FIDM 14TH ANNUAL ART OF MOTION PICTURE COSTUME DESIGN EXHIBITION
Costumes on Display
Although I didn't have time to study these costumes in detail, I must say that they were perhaps the most stunning costumes at the exhibit. I have a great appreciation for all the embroidery and detail work that was done on these costumes. The use of colors fabrics and textures was beautiful, and the Oscar awarded to Colleen Atwood was well deserved!
Three of Ann's costumes were on display. I have not seen the movie so I'm not sure where they fit in the story. One was a more casual skirt and blouse in bluish colors - but I didn't take notes on this.
Ann's White Dress
This dress looked like it was an Ivory silk velvet. The Pantone for fashion and home color guide matches were roughly like 'pristine' or 'antique white.' The dress has a V neckline, with the seam from the proper right side of the neckline extending down across the bodice to the proper left side seam of the body. There are 18 round pearl buttons sewn to the proper left side seam. They start roughly 3" below the arm cycle. The diagonal bodice seam actually meets at the 5th button down. The skirt has a diagonal drop waist that as I recall roughly mirrors the angle of the diagonal front bodice seam. The top of the shoulder straps have some sort of silver jeweled clasps that were too high on the platform for me to see clearly.
The dress is embellished with radiating clusters of tiny silver round dome head studs (like tiny bedazzler studs or nailheads) in 2 different sizes. Smaller studs were used in the center of each radial cluster, larger ones on the outer edges. This is only a rough sketch of the concept
She wears cream leather shoes with the gown. I made a rough sketch - beware I'm not good at drawing!
Ann's Beaded Gown
The floor length beaded evening gown is embroidered with an off white thread in a chain stitch with a silver lined clear bugle bead inserted between every chain stitch. The bugle beads varied slightly in length at roughly 2-3mm long. The dress is completely covered with this wavy beaded embroidered pattern. Here is a rough sketch:
The Pantone for fashion color guide matches for the georgette fabric were close to sheepskin (sheepskin was a little darker) and Desert Mist (also a little darker). Buff was close too.
The dress has a cowl neckline, but you could see through to the underlayer of the dress which was more of a structured V neckline. There were 3 pleats on either under side of the bust. The bust seam is curved upward.
The train on the back of the dress was actually sewn on separately. It attaches below the waist (on her rear) in a semi circular shape that is roughly 3-3.5" wide. I believe it may have been slip stitched on by hand. There is no center back seam on the dress. The dress and the train piece are fully lined.
The gown has bronze colored beads at the shoulder straps, and the same bronze beads are strung together in an alternating pattern across the back upper edge of the dress. The beads are only attached where the should straps meet the body of the dress, and otherwise hang freely across the back.
The costumes on display were:
Padme's Green Velvet Gown
This costume was positioned so the back details of the skirt and hood were visible.
Sleeves - The edges of the sleeves are piped with an olive green silk satin or silk charmeuse that matches the velvet (a swatch of this fabric can be found in the Dressing A Galaxy Swatch Folder). I noted that there are 7 burn-out symbols running along the outer edge of the sleeve opening (near the piping) from top to bottom. The symbols do not go all the way to the bottom of the sleeve though, and seemed to stop roughly 1 foot from the bottom edge of the sleeve. I could not see the inner part of the sleeve next to the body, so I do not know how many burn-out symbols may run along that edge of the sleeve opening (if any)
The back of the sleeve near the shoulder blade is interesting. There is a dart (or tuck) that is sewn from the arm cycle seam and extends about 5 inches down the back of the arm. The tuck doesn't seem to taper to a point like a dart, but stops at about the same height as the middle of the sash to let out a full draping effect in the back of the sleeve. (There must be a technical term for this, I've seen it done on flaring skirts). I attempted to sketch this quickly.
Skirt - 6 panels make up the skirt. There are 2 front panels that split open at the center front (they are not sewn together). The side front seams are positioned just ahead of where the sleeves hang down, and are not positioned directly where side seams of a garment normally would be. There is a side back seam that actually extends the entire length of the dress up the bodice, and a center back seam. The velvet skirt fabric appears to be pleated as it tucks under the burgundy sash in the back. Roughly 4 pleats on either side of the center back seam that point toward the center back seam. However, the front of the skirt doesn't seem to be pleated and hangs fairly smoothly in the front, aside from some minor gathering or bunching near the side front that occurs when the obi (waist sash) is wrapped around.
CENTER BACK PANELS OF THE SKIRT
Skirt burn-out symbols - The back edge of the velvet skirt is decorated with burn-out symbols that are roughly 4" across in size. Their placement is staggered up and down along the edge of the hem.
Refer to my diagram below on placement of the burnout symbols.
There is one symbol in the first column next to the center back seam (labeled COLUMN #1), one symbol in the second column placed slightly higher (COLUMN #2).
The 3rd column of symbols to the right of the center back seam (COLUMN #3) actually has 8 symbols that extend half way up the skirt angling toward the center back seam as the column goes upward. (It was hard to see exactly how many in the dark with folds of the fabric). The first symbol by the edge of the hem in this column lines up horizontally with the symbol in the first column (COLUMN #1). The last symbol going upward is nearly touching the center back seam (only about 3/4" away from it).
The 4th column (COLUMN #4) has only one symbol staggered upward lining up horizontally with the symbol in the 2nd column.
