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Hollywood Costume - V&A

Exhibition preview

THE V&A’s autumn exhibition, Hollywood Costume (October 20, 2012 to January 27, 2013), explores the central role costume design plays in cinema storytelling.

This ground-breaking exhibition includes over 100 of the most iconic and unforgettable film characters from a century of Hollywood filmmaking, 1912–2012.

Hollywood Costume takes visitors on a three-gallery journey from Charlie Chaplin through the Golden Age of Hollywood to the cutting-edge design for Avatar (2009, Costume Designer Mayes C. Rubeo, Deborah L. Scott) and John Carter of Mars (2012, Costume Designer Mayes C. Rubeo).

Act 1, Deconstruction, puts visitors in the shoes of the costume designer and illuminates the process of designing a character from script to screen; Act 2, Dialogue, examines the key collaborative role of the costume designer within the creative team; and Act 3, Finale, celebrates the most beloved characters in the history of Hollywood and the ‘silver screen’.

These galleries are filled with cinema costumes that have never left the private and archival collections in California. Most of these clothes have never been publicly displayed and have never been seen beyond the secure walls of the studio archives.

To read more about the exhibition visit

Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 is on display in the Fashion Galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum until January 6, 2013.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL