A nostalgic exhibition of costumes worn by some of Hollywood’s biggest names from the 1920s to the 1960s is bringing a touch of old-world glamour to City Hall.
The Museum of Brisbane’s new exhibit, Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood, contains some of the era’s film treasures including swimsuits worn by Esther Williams, a pink silk nightgown worn by Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard and items designed by legendary Academy Award-winning Hollywood designer, Edith Head.
A selection of 70 costumes, all with movie stills from the films they appeared in, along with accessories, props and illustrations make up the exhibition.
Brisbane-based costume collector, Nicholas Inglis, spent two decades gathering the collection that includes pieces worn Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Judy Garland.
The exhibition is the biggest undertaken by the Museum of Brisbane in its 10-year history and it took MoB Deputy Director, Christopher Salter and fashion curator, Dr Nadia Buick, three years to put together.
“I think visitors will be astounded by the quality of the workmanship in each costume, the corsetry and beading, the luxurious fabrics. People will also be surprised by how colourful some costumes are, considering on screen they only appeared in black and white,” Mr. Salter said.
For fans of old-school Hollywood style, this show will be like a little stroll through paradise but even if you are not a big film buff, what might surprise is how much contemporary fashion has been influenced by this period of Hollywood costuming.
A black silk chiffon dress beaded with silver stars, worn by Lucille Bremer in Zeigfeld Follies in 1945, looks so modern it could have come off the runway this season while costumes from iconic film, Cleopatra, wouldn’t look out of place in Camilla’s shop window.
Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood runs until 24 May, 2015 at the Museum of Brisbane, City Hall, admission is free.