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Dressing the Stars

on June 24, 2011 – 3:11 am

Bath’s Fashion Museum summer exhibition, Dressing the Stars, includes costumes designed by Jenny Beavan for the King’s Speech which won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.

The Dressing the Stars exhibition, which opens on 12 July and runs until the end of August, brings together the cream of British Costume Design from the last 50 years.

On display will be around forty costumes worn by stars including Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech and  those worn by  Keira Knightley in The Duchess, much of which was shot at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Other costumes on display will include those worn by Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility, Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean, Cate Blanchett in  Elizabeth,  Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, and Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman.  

The first Brit to win a costume Oscar was Roger Furse for Hamlet in 1948.  Since then there have been many nominated (including Jenny Beavan for her work on the King’s Speech) and winning British costume designers at the American and British Film Academy Awards.

Yvonne Hellin-Hobbs, curator of the exhibition, said:

This is a great opportunity to showcase some spectacular and iconic costumes from some great films. It is also a chance to bring the public’s attention the design process and the designers behind them; another group of Brits on the red carpet.”

“Not only will the costumes themselves be on display but there will also be interviews with the designers about the process involved in creating an award winning costume. From the first reading of the script to consultation with actors and directors, the creative process of interpretation is often arduous and fraught, but immensely rewarding.”

“A programme of events is planned surrounding the exhibition including screenings of the films at local cinemas and lectures and talks by some of the designers and makers responsible for bringing the costumes to the screen. The creation of a costume for a particular actor is a complex process and one that will be of interest to many people.”

Yvonne Hellin-Hobbs has worked with the Council’s Heritage Services on one previous exhibition, the glamourous and immensely popular Supremes exhibition in the summer of 2009. She is ideally placed to curate this exhibition because, before graduating with a degree in Museum Studies, she had a career in the film industry, working in the costume department of British films such as Sense and Sensability starting Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. For more information visit www.fashionmuseum.co.uk.