Today we bring you the final installment in Registrar Meghan Hansen's three-part series on producing the Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition. Today's post answers one of the most common questions about this annual exhibition: “Is [insert name of famous actor] really that short/tall/thin/large?” Thanks to Meghan for sharing her insights on the planning and teamwork required to get this (or any) exhibition up and running!
The final phase of exhibition installation is both creative and administrative. The mannequins are dressed according to reference images provided by the costume designer, studio, or production office; we also make proficient use of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com) and other internet sources. As Museum Registrar, I keep all of these resources organized according to the needs of the installation team. This year we had three tablets loaded with all available reference images and condition reports, so that anyone dressing a mannequin could refer back to this vital information. Since, as a rule, we are interpreting the costumes as they were seen in the film; we do not allow ourselves very much creative license. As each ensemble is dressed, I review the reference images and condition reports to finalize the styling and be sure that costume elements were not forgotten.
At center, this costume designed by Marlene Stewart for Tom Cruise’s character Jack in Oblivion features a futuristic motorcycle-style jacket. Zipped or unzipped? Reference images, designer feedback, and the realities of a large-chest mannequin led to the decision to leave it unzipped. Loan courtesy of NBC Universal Studios.