Hollywood Costume Exhibition @ V&A Museum, London

N.B. Quite uncanny but I’m watching Wizard of Oz while writing this.

This year sees, in my eyes, an exhibition that has been a long time coming. The V&A have managed to get hold of some of the most memorable and exciting costumes that Hollywood as ever seen.

As you walk through the exhibition it feels like you’ve been sat for days watching each film. Seeing Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones costume and Christian Bale’s Batman outfit is something everyone there recognised and talked about.

The costumes of course are only one part of the film. When walking through the exhibition you see and hear parts from the films. Above a lot of the costumes are digital images of the person who wore the costume. Audrey Hepburn’s head floats a top of her iconic black dress and pearls from Breakfast At Tiffany’s. In some way this is off putting but in no way does it distract from the glamour of each outfit, I mean that’s why we’re there isn’t it?

The absolute magic comes when you see Judy Garland’s gingham Dorothy Dress from The Wizard of Oz. Seeing a dress that is over 60 years old and is still such an iconic piece of cinema history is awe inspiring especially twinned with the fact that the curators had worked miracles to get the original Ruby Slippers. This is apparently the first time since filming in 1939 that the Slippers and dress have been reunited. Absolutely amazing. Unfortunately the slippers have now gone back to the US.

My personal favourite part was seeing the green velvet dress worn by Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind. Famously in the film it’s made from curtains, but obviously looking at it it’s far from curtains. A fabulous dress that deserves to be in the show.

The fact that the curators have got costumes from all genres and eras of Hollywood makes it a family exhibition. I saw Grandparents telling grandkids about how cinema as changed and who’s costumes belonged to who. One grandfather enjoyed telling the kids about who Charlie Chaplin was. Even the kids could tell people which costumes were from which films.

This exhibition is visually stunning, historically entertaining and most importantly brings families together, teaching the young generation how it used to be in Good ol’ Tinseltown.

V&A have certainly outdone themselves with this exhibition.

The exhibition runs until the 27th January 2013 so plenty of time to go see it. And there’s some fabulous merchandise to see and buy.

Tickets cost around £14 but for more details visit http://www.vam.ac.uk

I recommend booking early as tickets are selling out quick!


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