FIDM Salutes 2015 Oscar Nominated Costume Designers

To say the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising puts on a "nice" event would be a gross misrepresentation of the truth - the words Outstanding, Elegance Personified, and Magnificent seem much more appropriate. 

On Saturday evening, I attended the opening and reception for the 24th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition. On a typical day, arriving to the FIDM Los Angeles campus is impressive enough...the large art-deco campus is situated in a well-manicured park, and surrounded by monumental architecture in the heart of the Fashion District.  On this evening, the campus was all aglow. You could feel the energy of the Hollywood magic. Guests were greeted by valet service and a red carpet which led us directly to the nights festivities...to view and celebrate the works of the custom designers for this years Oscar nominated movies, and several films for the year 2015.

For the past 24 years, the FIDM Museum has honored the incredible work of costume designers in the film industry through this groundbreaking exhibition. Since its inception in 1992, the exhibition has generated an increased National and International audience each year. With the help of the Costume Designers Guild, the skill, dedication, and talent of those artist is saluted. The show draws thousands of visitors annually along with the media visiting from all over the world.

FIDM all aglow with guests enjoying the incredible atmosphere.

Just before sunset, an inside view from inside the tent.

The celebration continues after the sun has set.

Several food stations to satisfy the guests taste.

Working on set is extremely demanding. It's fast-paced, the hours are long, and there are many people to please. Costume designers are charged with creating characters from clothing, imparting mood and visually moving the story-line forward, while crafting ensembles that look perfect in long shots and enlarged on 30-foot wide film screens. These on-set responsibilities are often paired with small budgets and very little prep time. Costume designers and their teams of supervisors and assistants organize thousands of ensembles for a single film production-from grand ball gowns to tattered uniforms. Yet they must ensure that every garment is appropriate to the stylized setting, era, and role established by the director, and that each actor can physically perform his or her role. Costume design is an industry with many artistic and intellectual demands.

The FIDM Museum & Galleries is proud to shine a spotlight on costume designers whose work epitomizes craftsmanship, innovation, and creativity on set. This year's exhibition features over 100 costumes from 2015's most notable films in a variety of genres, including Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design.

Oscar Nominated: Sandy Powell
Movie: Carol - Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara
Credits: Cinderella (2015), Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Suspension of Disbelief (2012), Hugo (2011), The Tempest (2012)

Oscar Nominated: Paco Delgado
Movie: The Danish Girl - Starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander
Credits:The 33 (2015), Witching and Bitching (2013), Les Miserables (2012), Snow White (2012), The Skin I Live In (2011)

Oscar Nominated: Sandy Powell (also for Carol)
Movie: Cinderella - Starring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden
Credits: Carol (2016), Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Suspension of Disbelief (2012), Hugo (2011), The Tempest (2012)

Oscar Nominated: Jacqueline West
Movie: The Revenant - Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
Credits: Knight of Cups (2015), Seventh Son (2014), The Gambler (2014), To the Wonder (2012), Argo (2012)

Oscar Nominated: Jenny Beavan
Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road - Starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron
Credits: Child 44 (2015), Gambit (2012), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), The King's Speech (2012)


The following movies were not nominated for the Oscar, however I want to give them press because their popularity with the public.

Straight Outta Compton
Costume Designer:  Kelli Jones
Starring:  O'Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr.
Credits: Homefront (2013), My Uncle Rafael (2012), Isolation (2011), Chrystal (2004), Essence of Echoes (2002)

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awaken
Costume Designer:  Michael Kaplan
Starring:  Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher
Credits:Winter's Tale (2014), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocal (2011), Burlesque (2010)

Beasts of No Nation
Costume Designer:  Jenny Eagan
Starring:  Idris Elba, Abraham Attah
Credits: Our Brand is Crisis (2015), Now You See Me (2013), Contraband (2012), About Fifty (2011)

To view the outstanding works of these incredible group of artists:

Location: FIDM Museum & Galleries (on The Park, 1st level)
FIDM / Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
919 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA. 90015 (corner of Grand Ave and 9th Street)

The exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday, February 9th, through Saturday, April 30, 2016.
Gallery Hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm / Tuesday through Saturday (Closed Sunday & Monday)
See www.FIDMmuseum.org for updated holiday hours. 
Admission: FREE
Public Information: (231)623.5821, ext. 2224
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  1. Well I missed the fancy opening but I will definitely visit this exhibit. My fantasy career has always been to be a costume designer. Thank you for the great photos.

    1. Connie, you will LOVE it! Some years, FIDM isn't able to get all 5 nominated movies, but this year they did, plus many others. Great exhibit!

  2. Looks like an incredible event. I would have loved to have seen these designs up close and personal.

    1. Stephanae, the exhibit is fantastic, and yes, the details are incredible.

  3. Hope you are feeling better, Glenda. This event looks like so much fun...I would love to attend something like this and see all the designer exhibits. How much fun...thanks for sharing with us.

    1. I'm getting there, Pam. Thanks for asking. I was a little slow moving on Saturday. I didn't stay as long as I wanted, but I still had a fantastic time.

  4. Sounds like a fun event. In the late 70's I worked as a costumer at the studios on Hill Street and White Shadow. I quit to pursue acting. Probably a dumb mistake. One film I want to add as far as extraordinary costumes go is Crimson Peak by Guillermo del Toro. They were amazing but their designer didn't receive any recognition probably because the movie itself didn't get much play. Definitely worth checking out.

    1. Yes, it truly is Rebecca. I look forward to this opening each year. How fun...you worked for the studios. That sounds fun! Photos were taken of Crimson Peak. I agree, the designs were very pretty. I remember a gold dress in particular.

  5. I find myself drawn to the designs from the 1800's, oddly enough. I could never do the 17 inch waist and corset, but the gowns are amazing! Also like the more 1940's styles. This had to be a fabulous event!

    1. Karen, would you believe the actor that played Cinderella's natural waistline was 23 inches! I agree, the 1800's garments were so well made and intricate. But my goodness, I couldn't imagine living in Southern Cal dressed in that fashion. So many layers. Yes, FIDM does events to the utmost perfection. It was a magical evening.

  6. Thanks for your review. Looks like a wonderful event and evening. Very glamorous!


  7. Thanks for sharing Glenda, I have to check this out, it looks amazing. I haven't seen Carol but I know I would love the costumes just from the previews. I loved Mad Max the movie and the costumes.

    1. Absolutely, Nora. You'll love it! And be sure to go into the museum gift shop. They have a nice curated selection of items.

  8. The opening night looks like a great event. The costumes all look wonderful,you are so lucky to see them so soon.

    1. Jill, it was all fabulous. The costumes, the atmosphere...just incredible.

  9. You are right, I never realized that it is such a demanding job. Thanks for explaining this. It must have been a thrilling event to visit. Thanks for showing.

    1. When FIDM puts on an event, it is always with impeccable class. Yes, costume designers work hard. I remember during my retail days, design assistants for the many movie studios in Hollywood would come into the stores searching for accessories.

    2. with a frantic look on their tired faces?

  10. Glenda,
    thanks for giving us a behind the scenes look at what goes on behind the set.
    These costume are awesome, truly. I am so glad you chose Mad Max, and beasts of Nations. Fabulous costumes. Oh-- Cinderella!
    XX, Elle

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the writeup. I wish we snapped pics of the actual designers. Shucks...next time.


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