Tag Archives: exhibition

Flirt with Hollywood Costumes and the Great Gatsby

20 Aug

I love ACMI – they always exhibit such interesting exhibitions such as Tim Burton, Game Masters and now the Hollywood Costumes.

Hollywood Costume @ Acmi

Hollywood Costume @ Acmi

Too bad photography weren’t allowed inside the exhibition as there were a lot of interesting costumes.  BUT they did have a set of Great Gatsby costumes on public display.

The purple tea time dress worn by Carey Mulligan is by far the dress that gave the strongest impression during the movie.

Daisy finally reunited with her old flame - Gatsby

Daisy finally reunited with her old flame , Gatsby

Costumes from the Great Gatsby

Costumes from the Great Gatsby

A close up on the dress details. Strips of fabric were cut, rolled up an sewn to resemble bluebells.

A close up on the dress details. Strips of fabric were cut, rolled up an sewn to resemble bluebells.

Though the main attraction is the costumes, but the point of this exhibition is to explain the role of a costume designer. There were snippets of comments from actors/actresses, directors, designers themselves, its interesting to know how those costumes came about. Their inspiration, their decisions, stories behind every piece..

Dress worn by Satine from Moulin Rouge (photo from abc.net.au)

Pink Diamond Dress worn by Nicole Kidman from Moulin Rouge (photo from abc.net.au)

The comment from Nicole Kidman on the Pink Diamond dress (designed by Catherine Martin / Angus Strathie)  was that they had to spent about 4 hours on the makeup, hair and putting (sewing some part of) this dress on. Wasn’t exactly the dress you want to be in while doing high kicks.

(photo from Prestige French Riviera)

A display of Costumes (photo from Prestige French Riviera)

The purple dress in the centre (designed by Irene Sharaff)  was worn by Barbara Streisand from Funny Girl and the infamous Givenchy Black Dress on the left was worn by Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

The silk green dress (designed by Jacqueline Durran) on the bottom left was worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement during the eventful dinner scene. The costume has to portray a slippery feel, like she was moving underwater, for the scene.  A 100 yards of white silk were dyed and tested to create different shades of green. I’m rather biased, I can only remember the stories behind those costumes of movies that I’ve watched :p

Closer look at the Givenchy Black Dress

Closer look at the Givenchy Black Dress

Peacock Dress (photo from HolyMoly)

Peacock Dress (photo from HolyMoly)

Can’t remember where this Peacock dress is from but I remember the costume designer mentioned that a friend came on to the set and said he’s got a peacock farm. And the next thing, she start picking up real peacock feathers for the dress.

Brokeback Mountain Costumes (photo from HolyMoly)

Brokeback Mountain Costumes designed by Marit Allen (photo from HolyMoly)

In costume designing, heaps of research are involved and not just the surface bit like ‘ya, we’ll dress them cowboys in jeans’. There are details such as rodeo riders tend to prefer tight-fitting Wranglers and those in the ranch would prefer loose Levi’s. In Brokeback Moutain, Heath Leadger plays the role of a ranch hand and Jake  Gyllenhaal as a rodeo rider.

Superman (Photo by HolyMoly)

Superman (Photo by HolyMoly)

Probably one of the most talked about costumes in history and yay we ain’t seeing anymore of it on the silver screen. They had to test 20 prototypes of Lycra to get the right fabric weight so its cape could fly.

Costume worn by Natalie Portman in Closer (Photo by T-shirt and tails)

Costume worn by Natalie Portman in Closer (Photo by T-shirt and tails)

The costume does not begin when the Director shouts ‘Action’, it needs to have an existing history behind it.

Ann Roth, the costume designer for Closer mentioned that her inspiration came about when she was at the airport, during transit. She saw a girl who was lying down on a stretch of a chairs and felt a connection with Natalie Portman’s character. She sketched out what the girl was wearing. The blue jacket was made to look like a pass me down, something that the character could have gotten at a shared hostel or from a previous housemate.

Cinderella Dress from Ever After designed by Jenny Beavan

Cinderella Dress (also known as the Breathe Gown) from Ever After designed by Jenny Beavan

This costume ain’t from the exhibition but it’s one of my favourite and most memorable one. Maybe coz I saw the movie when I was 12 and find it to be so dreamy. Used to think Drew Barrymore was the prettiest girl ever in that Cinderella dress and angel wings.


Flirt with Tim Burton Exhibition

4 Jul

Tim Burton? Who’s that?

Is he a writer?

What’s a Tim Burton Exhibition? Is he gonna give a talk or something?

But when I mentioned the stuff that he did…

Oh I know Edward Scissorhands…or Nightmare before Xmas.. how about Batman?…Sleepy Hollow… emm maybe Mars Attack.. hmm not into old movies? Ok how about Planet of the Apes.. Big Fish..er..Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… like songs? how about Sweeney Todd… or maybe..just maybe even.. ALICE IN THE WONDERLAND?

This is Tim Burton

and this is what happened after years and years of making such awesomely insane works

What makes me love his films even more is that the regular team that he worked with are those that I admired, enjoyed watching and… have the hots for *sigh

Tim Burton with Danny Elfman during their younger days. Elfman is one of my most favourite filmscorer.. (actually stole some of his ideas for my FS project hehe)

Perfect Match. Helena Bonham Carter usually plays interestingly weird characters.

