I Saw the Motion Picture Costume Exhibit at FIDM

evanoraBeing huge movie and TV fans, every year my daughter and I make two excursions into the downtown wilds of Los Angeles, to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum. We go to see the Emmy-nominated costumes and the Academy Award-nominated costumes. The Museum puts on impressive exhibits with the actual costumes worn by some of everyone’s favorite actors and you can get <> that close. Really. You can’t touch and you can’t photograph and believe me, the very friendly security team makes sure you obey the restriction.

For a definitive set of photos of what we saw, plus more description, I’m going to refer you to the Tyanny of Style blog, because he got to attend the preview and has photos, including closeups and more technical detail. (He’s got a terrific blog to follow by the way if you’re interested in fashion, costume design, etc.)

My Top 10 Fangirl Impressions/Moments:

Idris1. Idris Elba must be every bit as physically imposing and commanding in person as he appears on screen, going by his Jaeger costume from “Pacific Rim.” Wowza. The photo of the costume alone doesn’t do him justice. A lot of times at these exhibits, you know you’re supposed to be in awe because you’re standing right next to the costume so-and-so wore and it is cool, but you don’t get a feeling of the actor…not the case with Mr. Elba. I was half convinced he was there! As a side note, I want the hairstyle that the actress playing Mako had, loved the blue tint at Hunnamthe fringes, and I think the stick fighting scene with Charlie Hunnam is one of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen…oh, ok, where was I?

2. Standing right next to the outfit worn by Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan and Leonard Nimoy as Spock….seriously fanning myself again.

3. Rachel Weisz is TINY. I’ve always enjoyed her performances, since “The Mummy” and the exhibit has her dress as Evanora from “OZ the Great and Powerful”. It was all sparkly and blingy and petite. (See thumbnail at the top of this post.)

4. No Thor or Loki costumes 🙁 but Odin’s was amazing….as was Sif’s.

5. The most intricate details on the Romeo and Juliet costumes were so gorgeous, too small to be seen on the screen but up close, the embroidery and the details – yummy. A lot of loving care went into the creation of those clothes.

6. Keanu Reeves is TALL. Yes.

7. I found myself feeling sad when I looked at the dress worn by Andrea Riseborough as Rebecca in “Oblivion”, because I felt so rebecca oblivionsorry for that character in the movie. It was interesting to me that just looking at the costume evoked the emotion.

8. The historically accurate costumes were amazing as always but I gravitate more to the science fiction and fantasy. When we do our last circuit through the exhibit we linger at our favorites, which are almost always from those movies.

9. Emma Thompson’s P. L. Travers suit from “Saving Mr. Banks” projected attitude like nobody’s business. I could visualize her standing there almost as clearly as Mr. Idris, just from the costume.

10. FIDM usually has a bonus exhibition and this year was no exception –  “Bliss – 19th Century Wedding Gowns.” Oh, I would say yes to these dresses! (Not that I could fit into them LOL.) The selection ranged from 1800 through about 1890 and included fans, shoes, gloves…even a handwritten proposal that was a beautifully written and as full of high flung prose as anything you’ll read in a romance novel. (I wish I’d taken notes…). Considering the oldest dress was over 200 years old, they were beautifully preserved and so gorgeous. One even had swansdown trim, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen, only read about. If you go to The Worn Through blog’s post by Brenna Barks, and scroll all the way down, she has official photos of the amazing wedding dresses.


One comment on “I Saw the Motion Picture Costume Exhibit at FIDM

  1. I love costume exhibits. Years ago I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and they had a museum across the street. My classes were mostly in communications, but I learned about fashion history too. That exhibit sounds like fun – and of course the Idris Elba mention wasn’t bad either. 🙂

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