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New exhibit features year's movie costumes

February 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The old saying that "clothes make the man" can apply to the movies, where costumes help make the character. And only in Los Angeles can you see more than 100 costumes from movies of the past year at a new exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.Here the movie costumes are the stars, from "Clash of the Titans" to the dazzling but brief little numbers from "Burlesque."

For the 19th year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries is opening its Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibit, featuring costumes from the previous year's best films, including Oscar nominees for best costume design.

This year's contenders are all dazzling but different. In all, there are costumes from 21 movies to see and this year's offerings have something in common, says FIDM instructor and fashion designer Nick Verreos.

"A lot of times costume designs are made for the movies and then a lot of people say that when they get to see them up close, they're like, 'wow, it doesn't look as good as I saw it in the movies.' Well of course you've got the lighting, you've got all of that," said Verreos. "But what I find interesting about this year's costumes is the detail and how really good they look up close and how well made they are."

"Alice in Wonderland" is nominated for best costume design, and changing the look of an iconic figure was intimidating even for two-time Academy Award winner Coleen Atwood.

"Thankfully we were saved by the script because Alice didn't have to wear the same blue dress the whole story, she shrank out of it," said the designer.

Atwood's research found Johnny Depp's hatter would be mad, poisoned by mercury that hatters used.

"One of the end results of mercury poisoning is kind of this brittle, red, fried sort of hair. So once Johnny found that out, the party was on," said Atwood.

For "True Grit," first time nominee Mary Zophries put her heart into authenticity, from fabrics to finishes.

"I was completely, completely obsessed by the design of this movie. Every piece of fabric, every piece of clothing that's here has a reason. I have a back story, I could explain it all to you," said Zophries.

And while movie tickets cost more every year, this exhibit hasn't changed - admission is free.

The exhibit is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through April 30. It's closed Sundays and Mondays.

One-hour tours are available at select times, Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Tours cost $20 per person for groups of 10-25 people and a minimum of $200 for groups of less than 10.

The FIDM Museum & Galleries
919 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Corner of Grand Avenue and 9th Street
Info: (213) 623-5821 Ext. 2224
To schedule tours: (213) 623-5821 Ext. 3367

Parking: Under the college building (entrance on 9th Street) or in surrounding lots

This year's Oscar ceremony is set to air live on ABC7 from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. Check out a full list of Oscar nominations.

ABC7 and OnTheRedCarpet.com are your news sources for Oscars coverage. Live coverage from the Oscar red carpet begins at 2 p.m. PT. "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the free On The Red Carpet iPad app, available now in iTunes.

When the last awards have been given out, watch continuing coverage of the Governor's Ball and all the Oscar night parties as "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars" broadcasts LIVE on on ABC7. We're also streaming the show online and on the iPad app.

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