Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A

By Paola Bassanese

Hollywood Costume at the Victoria and Albert Museum, picture taken from the V&A website

An impressive collection of original costumes from Hollywood movies ranging from the 1930s to the modern day.

It was moving to see the original dress worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, the first dress you see as you enter the exhibition.

The most impressive works are from the 1930s: with the lack of Technicolor, dresses had to sparkle and use motiv, shape and design to stand out in black and white movies.

Another interesting fact was seeing how remakes reinvented historical eras: Cleopatra, for example, had both historical elements from pharaohs mixed in with modern references (wigs worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s remake of the 1930s Cleopatra movie winked at the fashion of the time).

The attention to detail was superb: from the sequins and beads painstakingly sewn onto dress (and pumpkin seeds to replace expensive pearls) to the soles of Uma Thurman’s sneakers in Kill Bill (they spell “F*uck U),  being so close to these original masterpieces makes you realise the sheer amount of planning and man hours that take place for each film.

Victoria and Albert Museum until 27th January 2013.