TIm Burton and his MAN, Johnny Depp

On 22 November 2009, MoMA gave Tim Burton a blockbuster retrospective of his 700+ objects and artworks. Ranging from childhood to matured works and those that did not make it to the silver screen, it was an exhibition not only meant for Tim Burton fans but to anyone else who wants to be inspired.

Entrance to Tim Burton's world - Please adjust your eyes before entering

Entrance at MoMA, slightly different with ACMI

Stereotypical 50's suburb

Tim Burton was born in a suburban area, Burbank in California. In his exhibition, it was stated that Edward Scissorhands was a reflection of himself, being slightly out of place at where he was growing up. I love how it portrays society’s ‘disability’ to accept unfamiliarity and stamped out anyone that does not conform to the norm as ‘social rejects.’

Tim Burton's signature drawing style of Edward Scissorhands

The first item shown in the exhibition was Edward Scissorhands very detailed suit. I remember its 3 belts across its body and mis-matched shoes, with one side having a higher length boot.


Edward Scissorhands' shears

The many faces of Vincent Price

By looking at his artworks, you can see that Tim Burton was heavily influenced by Dr. Seuss, Japanese cult films, and Vincent Price’s works (the father of horrors who acted as The Inventor in the movie aka Scissorhands’ father).

Vincent Price was also part of Tim Burton’s first stop motion movie, ‘Vincent’. Vincent was produced in 1982, after Tim Burton decided to call it quits at Walt Disney as he got bored of being a conceptual artist and his works not being accepted.

Vincent Malloy is seven years old He’s always polite and does what he’s told For a boy his age, he’s considerate and nice But he wants to be just like Vincent Price

The main character in the 6 minutes movie was a boy called Vincent Malloy who thinks he is Vincent Price. The voice over was done by Vincent Price himself.

The more popular stop motion film that he made was A Nightmare Before Christmas. Great characters and songs, composed and sang by Danny Elfman himself as Jack Skellington. News has it that Tim Burton will make another stop motion film  for Addams Family using the traditional method in A Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride..maybe even black and white (yay!)

Me (Left) and Huinini's (Right) attempt on Jack Skellington. Notice Huinini's Santa Claus and 'red-pepper looking' pumpkin

Our artworks on the wall

Jack Skellington's original faces

Storyboard for Hansel and Gretel

Besides the mainstream stuff, the exhibition showed a lot of ‘never been seen’ films and art works. The one film that caught my attention was Tim Burton’s Hansel and Gretel, particularly because it is one of those stories that intrigued me since childhood. I revisited the Grimm’s Brothers Hansel and Gretel last year, and realized it’s actually very dark for a fairy tale… come to think about it, most fairy tales themes are dark and violent. Tim Burton’s obsession with Japanese culture can be seen from his version of Hansel and Gretel: American speaking Japanese cast, weird lookin’ Japanese toys, similar style and colour schemes with Godzilla.

Tim Burton’s works can also be viewed in his website, using Stainboy as the navigator.

Viewing the public gallery on Timburton.com

Stainboy is a character from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, an illustrated book of poems. Tim Burton made 6 Stainboy episodes meant for online viewing (how very generous of him)

List of episodes:

  1. The Girl Who Stares”
  2. “The Toxic Boy”
  3. “The Bowling Ball”
  4. “The Robot Boy”
  5. “The Match Girl”
  6. “Stainboy’s Day Off

(L-R) The boy with nails in his eyes, Oysterboy, Voodoo Girl

Inspired by the book, four sets of Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys were produced such as The Boy with Nails in his EyesVoodoo GirlToxic BoyRobot Boy and others.

My favourite poem is “Robot Boy”: Mr. Smith was mad at Mrs Smith as she had gave birth to a robot son because of her sexual relationship with a blender.

“He never forgave her unholy alliance: a sexual encounter with a kitchen appliance.”

Robot Boy at the exhibition

When me and Huinini first saw Robot Boy at the exhibition, its head was closed and we weren’t sure where was he from. After staring at it for a minute, we decided to move on with our viewing. Somehow I caught a glimpse of its head opening slowly and I was too ‘shock’ to speak and kept trying to get Huinini to turn around and see that. Just when she was about to turn, the head SLAM SHUT!! causing Huinini to jump.. hehehe… There were a couple of funny ‘Huinini incidents’. She tried to touch a carousel figurine and was stopped just few millimetres from it (oh so close…), and glow in the dark patches on her face when we entered the UV Light Room (it was from her UV protection sunscreen), and her failed attempt to use her phone snap a picture of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in the Wonderland in the most stealth-like way possible (her flash and the ‘after snapping picture’ tone totally gave it away).

Never shoot a constipated poodle

The number series that didn't get published

Tim Burton's Balloon Boy

The Art of Tim Burton

With fold out pages

Tim Burton's letter to Johnny Depp on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

There is an interactive version of the exhibition on MoMA’s website.

All these weird, horrible images.. I think are crucial to childhood – Tim Burton