Hollywood Costume Exhibition

28 May

If you happen to be in Melbourne, Australia between now and mid August, do yourself a favour and visit the Hollywood Costume exhibition.  This is being hosted at the ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image) at Federation Square.

I took the time to visit a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it.  The exhibition has quite a large display of costumes from both Hollywood and British movies from the 1930s onwards.

Being a back room geek girl I viewed the entire exhibition in much the same way the kids in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” viewed the chocolate river!

Classic movie buffs will be delighted with many of the costumes.  One that caught my eye was one of Hedy Lamar’s dresses from “Samson and Delilah” made out of peacock feathers!  An exquisite hand sewn work of art!  Each costume has a plaque with interesting little snippets of information about the item.

Recent block busters are not forgotten.  With Christian Bale’s Bat Man costume from “Dark Knight Rising” being a starring attraction. 

Sitting alone in a spot lighted glass case is probably THE costume of all time.  Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from “Seven Year Itch”. 

There is a selection of costumes worn by Meryl Streep in a variety of roles.  For the men there is a selection of Robert DeNiro’s costumes, including the shorts and robe from “Raging Bull”.  I tell you, there is something for everyone in this exhibition.

Despite all the gorgeous, glamorous frocks and gowns, my day was made complete by one item.  Andy Serkis’ motion capture suit from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Accompanying the suit was a video hosted by Andy explaining how the suit worked and demonstrating its capabilities.  My little geek heart damn near exploded.

I only have a couple of small quibbles about the exhibition.  The lighting was too low in general.  Meaning that I walked into, and got stepped on by, strangers on a fairly regular basis.  Not fun.

Secondly, photography wasn’t allowed.  You could buy a souvenir book about the exhibition at the ACMI shop, however, I frankly didn’t have $50 to buy a large coffee table book of every costume, when all I really wanted was tangible memories of several favourite items.

Places like ACMI need to remember that not everyone has the money to buy their over priced souvenirs.

Quibbles aside, if you are in Melbourne and enjoy movies, go and see it.  It’s worth the cost of the entry for Andy Serkis’ motion capture suit alone.

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