Monday, February 20, 2012


And speaking of Oscar, remember the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising)? Its a design school in So Cal that every years hosts a gallery exhibit of the year's best movie costumes (including all five Academy Award-nominees) up close and personal. I raved about them last year around this time when I discovered their website with its great online archive of past costume exhibits.

Well, sadly, the FIDM website has recently suffered an upgrade in which the entire online archive has been wiped out. (Or at least a low-tech person such as moi can no longer find it.) What we get instead is a list of their 19 previous movie costume exhibits (this year's exhibit is their 20th annual), with a tantalizing detail of a costume image for each listing, but no more comprehensive archive. Arrrgh!  So typical of technology (or maybe it's sheer bureaucracy): something that's actually useful is created, only to be "improved" out of existence.

However, I did find this fun video about the FIDM's current costume exhibit, which takes a peek at all five of this year's Oscar costume nominees. It also features commentary by FIDM spokesperson and fashion gadfly, Nick Verreos, as well as a few remarks from Santa Cruz hometown girl, Arianne Phillips, whose period costumes for the Madonna-directed film, W.E., have earner her her second Oscar nomination. (Her first was for Walk the Line in 2006) 

W.E. hasn't opened yet in Santa Cruz, but here are a couple of Arianne's luscious '30s-inspired costumes. It's the story of Edward VIII—older brother of Colin Firth's character in The King's Speech—who gives up the throne of England to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. (Photo credit: Peter Winterstellar/abimages)

Arianne faces tough competition this year from Anonymous, The Artist, Hugo,  and Jane Eyre, all of which are glimpsed in this video. It's funny when Verreos mentions how surprised visitors are to find out the costumes for The Artist (above) are in color!

Check out Verreos' blog for excellent photos of the five nominees in the FIDM exhibit.

If you're headed south anytime soon, the exhibit runs through April 28, and it's free, free, free!


  1. I can't wait to see W.E. just for the costumes and styling! I just read a blurb saying that Cartier will be destroying the reproduction jewelry made for the film so as not to impact the value of the real privately owned pieces.

  2. What a shame! You'd think some enterprising person in the wardrobe department would snag a little souvenir.

    W.E. is slated to open in Santa Cruz at the Nick next Friday, March 2 (although the date is still tentative), so get in line now...