The holy grail of non-alcoholic out-of-town visitor activities has arrived: The Academy’s “Hollywood Costume” exhibit.
The multimedia display of iconic film costumes opened Wednesday night with a VIP preview, welcoming Oscar-nominated and winning costume designers like Martin Scorsese‘s go-to Sandy Powell, Julie Weiss (“Frida”), and the man behind Bradley Cooper‘s trash bag look in “Silver Linings Playbook”, Mark Bridges.
The team that has spawned thirty years of dance recital and Halloween costume’s, “Thriller” director John Landis and costume designer Deborah Nadoolman, also made the scene. Former Academy president Hawk Koch and “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum came for the early look.
The three-act exhibit presents the rare world class showing of dimensionalized film history via technology, where the costumes take center stage instead of being a stray piece of memorabilia behind smudgy plexiglass at a Hard Rock Café.
With animated script pages floating mid-air and virtual table reads with directors like Scorsese and Tim Burton, the exhibit offers a deep dive in to the costuming craft such as Quentin Tarantino and “Django Unchained” costume designer, Sharen Davis, rehashing their initial pitch meeting.
Yet, it remains wholly populist enough with Brad Pitt’s dried-blood color leather jacket ensemble from “Fight Club,” Jeff Daniels’ “The Dude” regalia, and a full Meryl Streep endzone to appeal to those who do not spend their days reading trades and have never been to a pitch meeting.
Despite neighbor museum LACMA’s usual Wednesday closings, there was a line of cars backing up on 6th street all the way to Fairfax early on Wednesday.
Some of those cars had Zoe Saldana, Michelle Monaghan, Kiernan Shipka, and director Paul Feig inside, helping to christen the space at the future home of the Academy Museum.
Inside, the child star of “St. Vincent” Jaeden Lieberher, rattled off his favorite wardrobe of the night: “Indiana Jones,” Rocky’s star-spangled shorts, and Bruce Willis’ blood-stained wifebeater from the original “Die Hard.”
Impressive taste for someone born almost 20 years after these films came out.
Pictures come only from The Academy as guards batted down guests’ cell phone attempts, and also unlike a Hard Rock Café, there was no finger foods near the merch.
They kept the champagne and the bacon chocolate crunch bars for the indoor-outdoor lounge at the end of the exhibit, where a pregnant Saldana held down the corner booth with Marco Perego.
“You know they’re going to end with the yellow brick road,” one guest said about midway through the snaking exhibit. She was right.
Judy Garland’s blue and white checkerboard dress is the grand finale, perched next to another foreigner traveling in a strange land: Borat.
“The Wizard of Oz” also gets a cool hologram viewing station that recreates the crystal ball scene and all 2,300 sequins on the actual ruby slippers (one of four pairs in existence) are on display. As the last look, they appropriately send guests out towards “home.”
Like all productions, this one has a credit roll.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London originated the exhibit and Swarovski sponsors the presentation.
It runs through the entire Academy season, closing on March 2. Adult tickets are $20 with discounts for seniors and students.