The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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The Clothes That Make the Characters



Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.

Anna B. Sheppard for Maleficent | Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby.

Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby | Warner Bros. Pictures


Edward Norton as Henckels, Saoirse Ronan as Agatha, Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa, Ralf Fiennes as Monsieur Gustave H. and Tilda Swinton as Madame Celine Desgoffe und Taxis.

Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel | Fox Searchlight Pictures


Lee Pace as Ronan, Chris Pratt as Petter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta and Glenn Close as Nova Prime.

Alexandra Byrne for The Guardians of Galaxy | Marvel Studios


The Clothes That Make the Characters

After walking in through the large glass doors of the museum, a long and large strip of film with all of the 2015 Oscar nominated films written in each frame is propped on the wall. The strip guides people in to turn a corner where it leads to a larger, darker room filled with very well-dressed manikins. This room will make anyone understand why “Maleficent” was so evil, how “Dracula” was able to withstand a whole army of bats violently flying around him, taking him up into the sky, and what exactly made “The Guardians of the Galaxy” so badass. It was all in their costumes. And maybe the actors had something to do with too.

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) presented its 23rd annual Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, which opened on Feb. 10. It included 22 designers, four of which are FIDM alumni, 23 films, all five 2015 Academy Award nominees for Costume Design and 2014’s Academy Award Winner for Costume Design, Catherine Martin for “The Great Gatsby.”

Although this museum may be easily accessible for visitors, getting the costumes together for this exhibition isn’t always so, according to FIDM Museum Registrar and Coordinator of the exhibition, Meghan Hansen.

“We face new challenges with this exhibition every year because of schedules of film productions and delays when getting films out,” said Hansen. “Basically, when the film wraps to when it’s released and up for an Academy Award nomination, that could be two years or three years [to wait for a costume] and a lot of the time, costumes have been sold to benefit a nonprofit [organization] or for the profit of the production company or they have lost track of them or reuse them. So, it can be a very big challenge to bring together. It gets more and more difficult every year. It gets tougher and tougher to get costumes for the exhibition.”

The exhibit has about 15,000 costume pieces that include complete outfits with shoes and accessories that actors wore in each of the films. The exhibit is put together by featuring a lot of the costumes borrowed from different Hollywood studios, costume designers and costume rental houses from all over the world. It is brought to FIDM to showcase the hard work these designers put in, while also proudly highlighting the work of four of their very own alumni who includes Marlene Stewart for “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” Mary Claire Hannan for “The Fault in Our Stars,” Trish Summerville for “Gone Girl” and Soyon An for “Step Up: All In.”

“I think what is really important is to see how much work goes into costuming a film,” said Hansen. “We can only show a small percentage of the costumes that were made for each film, but the costume designers are credited, and you can see that from the four or five costumes from that film that a lot of work went into them.”

The exhibition will run through April 25. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, and offers free admission to the public.

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