they have some truly iconic pieces on display. The exhibition is sponsored by legendary jewellers Harry Winston and highlights include the green velvet gown that Scarlett O’Hara famously made from her mother’s drawing room curtains in Gone With the Wind as well as Dorothy Gale’s iconic blue and white gingham frock from The Wizard of Oz. But it gets better – you’ll also be able to see possibly the most famous frock in the history of cinema – the Givenchy-designed dress that inspired its very own acronym – ‘LBD’ - worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as Marilyn’s daring white chiffon gown from Some Like It Hot. In more recent years, we have Kate Winslet’s Titanic costume and the stunning emerald green silk gown designed by Jacqueline Durran and worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement in that memorably passionate love scene in the library with James McAvoy. The exhibition is divided into three parts to effectively tell the history of costume design in films, from its earliest incarnation during the silent era, through the glamorous Golden Age of Hollywood and up to present day, when technology and innovation have changed the landscape yet again.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Hollywood costume designer and senior guest curator, says: “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.”

This exhibition is an absolute must-see for film buffs and fashion fans alike as it’s unlikely that so many unforgettable costumes from cinema’s history will be displayed together again. Go see it!
Hollywood Costume at the V&A runs from 20 October 2012 to 27 January 2013. Tickets are £14. Visit www.vam.ac.uk for more information

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