Dressed for suc­cess

Os­car-nom­i­nated cos­tumes get mu­seum treat­ment.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - OSCAR SPECIAL - By SANDY CO­HEN > TURN TO PAGE 20

The bur­gundy velour suit Chris­tian Bale fin­ished with an as­cot stands next to the slinky, leop­ard-print gown worn by Jennifer Lawrence in Amer­i­can Hus­tle. Five of the flashy, low-cut dresses worn by Amy Adams oc­cupy ex­tra-small man­nequins be­side them.

These Os­car-nom­i­nated cos­tumes are among the stars of Cal­i­for­nia’s FIDM Mu­seum’s 22nd an­nual Art of Mo­tion Pic­ture Cos­tume De­sign ex­hibit, which fea­tures out­fits from all five Os­car con­tenders this year: Amer­i­can Hus­tle, 12 Years A Slave, The Great Gatsby, The In­vis­i­ble Woman and The Grand­mas­ter.

The free ex­hibit, on view un­til April 26, also fea­tures dozens of de­signs from other pop­u­lar films, in­clud­ing Man Of Steel and The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire.

Cu­ra­tor Kevin Jones and his team in­ad­ver­tently pre­dicted the nom­i­nees when they re­quested the cos­tumes months ago.

“I’d like to say that we have all this in­sider in­for­ma­tion and it’s to­tally top se­cret and there’s this un­der­ground bunker where we all meet,” he said, “but ac­tu­ally, it’s re­ally ed­u­cated luck.”

As they watch movies through­out the year, they note the cos­tumes that “make those char­ac­ters leap off the screen,” Jones said, with an ex­pe­ri­enced eye for ex­cel­lence that usu­ally over­laps with the film academy’s cos­tume de­sign­ers’ branch.

This year’s nom­i­nees are par­tic­u­larly di­verse – cos­tumes from 1850s eng­land to 1930s China to New York in 1978, which Jones said re­flects an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of de­sign­ers’ in­creas­ing so­phis­ti­ca­tion in cre­at­ing real­is­tic or stylised looks for any era or at­mos­phere.

“It’s not so much just (that) it’s an old movie set in the 18th or 19th century so there­fore it’s wor­thy of be­ing nom­i­nated,” he said, adding that some of the cos­tumes for Amer­i­can Hus­tle are orig­i­nal pieces from the 1970s. “I love it be­cause it’s (recog­nis­ing) a broader range of what cos­tume de­sign rep­re­sents.”

Michael Wilkin­son, who cre­ated the cos­tumes for Amer­i­can Hus­tle, said it was ex­cit­ing to see his work in a mu­seum set­ting.

“It’s great to see them as a line-up,” he said. “Be­cause when you’re on set, you never get to see five Amy Adams cos­tumes all at once.”

Retro glam­our: Michael Wilkin­son’s cos­tumes for Amer­i­canHus­tle are nom­i­nated for an Academy Award.

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