22 thoughts on “FIDM Museum 28th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibit

  1. Ooh! I’ve seen the first four and I agree with your choices. I haven’t seen the other ones, but I see the logic. Tbh mid-20th century is not where my vibe is at and I’m not that over the top. But I am torn over Dumbo vs Fortuny (not the whole movie just that one gown). :-)

    Thanks for the peek into the exhibit!

  2. I loved the Harriet, Downtown Abbey and Rocketman clothing. The clothing in Little Women left me cold. Jo wore the oddest outfits and don’t get me started on hair, the lack of corsets and Meg’s pink gloves and all the other coloured gloves at the ball! Thank you for sharing the photos and your article.

    1. I saw a clip of the first ten minutes of Little Women. I’m not sure if I made it to five. How does anyone take Jo seriously, let along professionally, when she’s so disheveled looking?

  3. Re: lack of corsets in Little Women–characters in Alcott’s Eight Cousins actually do forgo corsets because they think it’s healthier not to wear them, so maybe it’s not entirely unusual for the time period, especially for people of alcott’s class and political leanings? Though I do think that book might have a later setting, and I seem to remember descriptions of their dresses being constructed differently to accommodate the different underclothes (sorry, long time since I’ve read that book).

    1. Okay, just looked it up–Eight Cousins was 1875, so it might be reasonable to assume Alcott was referring to the rational dress movement, which began far after the time period of Little Women?

      1. Eight Cousins is set quite a bit after Little Women. If I recall rightly it’s only Rose who doesn’t wear a corset and it’s a fairly controversial decision her uncle makes that her aunts balk at. I can understand a rational for it given Alcott’s experience growing up with pretty radical parents, but I can’t really understand the general sloppiness of the costumes in the movie. Shrug, it just wasn’t to my taste.

  4. I’m annoyed at the white-coded mannequins for Harriet. The paper wigs though are trying to emulate natural hair, so I’m curious if there were budget or availability constraints behind the scenes.

    1. I think it needs to be taken in the context of the story and the filmmaker’s message, which is really strongly against war and prejudice, and the effects of them on children, but told in a unique way from a child’s eye view. It has a lot of charm, a lot of humor, a lot of heart, and some really serious stuff woven in. Jojo out of context looks insane, but within the world of the film, there’s something really special there.

    2. That’s actually an error in my numbering of the photos, if you read the first paragraph you can see it’s the one that goes with that photo. And no, nothing charming about the SS. I think Nzie perfectly expressed my feelings about the movie below.

  5. I loved, loved, loved the Rocketman costumes and was miffed when it was overlooked for the Oscar nominations. I also loved the Jojo Rabbit costumes, I love that they actually used color — people in history wore bright colors! Really! Even poor people, I hate how costume designers just assume only rich people wore colors.

  6. Thank you for this post. Of all the films mentioned here, I’ve only seen two–Downton Abbey and Dumbo. The costumes for Downton Abbey were gorgeous, and they fit in perfectly with each character and the overall look of the movie. If you ever return to the series and the film, I think you’ll see how well it all comes together in the end. Thanks for taking on us this tour!

  7. I so wanted Jojo Rabbit to win.70’s are the graveyard of fashion,but Sandy Powell may change my opinion.I think Little Women was awarded only as a cover up for the blunder of denying a well deserved nomination to Greta Gerwig as best director.Clearly the Academy has been biased against women directors in recent times,otherwise I see no reason for Joker having been nominated in the same category while it was certainly lacking the punch of surprisingly great direction.And yes,Rocketman was cheated.So was Crimson Peak for its mind numbingly goth gorgeousness.

    1. I think there’s a lot of compensatory Oscar voting. Like, we know Parasite is going to sweep so here, Greta, take a costume award, and Taika, you get screenplay. And yeah women do get overlooked as well. I’ve been telling people, as much as I loved the Jojo Rabbit screenplay, if I had to do the assignments, I’d swap and give LW screenplay and Jojo costumes. Both were excellent screenplays, but only Jojo had excellent costumes, and the costumes were actually woven into the plot in a big way. Quite a few excellent films got overlooked. I am personally very annoyed about The Farewell, which was brilliant in so many ways and my favorite in a year I saw and loved a lot of movies.

  8. The Nile-green zig-zaggy sweater in Jojo Rabbit was a major part of Lady Julia’s wardrobe in the 1981 Brideshead Revisited. Thanks for the pictures of the exhibition (and the links to other fun places)!

  9. This is awesome but I do wonder about the choice to make the mannequins for Harriet WHITE. I know that the convention is to have them be no colour at all, but White still has connotations of caucasianness and in a way having the entire exhibition in grey or black mannequins might have been better?
    Besides this I love what you did here and I love that you err to the side of Maximalism, which is the One True Side. Fight me.

    1. It did seem kind of off to have the white forms for Harriet didn’t it? Grey would have been a better choice, it’s a small museum though so not sure they have the budget for new

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