Cinematic Sartorial: Movie Costumes on Display in LA

Admire the seams, buttons, and frills of over 100 outfits from recent films.

BIG-SCREEN TOGS BEFORE YOUR EYES: Many movie fans need a way to get closer to a favorite film. Maybe an aficionado will buy the screenplay or novelization when they're released, or perhaps the fan will pen a bit of fan fiction, or start a Tumblr blog that honors the characters and setting and themes. But one of the most immediate and visual ways a fan honors a film is to dress like its characters. We fans can't fly to Venus, should a film take place on another planet, and we can't return to 1519, because we lack time machines (or the writer of this post hasn't yet built one, at least), but we can don the jackets and dresses, or versions of them, that connect us more to characters we admire.

TRUTH TIME... Did you run out and buy a fedora after seeing Indiana Jones rock one in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? Or a drop-waisted frock a la "The Great Gatsby"? Then you've been moved by movie fashion. And there's one place where emotion meets fandom meets fabric, style, buttons, and bows, and all for free: It's the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's annual "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibit in downtown Los Angeles. A sartorial standard of awards season, the show rounds up over 100 costumes each and every year that all spring from films released in the previous year, with one exception: The film that won the Oscar for Best Costume Design the year before. 

"MALEFICENT" TO "THE FAULT IN OUR STARS": The just-opened show is on Tuesdays through Saturdays through April 25, and 20 films are covered, from "Inherent Vice" to "Into the Woods" to "Selma" to "Jersey Boys." Some of the most iconic outfits, including the dramatic "Maleficent" costume worn by Angelina Jolie and the fairytale blue gown Meryl Streep donned in "Into the Woods," are there for the looking. For sure, many people who design clothing for a living count this as a must-see, but so do film fans that long to know more about a film. And if you've taken fashion notes from the big screen before, for your own closet, we tip our hat to you (which we may have bought because we saw it in a movie). If Hollywood is indeed our collective dream factory, fashion can and does take note. What's in your closet now that you first saw at the cinema?

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