Hollywood Costume Exhibition – ACMI



Firstly, a small rant.

This exhibition didn’t allow photos! I was unbelievably (perhaps irrationally) disappointed when I the lady out the front of the exhibition announced that no photographs were to be taken of the costumes. I think it’s part of the Gen Y habit of photographing things and then putting them on instagram, rather than actually appreciating an experience in the moment, but I really, really wanted to capture some of the amazing costumes that were on display. And I understand that they want people to come see the exhibition rather than look at it on their mate’s Facebook, but if anyone was seriously that desperate to see a costume without actually heading into ACMI, then you think they’d just watch the movie…

Anyway, back to the actual exhibition, which was awesome. The costumes were beautifully presented, on mannequins that for the most part appeared to be in the actual shape/size of the actor who wore them. I couldn’t believe how tiny some actresses are! I can’t imagine many people I actually know fitting into some of those dresses.

One of my favourite dresses to see up close is the emerald green dress Keira Knightly wore in Atonement. That dress was one of the best things about what possibly has to be the most frustrating film ever made. Another highlight was the incredible costumes worn in films about Elizabeth I. Seeing them up close allowed you to appreciate their size and detail. These dresses were huge and looked unbearably heavy. All of the dresses in this section of the exhibition which focused on medieval, period films were unbelievably beautiful.

Many of the costumes were accompanied by interviews with the actors who wore them, or the designers who created them, which gave insight into the thought process of the designers, and how important the costumes were to the actors who work them, allowing them to embody their characters.

The only negative was the amount of people that were packed in there, which made it at times kind of hard to move and read the costume descriptions. But the space restriction was not at all unbearable, and even though it took a slight battle to get to the front in some areas, particularly around Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s dress, no one was getting elbowed in the face or fainting for claustrophobia.

For lunch, we went to Il Pomodoro in Federation Square, which was delicious despite its poor Urban Spoon rating.