The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va. is hosting an exhibition entitled CUT! Costume and the Cinema. The exhibit went on display in October and will run through Feb. 28, 2016.
If you love historic movies, you will be fascinated by the 43 costumes that are displayed. They were created and have been provided by Cosprop who also provided the costumes for the Downton Abbey Costume Exhibition last year at Winterthur.
You will be wowed as soon as you come up the stairs to the second floor where the exhibition is housed. If you are a fan of Ever After, you will recognize the lavish costume worn by Angelica Huston in her role as the Baroness Ludmilla de Ghent. She wore it in the final scene where she is stripped of her title and Danielle tells her that she will not remember her after this moment. This luxurious velvet costume sets the tone for the rest of this amazing journey through cinema history.
The next display puts together Johnny Depp’s costume from Pirates of the Caribbean and Colin Farrell’s from The New World. In all, 25 films and 30 actors are represented. The time period covered by the lush costumes ranges from the 1500s through the 1900s.
It comes as no surprise that visitors will want to put their hands on the costumes, the materials are lush and invite stroking. Resist the urge and look for the large fabric swatches hung on the walls. They are put there for guests to indulge themselves. Give it a feel, it is enjoyable.
Among my favorites was the costume worn by Keira Knightly in The Duchess, notice how small the waist is. It makes you wonder if Keira was able to breathe during the production. Another favorite was Kate Winslet’s dress from Sense and Sensibility.
In addition to just the dresses, there are hats that are just eye-popping and some formal and informal men’s wear.
The final room of the exhibit is quite dramatic. In the center is a magnificent red ball gown and the room features the most modern style costumes. The placement of all the costumes throughout the exhibition is thoughtful and visitors able to walk around and view many of them from different angles.
Movie lovers and costume lovers should not miss this opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite stars’ costumes in some very noteworthy movies.
While you are at the museum, check out the ongoing exhibits Face to Face: Portraits from the Julian Glass Wood Jr. Collection and Collect, Preserve, Interpret: 10 Years at the MSV as well as the permanent collections. If this doesn’t become one of your favorite museums ever I will be greatly surprised, it certainly is one of mine.
Don’t leave without visiting the museum store, it is an excellent one.