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    A Haute Second with Spencer: The 28th “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” Exhibition

    (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    Hello friends! Oscars® season is here so you know what that means…We are heading back to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the 28th Annual “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibition.

    This year the FIDM Museum is featuring 30 different films- including works by all five costume designers nominated for the Academy Award. This major exhibition is the only one of its kind, paying homage to the creativity and talent of the many talented costume designers of film.

    The past year has been an incredible year for costume design! Let’s take a look at some of the outstanding costumes you too can view at the FIDM Museum! These five sets of costumes I will be discussing are representative of the five nominated films for the Academy award in Costume Design!


    The Irishman – Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson

    “The Irishman” costumes by Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
    Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    We are starting tonight with the incredible, Oscar® nominated costumes of The Irishmen. Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson teamed up on this epic Martin Scorsese project, bringing us these amazing costumes. I love them! Seeing these costumes up close, I was immediately taken by the beautiful textiles. The costume designers mastered the use of textiles and colors.

    If you haven’t seen the film, I highly suggest it as not only do these costume designers have to create costumes for the late 40’s- but the early 2000’s as well. I can’t imagine the challenge but Sandy and Christopher did it, making this nomination well deserved!

    Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo

    “Jojo Rabbit” costumes by Mayes C. Rubeo (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    One of my favorite films of the year! Jo Jo Rabbit is an excellent film, with even better costume design! Mayes C. Rubeo is tasked with an interesting challenge – making Nazi period costumes…fun? I love what Mayes did as she used the standard period pieces of this time but added little pieces of her style into each costume! Whether it be the iconic shoes worn by Scarlett Johansson’s character, the satirical version of Hitler, or the flamboyant Nazi general who wanted to go out in a rage of fashion glory- there is a moment for everyone! Ugh, I am obsessed with this film- I want to watch it now!

    Joker – Mark Bridges

    “Joker” costumes by Mark Bridges (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    Some of the most sinister costumes of the year happen to also be some of my ultimate favorites. Mark Bridges delivers once again with his nominated work for Joker. Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Arthur, really goes through a lot. What I love about these costumes are that they show the transformation and journey Arthur goes through as the film progresses. It starts with Arthur in these bland, barely held together outfits. The clown costume pictured above really represents the start of Arthur’s movie.

    By the time the movie ends, Arthur has finally come into full realization of who and what he is. To represent the arrival of Arthur you’ll notice his makeup is right, his shoes are polished, and his suit is colorful and tailored. In summary, Mark Bridges used the power of costume design to tell a story. That is what I love so much about costume design. I think this film is certainly deserving of an Oscar® or two.

    Little Women – Jacqueline Durran

    “Little Women” costumes by Jacqueline Durran (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    There is no better example of period costume design this year than Jacqueline Durran’s work in Little Women ! The dresses in this film are beautiful! My favorite being the pink gown worn by Emma Watson’s character. Seeing these looks in person were a real treat and if you haven’t seen the entire film, get to it!

    Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips

    “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” costumes by Arianne Phillips
    (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

    Last but not least, the Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood costumes by Arianne Phillips ! I am obsessed with this film and the costumes that came with it! This film is very well researched and brought together so many different aspects of 1969 fashion and historical trends. On display is the notorious Wrangler jacket worn by Brad Pitt which is a direct nod to the era. The wardrobe of Sharon Tate lives in this movie through Margot Robbie. Sharon Tate wore a very similar snakeskin coat that Arianne Phillips recreated for the film.Then of course there is a western costume on display representing the costumes for a film, within a film. What a mind blowing concept to think about.

    There is so much to this film that required so much attention. This film is a costume design masterpiece and is very deserving of the nomination.


    I know I say this every time, but I think this was the best costume exhibit that has ever happened at The FIDM Museum. I’m serious, I looked back at the last article I wrote regarding this museum and I said it was my favorite! Now the exciting thing is, I only showed you five sets of costumes within the exhibit. That leaves you twenty-five more films to discover. So, you are going to have to go check it out for yourself to discover what else lies within the exhibit.

    This exhibition is free to the public and is open Tuesday, February 4th – Saturday, March 21st, 2020. Visitors’ hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Located on the campus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, FIDM. The museum is at 9th Street and Grand Avenue.

    Don’t forget to tag your pictures with #WERRRK so we can see all of your beautiful photos! I hope you all have as much fun as I did. I’ll see you at the Oscar’s red carpet, taking place Sunday, February 9th, 2020.

    FOLLOW THIS LINK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FIDM MUSEUM & GALLERIES

    A view of the 28th annual “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibition, at the FIDM Museum, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles.
    (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

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