Cut! Costume and the Cinema has been showing at the Columbia Museum of Art since November and closes today February 19, 2017. The exhibit takes us chronologically through the various fashions made for the movies by COSPROP, a London-based designer of authentic period costumes.
Step into the exciting world of costume design with CUT! Costume and the Cinema. Through more than 40 period costumes we will expose the art of making costumes for film. The exhibition will reveal how film costumes set the scene and establish authenticity in films. These perfectly crafted costumes uncover clues about a character’s status, age, class and wealth as well as their role in the story. The films represented in the exhibition depict five centuries of history, drama and comedy with period costumes worn by famous film stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman, Angelica Huston, and many others. In all, more than 30 actors will be represented from 26 films…
World-renowned British costumer Cosprop Ltd. earned its first Academy Award for Costume Design in 1986 in A Room with a View. Since then, the costumier has been nominated more than a dozen times. In 2007 three of the five Oscar nominees came from the Cosprop shop, only to be topped by winning the following year for The Duchess. Like their period prototypes, these opulent costumes are crafted of sumptuous fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery and lace.
[From the distributor’s website: http://www.exhibitsdevelopment.com/Cut!.html]
Watch this youtube of the exhibit when it was at the BYU Museum of Art:
This exhibition has been traveling for the past ten years and finally made it to South Carolina. Joyful that I could take pictures (no flash), and as alas! there is no exhibition catalogue, I here offer a good sampling of what was on view. A picture cannot nearly capture the exquisite detail of these fashions – they must be seen up close and personal. And quite amazing to see how tiny some of these actresses (and actors) actually are! It also offers a terrific list of must-see movies, some that had somehow fallen through the cracks and others to be revisited with a new-found appreciation for the costumes.
The costumes are arranged chronologically. And YES, there is a Jane Austen, but alas! only one … we begin in the Renaissance period with this stunning dark green velvet: (you can click on any picture to enlarge it and see more detail)
Angelica Huston in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
The Georgians: outlandish (and to-die-for) fashions from The Duchess (2008):
And a close-up of Keira Knightley’s Whig-inspired outfit, and this helpful description from the “Family Guide” to the exhibition:
Finally Jane Austen! Kate Winslet as Marianne in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Victorian times with Dickens:
The wedding dress in the 1996 Jane Eyre (with William Hurt)
And the all important hoop for Victorian ladies:
Phantom of the Opera (2004) gives us these two stunning outfits, worn by Emmy Rossum and Minnie Driver:
We now head into the later 1880s and beyond with this from Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady, here a dress worn by Nicole Kidman (I want this!)
and this worn by Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige (2006)
– one of my favorite movies…
Finding Neverland (2004) with Kate Winslet yet again and Rahda Mitchell as Mrs. Barrie (look at the detail in this dress!)
We’ll give the men a short nod here with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes (2009):
In Love and War (1997) with Sandra Bullock (left) and
Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
And finally, the costume that headlines all the publicity, this from The Land of the Blind, a movie I confess to knowing nothing about other than it starred Ralph Fiennes and had this gorgeous dress!
Movies included in the exhibition but my pictures were not worth posting (all movies worth seeing!):
- Hamlet (1996), with Julie Christie, Kenneth Branagh, and Kate Winslet (!)
- Gosford Park (2001), Maggie Smith pre-Dowager Lady Grantham…
- Mrs. Dalloway (1997) with Vanessa Redgrave
- The New World (2006) with Colin Farrell as Captain Smith and Q’orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas
- The Golden Bowl (2000), with Kate Beckinsale,,Uma Thurman and Jeremy Northam
Join the discussion: What are some of your favorite fashions from period movies or TV?