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In this scene from The Artist, movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) meets cute with aspiring actress Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). In black-and-white, Miller's drop-waist dress doesn't stand out, but at FIDM's exhibit...
Say "Hollywood fashion" and you think red-carpet outfits. But arguably, our town's best outfits are worn on film sets. Now such artistry is on display in a new free exhibit at the FIDM Museum and Galleries.
The "20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design," including more than 100 costumes from contemporary and historic movies, is the world's largest annual film costume show. This year, it highlights a handful of outfits from Academy Award-nominated films such as Anonymous (lots of Shakespearean neck ruffs) and W.E. (including Wallis Simpson's to-die-for beaded chiffon).
Ogle-worthy items include the sexy sheath Jessica Chastain wore in The Help, Rudolph Valentino's matador jacket from his 1922 film Blood and Sand and Jean Harlow's tiny blue tap pants from 1935's Reckless.
Our favorite garments are from this year's Best Costume Design Oscar winner Mark Bridges's work for The Artist. A buttery faded-pistachio leather coat is divine, as is a harlequin dancer's brilliant purple costume. They are lovelier than on-screen--because, of course, the black-and-white film doesn't do their colors justice.
In this case, reality is more beautiful than Tinseltown fiction.
FIDM Museum and Galleries, 919 S. Grand Ave.; 213-623-5821 or fidmmuseum.org
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