FIDM Students Take Note: Costume Standouts


Costumes from The Help by Costume Designer Sharen Davis

The 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, open through April 28th, has attracted record-breaking crowds from around the world. Over 100 costumes from 20 films have fascinated fans, creatives, industry professionals, and students with their brilliant conception, execution, and the role they played in telling their character’s story. We invited FIDM students to look beyond the films nominated for Best Costume Design, and share their thoughts on other costume standouts.

Here are a few of their comments:


Costumes from My Week with Marilyn by Costume Designer Jill Taylor

“I really loved the costumes from My Week with Marilyn. They took me back to the fifties with the tailored and more structured dresses and outfits. The off-white dress with a camel coat that she was wearing when she walked off the plane was my favorite dress in the movie. That was the moment where I saw Monroe as the ‘Hollywood Marilyn’ that everyone knew. She looked so chic!”—Bailey

My Week with Marilyn designs have to be my favorite; the designs were so classic—just like Marilyn.”—Angelica

“I had to literally restrain myself—I wanted to try on all of the pieces that were on the mannequins from My Week with Marilyn! Marilyn’s personality seeped through every piece on display. Her reputation as a fashion icon was captured perfectly.”—Danika

"My Week with Marilyn’s costumes give an incredibly nostalgic feeling to the exhibition. I was delighted to discover 1950’s fashion through well-designed and tailored costumes. I also loved the costumes from Water for Elephants; they were sensational, eye-catching, and filled with emotion."—Celine


Costumes from Water for Elephants by Costume Designer Jacqueline West

"Jacqueline West, the costume designer for Water for Elephants, drew accurately from the depression era, which fascinates and inspires me. Her designs were among my favorites in the exhibit. I found the circus costume she designed for actress Reese Witherspoon incredibly fantastic because there was such delicate and interesting placement of fabric and embellishments. I loved the risqué personality the design presented."—Lauren

“All the pieces in the exhibition were outstanding and amazing to me. The most eye-grabbing was Reese Witherspoon’s dress from the movie Water for Elephants. The short dress decorated with crystals looks stunning. I loved it because she is one of my favorite actresses and I was very happy that I had a chance to see it in real life.”—Parandzem

Water for Elephants—I have one word for this costume collection: magic. Between the intricate beading, sequins, and stitching on all of these costumes, it was impossible for a person to not feel a sense of imagination and wonder as to how it is possible to create such incredible pieces as these.”—Celine


Costumes from Immortals by Costume Designer Eiko Ishioka

“The costumes from Immortals were quite peculiar; a gold jewel encrusted face mask worn by Mickey Rourke immediately catches one’s attention, and Robert Maillet’s Minotaur helmet is so massive it seems like it could fit the head of an elephant.”—Julia

“I loved the robot costume from Real Steel. The design was so intricate and fascinating to see, an amazing sight in person. The costumes looked so gorgeous in the actual film, but nothing compares to seeing them a few feet away!”—Trixy Ann


Costumes from Captain America: The First Avenger by Costume Designer, Anna B. Sheppard

Captain America is one of my favorite comic book characters. It was awesome to see the costumes from Captain America: The First Avenger in person because you get to see it in detail and up-close, which you don’t experience while just watching the movie. It was cool to see how the costume designers use fabrics and make them look like other materials, such as using chrome plastic to look like metal plating in Thor.”—Peter

“It was amazing walking into the FIDM Museum, just knowing all those beautiful costume designs had been worn in world wide movies such as: The Artist, W.E., and The Help.”—Nathalie


Costumes from Zookeeper by Costume Designer & FIDM Grad, Mona May

“My favorite costume is a piece in Zookeeper by Mona May. I adore the accessories that consist of eye-opening retro silver disc earrings, metallic silver canvas hat with a black rope tied across the center, glamorous black satin arm-length gloves with 10 buttons, statement cocktail ring with black and silver prim studs, and amazing black open toe platform sling backs. The skirt of the dress adds drama. I can imagine styling the dress in a photo shoot in a downtown subway. The photographer will take pictures of the model as the subway passes by. The effect of the train would be a blur shot. Mona May’s previous projects include my other favorite movies: Clueless and House Bunny.“—Rebecca

“I was lucky enough to have a short docent tour of the exhibit, where I learned that the evening dress in Zookeeper, designed by Mona May, is made of one piece of fabric that was draped to create a very intricate gown. It is incredible to see the gown in person because there are so many details you can’t see on the big screen.”—Lianne

"The costumes in Zookeeper are so fun and spunky! Lots of disco-esque vibes with eclectic reds featured on black and white patterns. On the contrary, there was also a beautiful ball gown to balance out the feel."—Meagan

The Help was the most touching movie that I have seen in a long time. It was good to see how people can make a difference in society. The costumes showed the characters roles in that society, not just their roles in a movie.”—Vicka

“My favorite part of the exhibition was being able to see costumes worn by some of my favorite actresses and actors in person. I loved seeing the costumes for Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, and even Neil Patrick Harris!”—Talor

The exhibition runs through April 28, at the FIDM Museum & Galleries.

Exhibition photography by Peter Wintersteller/ABImages.


FIDM Museum Shop

Fresh Essentials for Spring

To celebrate spring’s arrival, the FIDM Museum Shop presents lovely accessories and gifts that offer an elegant transition into this beautiful time of year.


A pretty punch of color is all that is needed to bring an outfit from winter basic to springtime fresh. Gorgeous watches from Vivienne Westwood along with scarves, jewelry, handbags, and the perfect red lipstick, are some of the new colorful options in the shop.


While the jury maybe out on wearing white in the winter, it is always perfect for spring. This slim laptop case and leather watch make a statement with their high style and high functionality.


Elegantly etched glass containers with candles and diffusers provide scents that range from fresh pineapple to violet leaves to champagne. FIDM alumna Monique Lhuillier’s graceful aromas transform any room into a springtime garden.


Whether or not you can actually enjoy springtime in Paris, you can get lost in a book and plan your next rendezvous. Here are some favorites:

Vintage & Hollywood Inspired

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.


  • adDRESSING Titanic Appearance & Identity in 1912
  • FIDM Museum Fashion Council invites you on a voyage to an era of Nostalgic Fashion Elegance
  • Presentation by Kevin Jones, FIDM Museum Curator and Titanic expert
  • Saturday, April 14, 2012, 10am–12pm
  • Ticket price: $100 per person

Exhibition Tours

Docent Tours

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 with minimum 48 hours advance notice, 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, leave a message for our Docent Coordinator at 213.623.5821, option 7 or

Curator Tours

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 with minimum 48 hours advance notice. 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.

2012 Exhibitions

FIDM Museum FIDM Museum Blog FIDM Museum Shop on Facebook FIDM Museum Shop on Twitter Facebook Twitter FIDM Museum Shop