The 5th column of symbols (COLUMN #5) to the right of the the center back seam extends all the way up the skirt stopping roughly 3" below the sash. There are 12 symbols in this column.
Finally, COLUMN #6 to the right of the center back seam (AKA the 1st column to the left of the side back seam) is 2 symbols high. This is a VERY rough sketch I made at the exhibit to help show the placement of the symbols on the back skirt panel. This is the right side of the center back:
SIDE PANELS OF THE SKIRT
I'm sorry, I'm missing complete notes on how many columns of symbols are on the side panel of the skirt. Working toward the back from the side front seam (the wearer's right side of the body), the symbols next to the seam are 2 high, the second column going back has only one symbol that is staggered farther from the edge of the hem and between the two symbols next to it. The 3rd column to the left gets overlapped by the edge of the hanging sleeve. There appear to be 6 of the symbols going upward and they stop a few inches from where her fingertips would be if her arm was by her side. Please excuse the funky sketch:
I believe I am missing notes on the placement and number of burnout symbols on the side skirt panel because my view of it was obscured by the sleeve hanging down.
Sash - The sash actually angles upward in the back making a slight up side down V shape. The proper right side of the sash edge looks like it overlaps the left side and this may be where it fastens together. There were about 5 or 6 horizontal pleats running the length of the sash in the back, folded so they point to the outer edges from the center.
Bodice - in the back next to each arm cycle near the shoulder blade, there is one angled burn-out symbol.
Hood - The hood does have a vertical seam at the bottom tip, but it doesn't extend up the entire length of the hood to the front edge.
Here is a rough placement of the symbols on the hood. The symbols are lettered for comparison of rough positioning from the side view and back view (I didn't have time to sketch this perfectly to scale or position. But it can be helpful to cross check this against photographs of the costume at padawansguide.com).
Hermione's Ball Gown
The little sash/bow around her waist looks like chiffon or georgette sewn into a tube and ironed flat.
All of the chiffon ruffles are actually crinkled chiffon (similar to the type used on Padme's Picnic gown but pressed out flatter). The ruffles are all dyed with an ombre technique. Not only do they get progressively darker as you go down the dress, but as they go around the skirt they gradually get lighter, then darker, then very light again in the center back. The bodice and under layer of the dress are made of a silk charmeuse.
The skirt is made of 8 horizontal panels that progressively get wider as you go down the length of the skirt. The panels all angle downward slightly as they go around to the center back of the skirt (making an up side down V shape as they meet in the center front) Each panel has a chiffon ruffle sewn over it. The front edges of the ruffles gradually get closer and closer to the center front as you go down the length of the dress, and the bottom ruffle seems to be continuous all the way around the skirt without any gap in the center front. The ruffles look like they may have a slightly uneven length as they go around the skirt. The longest point of all the ruffles is in the center back of the skirt. The ruffles seem to be finished with a serged rolled edge that gives it rippled lettuce edge.
Pantone Matches - 4 color process guide uncoated
Charmeuse - DS153-6U (or DS152-5U)
ran out of time on this. The jacket looks like wool. There are 2 darts
on either side of the center front at the hips (total of 4).
This costume was positioned in a back corner. I pulled out my binoculars to try to make out some details on this gown.
There is a green under gown to her dress, It seemed to have a sueded appearance but I could not tell if it was sueded silk or an actual suede (like faux leather) fabric. The Green undergown does come all the way up to the neckline of the outer gown and splits in the front. The split seemed to go down to the bust and then stop. The pink velvet sleeves of the outer gown have a slash sewn in under the forearm from just below the elbow to the wrist. This opening allows the full green sleeves of the under gown to drape through. In the center of the pink velvet sleeve split (halfway between the elbow and wrist) there is a little lace that loosely connects the edges of the pink velvet. I just saw two loops of lace, and I'm guessing it may be the same satin cord lace used on the front of the dress. The green underdress sleeves seem to be gathered or pleated at the wrist (it looked like the fabric was attached to a piece of elastic or was pleated onto a thin piece of twill tape). It gave a nice little ruffled edge to the under sleeve.
The cording used to lace the front of the dress is like this soutache cord but I believe it was blue-violet to match the dress.
There is very heavy embroidery around the neck, kind of bronzy metallic looking. It looks so thick and heavy to me I almost think it was not embroidered directly onto the dress, but attached as appliqués. Again, it was hard to make out from a distance even with little binoculars.
The front of the bodice has 2 princess seams on either side of the center front.
Catherine Zeta Jones' Red Ball Gown
Willy Wonka's Burgundy Suit Jacket - This appeared to be burgundy velvet with gold pin striping printed onto the velvet (I don't believe the gold stripes are embroidered on).
Powhatan's Costume - The shells are all hot glued on. Not the way the Indian's did it. I'm sure it must look OK on screen but in person looked cheap.
June's red chiffon polka-dot dress. This looked like good old vintage polyester. I was thinking that's probably what would have been worn on stage back then. Someone told me they heard is was actually June Carter's real dress that was loaned for use in the movie (so was she really as tiny as Reese Witherspoon?) The information at the museum only says "Most of the costumes are vintage pieces, which Pillips prefers to manufactured re-creations." It also says "For June Carter's outfits, Phillips looked at piles of old photographs getting a sense of June's equally strong but quite different style."
Please contact nightheron @ pacbell.net if you wish to use or publish any of these photos.