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Delaware Museum Displays Hollywood Movie Costumes

October 9th, 2006 10:45am EDT
Drew Barrymore in Ever AfterGlamorous and stylish costumes created for the screen versions of classic novels and worn by such actors as Elizabeth Taylor, Nicole Kidman, Drew Barrymore, Colin Firth, and Ralph Fiennes are now on view at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate in Delaware in "Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen," through January 7.

The dozens of dazzling costumes include sumptuous silks, elegant beading, and delicate lace. Made for films set between the early 1500s through the 1950s, the 36 outfits reflect a quest for authenticity in both cut and materials. Many received Academy Awards and other nominations for costume design.

Although Gwyneth Paltrow's wedding dress from 1996's Emma was created as a faithful reproduction of an 1810 bridal dress, the director had six inches of fabric removed from the gown as he thought it made Paltrow look fat. Also on view are the ball gown with wings worn by Drew Barrymore in 1998's Ever After and Elizabeth Taylor's purple silk opera costume from "Toscanini," encrusted with beads and sequins.

The costumes come from a stock of nearly 100,000 costumes and accessories made by the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd. Founded in 1965, Cosprop specializes in creating costumes for film, television, and theater, which are historically authentic in cut and construction and use natural fabrics and original trimmings.

Many of the costumes and mannequins in the exhibition are accompanied by film stills and posters. The exhibition was organized by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C., in cooperation with Cosprop, London, England. "Fashion in Film" is made possible at Winterthur by Wilmington Trust, with additional funding provided by The Diane and Harry Levin Foundation.