Dressing the Stars costume exhibition
Worn by Charlotte Rampling in The Duchess, designed by Michael O’Connor
Desperate not to miss one of the rare film costume exhibitions in the UK, and we hied us to Bath last weekend. Our mission: to see Dressing the Stars: British Costume Design at the Academy Awards.
I think I almost hyperventilated when we walked in. Because there they are, all those costumes, which you never imagined you’d get to see in close-up, and most of them NOT IN GLASS CASES so you can actually take photographs, and you just want to run about the place squealing with glee. And then you do a quick circuit full of “oh my goodness it’s Johnny Depp’s costume from… ooh, and isn’t that…” before going back for another (slightly calmer) circuit. And then another turn about the room for photos, and then another just to hone in on all the finer details…
Robin gazing around in full “kid lost in a sweet shop” mode….
The exhibition is exactly the right size, and there are exactly the right number of pieces- enough to inspire and entertain, but not to exhaust. Costumes include pieces from The Duchess, Sense and Sensibility, Pirates of the Caribbean, Elizabeth- the list goes on. They’re grouped by designer, eg. Jenny Beavan, Janty Yates, and there’s a thoughtful mix of men’s and women’s costume (which is not, unfortunately, something that can be said of the Fashion Museum proper at the moment.)
More costumes from The Duchess
And could there be more splendid or fitting place for a costume exhibition than the ball room at the Assembly Rooms- with all its lavish chandeliers and mouldings? The spectacular setting very much enhanced the feeling of this being an Event with a capital E.
The ball room ceiling!
I took quite a few photos, although a lot of them are blurry with excitement or have my thumb in. So there will be more blog posts with more photos, probably devoted to particular costumes/films. I’m also aiming to have a page on the site with all my photos for easy reference. So those of you who can’t make it to Bath can make a virtual visit :)
Examples of designers’ sketches on display
But if you CAN make it, go- I can’t recommend the exhibition highly enough! It runs till 29th August in the Assembly Rooms at Bath (UK) and a ticket will also get you into the Fashion Museum there. More info is here.