Hollywood Costume is the V&A’s Autumn exhibition, which showcases over 100 outfits worn by some of the most iconic characters from a century of Hollywood film-making. The exhibition is spread across three galleries, giving an exclusive look into the world of the costume designer and how they bring the character to life from script to screen.
The first gallery, named Act 1: Deconstruction presents a collection of amazing outfits and the stories behind them. The real life examples show the careful thought process a designer must carry out in order to bring a character to life through their wardrobe. This room includes outfits worn by Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Beyonce in Dream Girls and Brad Pitt in Fight Club.
Act 2: Dialogue examines the creative collaboration between the film-makers and their costume designers. As if there wasn’t enough to see in this gallery with four especially commissioned interviews available to watch and plenty more gorgeous costumes; there’s also a section dedicated to Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. This section includes five costumes from their most memorable roles, as well as recordings of the actors discussing how they use their costumes to get into character.
The exhibition concludes with Act 3: Finale, which is packed full of the most recognisable costumes seen on the ‘silver screen,’ including outfits from Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Chicago. It’s a celebration of Hollywood’s heroes, villains and femme fatales and with a few surprises added in, such as Superman’s outfit, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress from The Seven Year Itch.
The costumes (most of which have never left the studio archives) are available for public viewing up until the 27th of January 2013. This is an amazing, once in a life time opportunity to see clothes worn by unforgettable Hollywood actors and actresses – just remember to book in advance!