'Cinematic Couture' exhibition

Now on View - March 3, 2019

'Cinematic Couture' exhibition

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film presents "Cinematic Couture," an exhibition focusing on the art of costume design through the lens of film and popular culture. More than 50 costumes created by the world-renowned London firm, Cosprop Ltd., provide an intimate look at garments and millinery that set the scene, give personality to characters and establish authenticity in period films. 

The films represented in the exhibition depict five centuries of history, drama, comedy, fairy tale and adventure through period costumes worn by such film stars as Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Drew Barrymore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet. "Cinematic Couture" showcases costumes from 24 acclaimed films, including Academy Award-winners and nominees "Titanic," "Sense and Sensibility," "Out of Africa," "The Duchess" and "The Danish Girl" as well as award-winning British television series "Pride and Prejudice," "Downton Abbey" and "Victoria."

Costume is the essential ingredient in the authenticity of a period film. It provides vital information about where and when the drama is taking place, and conveys characters’ status, age, class and wealth, as well as their roles within the story. Garments created for period films require couture craftsmanship and face intense visual scrutiny. When the camera zooms in for a close-up, each handmade detail must look authentic and impeccably executed. This exhibition allows the viewer to get close to the costumes and appreciate the fine details that are often seen only briefly on screen.

The costumes in this exhibition come from the more than 100,000 costumes and accessories created by the renowned British costumer Cosprop Ltd. Founded in 1965 by John Bright, an award-winning costume designer, Cosprop specializes in costumes for film, television and theater, and employs a staff of 40 experts in designing, tailoring, cutting, fitting, millinery, jewelry-making and repair, and dyeing and printing. Cosprop maintains an extensive library and a collection of original garments used as source material, ensuring that any production undertaken by Cosprop is historically accurate. Like their period prototypes, these opulent costumes are crafted of sumptuous fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery and lace.

Since 1987, when the Academy Award for Costume Design was first awarded to Bright and Jenny Beavan for "A Room with a View," the company has supplied costumes for 61 nominated films. In 2011, four of the five Oscar nominees included costumes provided by Cosprop. In 2009, Michael O’Connor won the Academy Award for Costume Design for "The Duchess," for which Cosprop provided costumes. Susannah Buxton and Caroline McCall earned Emmy Awards for Costume Design for "Downton Abbey," for which Cosprop provided many costumes.

Reception: Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, 6–8 p.m.

Admission to the exhibition is free to all museum members, as well as SCAD students, faculty and staff with a valid SCAD Card. Open to the public with the cost of museum admission.