U.S.A. - Allentown-Pennsylvania - Fashion in Film

Janet Patterson Evening dress of gold lamé overlaid with black and gold net worn by Nicole Kidman as Isabel Archer in The Portrait of a Lady.Photography by Mark Thomas Photography, London, England.

Allentown Art Museum
May 17 – August 9, 2009
Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen

The mystique and allure of historical costumes never fail to fascinate, and when you add in the star power of Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Drew Barrymore and Madonna, the combination is potent for young and old, male and female alike. “Fashion in Film” showcases 36 period costumes worn by these and other high-profile celebrities in film classics known to all. The costumes, drawn from the collection of Cosprop Ltd., the renowned London costume house, present a sort of Project Runway that spans four centuries of style, from Elizabethan England to the “Golden Age” of 1890s America to 1950s Argentina. The films in which the costumes were used include“Elizabeth, Evita, Dangerous Liaisons,Ever After, Pride and Prejudice, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Out of Africa, and Titanic, among others. Mounted photo murals and posters from the films complete the show. The details and artisanship of the costumes is impressive, closely following the styles of the times they emulate, right down to the underwear. The costumes not only reflect the required period look so necessary for capturing the spirit of the films but also reflect a quality and authenticity that becomes part of the wearer’s dramatic support system.
The exhibition will also showcase some of the historical textiles in the Allentown Art Museum’s own collection. Textiles chosen from the periods represented by the films will be included in the exhibition to give attendees a sampling of the riches of our own collection as well as a look at authentic fabrics of the period. An embroidered muslin shawl from 1810, for example, might represent the era of Pride and Prejudice, and our gem-trimmed Indian prince’s vest will provide a dramatic accompaniment to the Little Maharajah’s robe from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Organized by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C. in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England

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