Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hollywood Costume Exhibition and more new movie displays around L.A....

This morning I ventured to the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hollywood Costume Exhibition next to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) in the space which will soon house the proposed Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The amazing exhibition has more than 150 iconic costumes from the world of film and has already enjoyed a successful run at the V&A in London, but this collection has added more than 40 costumes being so close to the archive resources and private collections of Hollywoodland.

Hollywood Costume Exhibition next to LACMA
Giant Oscar statue Hollywood Costume Exhibition LACMA
For someone like myself who enjoys seeing behind-the-scenes of movies, which is why I write my Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props blog, this was a real treasure trove of classic and contemporary costume design.

What's great about the exhibit is that it's not just costumes on mannequins, but a multimedia extravaganza with lots of interviews with famous costume designers and directors about their collaborations, celebrity faces on monitors above the outfits and interestingly posed exhibits like Harrison Ford's original Indiana Jones costume.

Of course the biggest disappointment factor is no photography of any kind (whereas the spellbinding Stanley Kubrick exhibition at LACMA did allow photography), which is a real shame as there's so much to take in it's almost overwhelming. Another issue is the low lighting, obviously to preserve the garments, but after room-after-room my eyes were sore from straining and trying to see all the detail on the costumes.

Some of the collections of costumes also needed more room to breathe and some were posed in such a way that it was hard to see the outfits, or some were so far away that they were almost lost amongst the crowd of mannequins and many felt like they belonged in the spotlight more (John Travolta's iconic Saturday Night Fever white suit comes to mind). Also some pieces were suspended by wires, or on walls (Tobey Maguire's Spider-man suit), and the lighting made it far harder to appreciate these items.

But don't let those foibles put you off, it's a spectacular exhibit and I was surprised at how immersed I became with the detail of everything, from the accompanying descriptions, to the video interviews and quotes from actors, directors and designers. Plus there's something for everyone, from vintage looks to modern day movies, period dramas to superhero blockbusters, and much more besides.

My adult ticket was only $20 and the exhibition is open until March 2, 2015 so you have plenty of time to enjoy it. You'll kick yourself if you don't go and experience it for yourself.
Hollywood Costume V&A exhibition billboard
In other costume and prop news, I also took a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood recently to discover the latest artifacts on display from their extensive movie and TV wardrobe and prop vaults.

Original movie and TV costumes and props on display at 
Universal Studios Hollywood in October 2014
Universal Studios movie TV costumes props
Universal Studios Hollywood costume exhibit
Original movie costumes
Included in the latest exhibit on October 9, 2014 were costumes from films like 47 Ronin, Cinderella Man, The Musketeer, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Get On Up and TV shows like Warehouse 13 and the U.S. version of The Office, plus a wonderful collection of stop-motion animation figures and sets from The Boxtrolls.

Be sure to check out more original costumes and props on display at the NBC Universal Experience attraction, which changes all the time.

The Skeleton Twins movie costume exhibit 
at ArcLight Hollywood cinema
The Skeleton Twins movie costumes
Even though the Hollywood Costume Exhibition was fantastic, I'm so fortunate to live in L.A. where I see original costumes and props on display all the time, especially at places like the ArcLight cinema chain.

These Halloween movie costumes worn by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig were featured in The Skeleton Twins and were on display in ArcLight Hollywood's foyer in mid-September.

Interestingly some costumes I'd seen on display here, were now a part of the Academy's exhibition, like Jared Leto's Rayon film costume from Dallas Buyers Club.

Donatello cinema statue for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 
Donatello statue Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
And finally, here's a statuette of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 'Donatello' from the recent big screen franchise reboot (without his specs), it may not be an original costume or prop, but I'm sure fans will get a kick out of it, as they did at the ArcLight Hollywood location during the film's release.

Hopefully in the run up to the Oscars there'll be more costume and prop exhibits to keep me happy, but do let me know if you spy any noteworthy exhibits you think I'd enjoy.

Hooray for Hollywood...

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