Hollywood Costume exhibition at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
I had the good fortune of being in Melbourne a couple of days ago and getting to see this exhibition of Hollywood costumes at the ACMI, straight from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. To put it briefly: I had a really fucking great time.
I didn’t have high expectations, but it is an impressive collection indeed; I’m struggling to name highlights, since there were so many of the 90+ pieces that I would consider to be iconic. I will tempt you with just a few: The Bride’s jumpsuit, Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress, The Dude’s bathrobe (THE DUDE’S MOTHERFUCKING BATHROBE), a The Dark Knight Rises-era Batsuit…and there are dozens more equally noteworthy costumes but I’ll stop myself there.
As far as I know, all of them are from the original costume departments, barring a few reproduced accessories, and all are displayed on mannequins with slightly twitching, incredibly creepy digital faces. The show is peppered with interesting facts about each costume, and there are even a few interviews with the likes of Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro slipped in there for good measure.
I spent the whole time wandering through the collection in a delirious haze of geekery-induced excitement, which afterwards led me to note that an exhibition like this does funny things to the gap between reality and silver screen fantasy. On the one hand, these artifacts can lose a bit of their mystique when you can see the stitching holding them together, and yet, there’s still something thrilling about getting up close and personal with Hollywood mythology and appreciating the craft of the people making the myths. It’s certainly a surreal and fascinating experience.
Anyway, the exhibition runs every day until August 18th, here are the details. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED, definitely worth a visit if you’re going to be in Melbourne at some point over the next few months.