News & Events | March 2012
Congratulations to Mark Bridges who took home the Oscar® for Best Costume Design at the 2012 Academy Awards for The Artist. Bridges has said that the film was a “love letter to Hollywood” and his well-researched costumes show his devotion to the films of the silent era. His costumes, seen in black and white in the film and in color in the exhibition, beautifully tell a story with textures and contrasts.
Mark Bridges for The Artist: “With costumes, you’re always trying to tell the story subliminally. So in the medium of black and white, we used a lot of textures and high contrast when the characters were at their pinnacle and more monochromatic looks when they were down on their heels. It was all about whether there was enough separation in tone because once it goes to black and white, it’s mush. You lose definition.”
The Artist had forminable competition in this category, with Sandy Powell for Hugo, Arianne Phillips for W.E, Michael O’Connor for Jane Eyre, and Lisy Christl for Anonymous. All the nominated costumes are on view at the FIDM Museum’s 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition.
Sandy Powell for Hugo: Powell has won three Oscars for costume design, yet her approach to Hugo was completely different from anything else she has worked on. “Everything is seen as if through the eyes of a child, therefore I wanted to simplify the looks to just one, maybe two outfits for each character. I approached the actual costumes as if they were illustrations from a children’s picture book, keeping the looks simple, graphic and colorful.”
Arianne Phillips (above) for W.E: “After 14 years of collaborating with Madonna, we have a creative ‘short hand,’ an understanding and a language. She is a great director, she has been essentially directing and inspiring me for 14 years. She is detailed, prepared and open to ideas—which creates an atmosphere of creative trust, which is essential to my process. No one understands costumes better than Madonna—from firsthand experience as an actress and performer she has the ability to create characters and tell a story through costumes—she gets it.”
Michael O’Connor for Jane Eyre: Regarding authenticity, “There are different versions of Jane Eyre, but you can always tell the period the movie was made in from hairstyles and such. We wanted to go back to the real thing, and set it really when we thought it was written—especially with the cottons, textiles, and textures we used. They’re all based on real designs of the time… One of my favorite costumes is when, at the end of the film, Jane returns to Thornfield and wears a brown ribbon-print dress which was made from an American cotton print fabric based on prints of the time. Her bonnet is a combination of antique and modern straw, fabricated in an openwork design to give it a lightness."
Lisy Christl for Anonymous: In addition to the film’s main actors, Christl was assigned the arduous task of dressing three different groups of extras (the ‘nobility,’ the ‘bourgeoisie,’ and ‘the crowd’) as well as the film’s theatre actors (the play-within-a-play characters)—a total cast of about 1,500 people. Christl researched the period by reading up on English history and studying portraits from the time period. “In the script, it might say that a costume ‘has seen better days’—that would mean we had to bring the costume to life by aging it and making it look lived in.”
Over 100 costumes from 20 films are in the exhibition, including J Edgar with costumes by Deborah Hopper, Water for Elephants, with costumes by Jacqueline West, The Help with costumes by Sharen Davis, My Week with Marilyn with costumes by Jill Taylor, and Captain America: The First Avenger by costume designer Anna B. Sheppard.
The thousands of visitors who have already come to the museum have appreciated being able to examine the costumes closely, studying the fabrics and the details that cannot always be seen onscreen.
The exhibition runs until April 28, at the FIDM Museum & Galleries.
For the opening of the 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, the costumes, designers, supporters, and the museum itself were the stars. Click here for pictures from opening night.
Artist Profile: Yvonne Yao
Yvonne Yao jewelry designs are inspired by nature and made for the modern woman, where boldness and strength strikes a delicate balance with feminine charm. Each style is one of a kind, and each piece of jewelry handmade in the USA, lovingly crafted in Yvonne’s Los Angeles studio.
Having previously worked in women’s fashion, Yvonne decided to swap clothes for jewelry in 2009 with her own self titled jewelry line, to pursue her passion for metals, gemstones, and create her own form of artistic self-expression. This decision resulted in a contemporary chic collection of hand hammered designs, meticulously crafted from precious metals and gemstones.
Yvonne Yao Jewelry is committed to “Love life, and discovering life’s priorities through one’s passions.” This includes socially responsible sourcing for stones, striving to use eco-friendly metals, and adapting manufacturing methods to help in minimizing environmental impact.
The FIDM Museum Shop is delighted to feature FIDM alumnus, Yvonne Yao’s, jewelry in the shop.
Visit the FIDM Museum Shop for a fabulous selection of Hollywood-inspired merchandise. Vintage jewelry, barware, and sunglasses are just some of the treasures offered. This carefully curated selection of unusual, creative, and beautifully designed pieces demonstrates why the FIDM Museum Shop has been voted Best Boutique Store in 2010 & 2011 by the Los Angeles Downtown News.
Calling all comic book fans! Come join in a free day of superhero fun:
ComicFest is a partnership with Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood
Explore exhibition highlights with trained docents. During exhibitions, hour-long docent tours are offered Tuesday–Saturday. Three daily tours begin at 9am, 1pm, and 4pm. One tour is offered at 9am on Saturdays.
Reservations are required, and due to limited space, each tour is limited to 25 participants. Tours are Free with FIDM ID or $5 per person. For more information, call our Docent Coordinator at 213.623.5821, option 7 or email email@example.com.
Curator tours provide visitors an opportunity to interact directly with FIDM Museum curatorial staff. Private exhibition or behind-the-scenes Curator Tours are available Monday–Friday by appointment only. For groups of fewer than ten people, a $200 fee applies. For groups over ten people, the fee is $20 per person. Special arrangements must be made for groups over twenty-five. To schedule a tour, contact the Curator’s Office at 213.623.5821.