Exhibition Review – ‘Hollywood Costume’ Part One.


In November 2012, I was fortunate to view the ‘Hollywood Costume,‘ exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum, London. It is far to say that this is probably my favourite exhibition to date that this museum has presented.

I am aware that the exhibition has now finished but I wished to include a review of this exhibition on my blog. I wrote this review for a job application in January 2013. I hope that you find what I have to say on this exhibition interesting and informative.

 Hollywood Costume

Costume can be defined from elaborate historical costumes, to sports uniforms to every day clothes that you and I wear. Costume can define a country, a race or people. Costume can tell us more about one person or group of people than words or stories ever can. Nowhere, is this truer than in the costumes of the characters from throughout cinema’s long and ongoing history.

We recall the costumes, often before we recall the movie; Dorothy Gale’s red shoes from the Wizard of Oz, Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind and her ‘green dress’ or Indiana Jones and his whip and Stetson hat. These images re-call nostalgic feelings within us of timesenjoyed in front of the silver screen indulging in watching our favourite movies.

                                           Dorothy’s ‘Ruby Slippers.’

                                                                       Scarlett’s ‘Green Dress.’

These movies are defined by their characters and their motives, their costumes evoke their personality, their status and their role within the movies. This is what the exhibition entitled, ‘Hollywood Costume,’ currently on at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London England, tries to portray. This exhibition tells the story of costume within cinema from the silent era right up the the 21st Century. It guides the exhibition visitor through the process of a costume’s initial first stages right to final production; being seen on the big screen.

 The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, or to those who know of the museum, simply ‘The V&A,’ is a world renowned museum and cultural institution. It’s collections and exhibitions are famous throughout the world and millions visit each year. The V & A strives to have ground breaking, exciting and innovative exhibitions annually. ‘Hollywood Costume,’ being one of these exhibitions.’

In the next part of this two part exhibition review I shall talk about the layout and content of the exhibition itself. It truly was an awe inspiring exhibition for film enthusiasts and costume lovers a like. To actually see costume’s from your favourite movies in one place, was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

What do you think of costume and how it is displayed in Museums & Heritage Sites? Is there too much? To little? Or not enough variety? Tweet me @NylonsAndAll or comment below.


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