Fashionable Oscars

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising is celebrating its 21st annual “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibition, which features costumes from films that have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

The exhibition has been open since Feb. 12, and has already seen visitors from all over Southern California, as well as from places such as Mexico, Brazil and Japan, according to FIDM alumni fashion designer and "Project Runway" star Nick Verreos.

The walls are lined with vision boards, black boards with sketches of clothing a character should wear, color swatches, textures for the clothes, and other details. Each board has fabric scraps to help bring these ideas to life, along with a complete final sketch and a computer-generated picture of the characters in the Oscar-nominated films.

"We had a lot of connections with the Costume Guild and Costume Design and we thought, why not showcase the costumes of the films that are released every year?" Verreos says. "It was the perfect marriage, and so here we are, 21 years later.”

According to Verreos, deciding which movies will be showcased is a process that is done by chance.

“It’s mostly having a pretty good guess which movies will be nominated," he says.

Verreos says the costumes are brought in "literally a week after they've been nominated."

"I have a feeling that somebody’s telling them secrets behind the scenes," he says.

Several of the costume designers were at last week's opening night gala for the exhibition, according to Verreos. He also says that FIDM tries to showcase clothing designs from alumni.

“We always like to make sure we feature designers who came from FIDM," he says.

Verreos also describes which costumes catch his eye.

“I really love the fantasy ones, like 'Snow White and the Huntsman,'" he says. "It really almost represents runway couture. When we see those costumes Charlize Theron wore as the queen, they’re very Alexander McQueen, and I’m drawn to that as a fashion designer myself.”

Aramis Richards, who is studying fashion design at Los Angeles Trade Tech college, is a fan of the late Eiko Ishioka, who worked on the film "Mirror Mirror."

Richards likes how Ishioka was able to “use all of the colors of the color palette and the phenomenal way her choice of colors brings everything together”.

Richards also feels costume designer Paco Delgado did a brilliant job with his work in "Les Miserables."

"[Delgado] really kept true to the traditional time period, but added just enough color to not have the costumes be too dark," he says.

FIDM museum and gallery is open and free to the public Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 919 South Grand Ave., in downtown Los Angeles, just blocks away from the world famous Staples Center and L.A. Live.

The exhibition will be on display until April 27.

CultureEva UnderwoodComment